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Thread: an unpleasant visit to SARS

  1. #1
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    Oct 2007
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    an unpleasant visit to SARS

    i go to sars to sort out some tax issues... get advice and find out about the free software which is adertised for small bussiness owner...well did that visit get interesting.

    the rudest person i have met in a long time...i had to wait for a half an hour while he had his lunch then when i finally got to see him we sat down and i indicated that i had a few queries...he got up left the room and came back with a fan heater...firstly he told me there is no free software to help small bussiness...then he told me i needed to get an accountant to sort out my tax enquiries...he then realises that he is not getting rid of me that quick so he turns on the fan heater and faces under the table directly me...well that got my blood boiling because i realised what he was trying to do so i got up and closed the door...i had shorts and a t shirt on... he had long pants and a long sleeve shirt...i stretched that meeting out as long as i could and made him very uncomfortable...i dont think he realised i spend days at a time working in roof spacers were the temperature gets to over 40 degrees in the middle of summer...and i wont be so polite next time (i hope the smuck reads this thread)

    it is such a shame because i had decided to get all my taxes sorted out and make sure i am up to date and legall but after that visit...if this is what my tax money is being wasted on employing rude racist black people like the one i had to deal with then i would rather pay someone a lot of money to ensure that i pay as little tax as possible and i sure as h*ll wont be going back to SARS for any assistance...and SARS wonders why people dont want to pay taxes...this is supposed to be the new SA but clearly we have a long road ahead still.

  2. #2
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    May 2006
    Durban, South Africa
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    Huh! That's so disappointing.

    My experience is that SARS's helpfulness has been getting better and better. But then I go to a rather nice little office in Mt.Edgecombe. All very civilized.
    Last edited by Dave A; 17-Oct-07 at 09:48 PM.
    Seeing opportunity changes nothing. Seizing opportunity and running with it changes lives.

  3. #3
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    I had an extremely frustrating "bout"" with an S.A.R.S. clerk:
    Property purchased in a CC.- CC did not trade at all.
    We had a buyer and needed a directive for VAT.
    Auditor had said we were not required to register and pay Vat and that this would delay the sale by months waiting to get registered.

    The purchaser was a company and therefore the Vat would be recovered by the Buyer, no advantage to the S.A.R.S. to register us for the one transaction.

    Being concerned about the possibility of Vat due, I went to the S.A.R.S. in Germiston and requested an appointment with a person in the legal department or to speak to someone who could organise a written directive, I took with me a letter explicitly detailing my concern and request.

    The lady dealing with my query just stared at us as if we were "nasty insects" sitting at her desk (After waiting for ages!)
    She just said "register for Vat" over and over, and would not listen to any question or appeal that I tried. She did not even read the letter and merely handed it back to me!
    She outright refused to assist us or permit us to be referred to anyone else.

    The point is, that I attempted to do this the right way, and was literally denied the opportunity to speak to anyone of a higher standing in the S.A.R.S.

    We were as polite as we could possibly be - realising that any attitude was not going to get us anywhere, but the sheer futility of trying to get through to this person was beyond imagination.

    We returned to our office and I discovered frustration and anger that I did not know I was capable of!.
    For 50 odd years I have never been disrespectful (to the best of my knowledge?) based on racial grounds, but that day I discovered that if the potential cost was high enough, I could "potentially" lose the plot and could have been racist - this was a major "life shock" for me!

    But later on an overwhelming sadness hit me as I realised this must have been how many folk felt when a person in authority appeared to not acknowledge their appeal for assistance.

    I have to say that this has been the first occassion that I have had such an nasty experience in the S.A.R.S. offices - previously all requests for assistance were dealt with in a most professional manner. Mt Edgecombe has always given exemplary service!

    I have a problem with the Regional Service Council, out of the blue a demand for approx R900 for penalties and non payment arrived in the post stating "as per attached schedule" - nothing was attached.

    E-mail after e-mail, copied again and again! referred from pillar to post, eventually paying the amount as I have no desire to be listed as in default with payment, it took nearly two months for the cheque posted by registered mail to be banked, and Yip! absolutely no communication nor schedule of reconciliation sent to us. I just do not have the time or patience to attempt to get the details or to try to sort it out.

    There may be wonderful opportunities available in South Africa today, but the "challenges" and frustrations seem to me to vastly outweigh the positives!
    I really wanted to end this post on a positive note, but for the life of me cannot dredge up any business issue of the recent past when I can honestly claim that I felt overwhelmed in response to good service!


  4. #4
    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    Cape Town
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    Shucks, two very disappointing experiences

    I've been very fortunate. All my dealings with SARS have been excellent, and queries which were out of the norm were escalated and dealt with. The efiling clerk never gives me any hassles either.

  5. #5
    Email problem RKS Computer Solutions's Avatar
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    If I can make any kind of suggestion, speak to your accountant. RKS has now been going for almost 2 full years, and I have yet to see the inside of SARS or have to deal with their ignorance.

    An accountant is a wonderful thing. I had a company in JHB trying to scam me out of R60grand and things didn't sit right. I spoke to my accountant who confirmed that their CC number was registered in someone elses name, and the VAT nr they gave me was unconfirmed by SARS... In this situation, they were a great help, purely because the phone could be picked up on their side, and they could speak to people who they have dealt with for ages and get to the information in a much more effective way...

    On a side note, had all my days at Department of Home Affairs. "Dorothy" who normally deals with my wife's visa, wasn't within eyesight and such the other people working in her office kept on pushing forms into our hands and saying she needs to go for medicals and all kinds of things that were utter BS. I threw the forms back and said that if they just let me speak to the right people, I'd be out of there in 5 minutes. No go...

    Went back 2 weeks later, and after having totally lost my cool, started ranting like a lunatic, Dorothy strolls out of the office looking at who is is losing it on the imbecile deputies. 2 minutes after she recognised me from the 3 previous times we were there, we were sitting by her desk and the paperwork being done. 10 minutes after that, the visa was in my wifes passport and everything sorted. Turns out they keep rotating the people in her office and they have been programmed like bots to just go ahead and shove forms and misinformation to anyone who seeks assistance.

    She apologized, gave me her mobile nr for any problems and explained that it's been tough trying to train people when they come and go.

    What I'm trying to say through this whole thing is this, if you don't have a good relationship with someone that works in any of these departments, your chances are not looking good. Either deal with one person who you know that will help you, or speak to someone who knows the right people...

    In the case of SARS, I would really suggest you speak to an accountant, preferably yours as he already knows your situation. My accountant is costing me a small amount for my monthly accounting, plus extras for the yearly audits and and and, but it's a small price to pay in order not to have to deal with people who are not wanting to help you.

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