The "draconian" powers sought by the South African Revenue Service (Sars) in terms of draft legislation should be rejected as unconstitutional, the Law Society of South Africa (LSSA) said on Thursday.
"At the very least they should be postponed for further investigation and proper consultation with interested bodies and organs of state," it said.
In its comments on the draft Taxation Second Laws Amendment Bill, submitted to Parliament and the National Treasury, the LSSA recorded the strongest possible concern that many of the proposed amendments appeared to be unjustifiably hostile to even the most compliant of taxpayers.
There appeared to be a tendency in this and earlier legislation to set the compliant taxpayer up for exorbitant and severe penalties for even the most innocent miscalculation, the society said.
"The enforcement and other powers sought by Sars officials in terms of the proposed legislation are extreme and unjustified.
"There appears to be little regard for the constitutionally protected rights of the taxpayer.
"It is as if there is an attempt to impose, through the office of the tax collection agency, a reign of terror upon all compliant and taxpaying residents with no evident attempt to bring participants in the notoriously non-compliant informal sector to account."
The minibus taxi industry was an extreme but appropriate example, the society said.
full story from M&G here