Tax season, which starts this week, is much less fun than, say, the festive season, with its gifting and indulging. And much less exciting than the hunting season, with its promise of biltong and the inevitable stalking. When it comes to the dreary business of tax collection, the South African Revenue Service (Sars) is the one doing the stalking. And stalk it feels it must. About half a decade of questionable management practices has compromised the service's ability to rake in the revenue. The national budget in February flagged a shortfall of R42bn for the latest fiscal year. Statistics released by Sars in April painted an even bleaker picture, putting the deficit at more than R56bn. This is big. The largest new listing on the JSE this year was MultiChoice - its market value is now roughly R56bn. Sars under-collected a MultiChoice last year!Sure, it was tough out there. When the economy goes sideways, companies have smaller profits to declare, employees aren't as flush with ca...

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