Ombud gets money back for taxpayers

2018-10-24 17:15

Close to R450 million in tax refunds was paid to the top 10 taxpayers who had registered complaints, thanks to the intervention of the Office of the Tax Ombudsman, and more than 99% of recommendations made by ombudsman Judge Bernard Ngoepe were implemented by the SA Revenue Service (Sars).

According to the tax ombud’s 2017/18 annual report, the top 10 complaints with the highest amounts resulted in R446 million in VAT and corporate income tax refunds paid out to taxpayers after they lodged complaints with the tax ombud against Sars.

The highest refund paid was a VAT refund of R158 million; the second highest was R91 million.

The tax ombud has experienced a significant increase in the number of people making contact – from 670 in the 2013/14 financial year to more than 17 000 in the 2017/18 financial year.

Ngoepe said: “We are pleased with how we have been able to help promote fairness in the country’s tax administration system and we look forward to working with other stakeholders, not just to promote and protect the rights of taxpayers, but also to promote tax compliance.

“This office has helped resolve thousands of taxpayers’ complaints against the revenue collector in the past five years, but there is still much that needs to be done. We have already brought about positive changes in the Tax Administration Act, which has given us powers to investigate systemic issues and more independence from Sars.”

The launch of the report coincided with the fifth anniversary of the establishment of the office of the tax ombud – the celebration was held under the theme of “five years of fairness”. Ngoepe said the office of the tax ombud was committed to helping ensure balance between Sars’ powers and duties on the one hand, and taxpayer rights and obligations on the other.

Tax ombud contact details:

Call centre: 080 066 2837

Fax: 012 452 5013

Email: or


Maya Fisher-French
Personal finance journalist
City Press
p:0117139001  e:
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May 19 2019