In an article in Business Day of 16 May 2013, Evan Pickworth refers to “Open-ended fishing expeditions by the South African Revenue Service (SARS)”, and we can certainly identify with all he said.
Aside from the issues raised in the article we have experienced an increased tendency by SARS to approach our clients directly, without first approaching us as the tax practitioner representing the client. Unfortunately this practice is not following set rules since in some instances we receive copies of correspondence, while in other instances the first we hear about any SARS correspondence is the concerned and sometimes traumatic calls and emails we receive from clients when approached directly by SARS.
We can testify that SARS has placed much emphasis on collections, sometimes even raising the threat of legal action with taxpayers while payments have not yet fallen due or are still being / could still be disputed.
We realise that this state of affairs might cause uncertainty and undue concern with our clients and therefore invite you to forward any SARS correspondence to our Tax Compliance Department at firstname.lastname@example.org for verification and follow-up.
We will advise you whether any amount is in fact due, and request you to be patient while we deal with the matter.