The tax ombud says it’s not unusual for him to find people crying because their bank accounts have been frozen by the SA Revenue Service (Sars). The ombud, retired judge Bernard Ngoepe, says it’s a tragedy that SA has a plethora of organisations defending people’s rights, but so little education about what their rights are. He says his office is at pains to educate the public about its role. The office of the tax ombud is mandated to ensure taxpayers are treated fairly by the taxman and that Sars processes don’t prejudice them. The work cuts across VAT, income tax, customs and excise, and the skills development levy, for example.

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