But despite advocating for a taxpayer bill of rights since 2013, that has yet to happen, said the ombud, Judge Bernard Ngoepe, in his report.
“My office has already made valuable inputs towards the proposed bill of rights and now we urge Sars, National Treasury, parliamentarians and other stakeholders to ensure that it becomes a reality.
“I am convinced it will contribute towards strengthening our constitutional democracy and, to a considerable extent, improve the level of accountability on the part of the revenue collector and support an improved tax administration system.
“The latter will be of immense benefit to the country as it will improve public trust in the revenue collector and thus improve taxpayers’ sense of tax obligation,” he said.
The ombud is also pushing for the office to become structurally independent from Sars.
“The office must be, and be seen to be, independent of Sars,” he said. “Unfortunately, as things stand, there is a dependence on Sars for supporting governance, fiduciary and administrative functions. This hampers its work and compromises its reputation. It is because of this lack of structural independence that the International Association of Ombuds does not admit the office as a member.”