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SARS needs a permanent commissioner – tax expert

Oct 12 2018 12:40
Lameez Omarjee, Fin24

If improvements at SARS are to continue, then the tax agency needs a permanent commissioner. But this can't happen until processes regarding the fate of suspended boss Tom Moyane are still up in the air, said a tax expert.

At a panel discussion about the medium-term budget policy statement, held in Cape Town on Thursday, senior tax partner Bernard Sacks shared views on the state of affairs at SARS.

"I would like to see Kingon be made commissioner rather than remain in limbo," said Sacks. As acting commissioner, Kingon can't stamp his authority properly on the processes and structures at SARS, he said.

Even if Kingon is not the next commissioner, Sacks said it is important for a permanent appointment to be confirmed.

Former Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene had extended Kingon's term as acting commissioner for a second time in September. Each term has lasted 90 days. He had first taken over in March 2018 after Moyane was suspended pending disciplinary proceedings which are being instituted against him over allegations of misconduct.

According to a statement from the Presidency at the time, the suspension was in the public interest to restore credibility in SARS.

Moyane's disciplinary hearing, led by Advocate Azhar Bham was recently postponed. This came after Moyane filed an application to the Constitutional Court for one or both of the inquiries which involve Moyane to be halted or permanently stayed. 

Sacks noted there are still ongoing proceedings against Moyane and said they should be finalised urgently. "The delays are not good," he said. It creates uncertainty, he explained.

Since Kingon took the position as acting commissioner, he has "brought some direction" and made "good noises", said Mazars national head of tax Mike Teuchert.

Kingon who has to make sure SARS collects the R1.345 trn tax revenue target set by government, stressed the importance of tax compliance at the Tax Indaba held in September. He also previously said that the investigating units into illicit trade would be reestablished.

SARS has taken a tough stance against non-compliant taxpayers who have not submitted returns, and have published names.

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sars  |  tom moyane  |  nhlanhla nene  |  mark kingon  |  tax revenue  |  tax
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