Editorials 25.8.2018 08:40 am

Inquiry exposes deeper Sars rot

SA needs every single cent of tax it can get to keep vital services in this country running and Sars must be fixed – quickly.

While most people were consumed this week with “beach racist” Adam Catzavelos and the utterances of US president Donald Trump on the land issue and killings of white farmers, another worrying story was being told about incompetence and bad governance at the government organ which gathers the funds to keep the state running.

The inquiry into the SA Revenue Service (Sars) was put in place by President Cyril Ramaphosa after allegations of mismanagement – and worse – at the institution during the tenure of the now suspended commissioner, Tom Moyane.

Evidence to the commission this week indicated that the problem was far wider and deeper than just Moyane himself. So dire was the state of affairs at Sars that hundreds of millions of rands in tax may have gone uncollected.

Not only that, but thousands of taxpayers who were owed money had to wait for their refunds for an excessively long time.

SA needs every single cent of tax it can get to keep vital services in this country running. Already, SA politicians have demonstrated a willingness to steal a considerable portion of that revenue and that has discouraged tax compliance.

Sars must be fixed – and fixed quickly.

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