Good news for taxpayers battling refunds, disputes

Finally some good news in these economic trying times. If we can believe our eyes and ears, it would appear that VAT refunds to the tune of R20 billion will soon be paid.

The investigation by the Office of the Tax Ombud into the delay of refunds from the tax authority has borne fruit.

Finance minister Tito Mboweni announced in his maiden medium-term budget policy statement that R20 billion in value-added tax (Vat) refunds will be paid to taxpayers.

The additional refunds comprise R11 billion to clear the backlog (refunds withheld) and another R9 billion to provide for the current fiscal year (2018/19).

“We recognise that this has hurt the cash flow of a number of companies, including small businesses,” he said in Parliament.

The Ombud found in a scathing report that the South African Revenue Service (Sars) has, in some instances, been unduly delaying the payment of valid refunds, causing financial hardship.

Despite this report, the number of complaints about the non-payment of refunds still tops the list of complaints received by the Office of the Tax Ombud. It has received more than 800 complaints, representing almost 35% of all complaints.

Read the full article by Amanda Visser