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Jonas gives go ahead for probe in Sars systems

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JOHANNESBURG – Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas has granted the office of the tax ombudsman permission to investigate South African Revenue Service (Sars) systems.

The investigation follows complaints by taxpayers regarding tax refunds.

The revenue services says it has an obligation to ensure compliance with the investigation and will co-operate fully.

Spokesperson Sandile Memela said: “As Sars, we want to put it on record that we fully support the investigation as we believe that it will bolster the confidence of the taxpayers in our systems.”

It says it's in the interests of Sars and the public to find closure and finality to the issue of returns.

Last year, the controlling bodies of tax practitioners issued statements emphasising grave concerns about the apparent lack of procedural fairness.

However, SARS responded by saying it had become aware of a number of cases where criminal activity resulted in profiles being used - and bank details changed.

It says this was detected during the early phases of last year's filing season.

Funds were, therefore, withheld to make way for audits to take place.

(Edited by Masechaba Sefularo)

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