The South African Revenue Service (SARS) won’t see tax compliance until someone is put in jail. Earlier this week Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene said the government faced a difficult task to restore the credibility of this vital institution. He’s absolutely right. What he won’t want to hear is that restoring credibility to SARS will require both political strength and political will. Although it would seem that he and some senior members of government have the political will, the fracas caused by suspended SARS commissioner Tom Moyane at the inquiry into the tax agency this week suggests it is still unclear who holds the balance of power. So until heads start to roll, SARS should prepare itself for a bleak tax season. Taxpayers are legitimately angry, and as more skeletons tumble out of the closet during the inquiry I’ll bet good money that tax compliance is going to get worse.At best, those who do pay tax are going to do their darnedest to pay as little as legally possible. The tro...

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