The rights and responsibilities of taxpayers

Learn From The Masters

  • Judge Bernard Ngoepe served as a judge of the High Court for eighteen years before he took optional retirement. In this period, he served for fourteen years as the Judge President of the North and South Gauteng High Courts, where he was responsible for assigning judges to the Tax Court. He was a Judge of the African Union’s African Court on Human and People’s Rights, Tanzania, from 2006 to 2014, and was Vice-President of the Court when he left. Judge Ngoepe has received many honours and awards, which include four Honorary Doctorate degrees: three in Law and one in Education; appointment as Honorary Captain of the SA Navy; and Honorary Professor of Law. He has also received many leadership and human rights awards, including the Duma Nokwe award.

Tax must be paid by all, but there are important considerations that underpin this.  Judge Bernard Ngoepe unpacks some of these considerations, highlights the role and importance of the Office of the Tax Ombud in its pursuit of fairness, and reveals the steps being taken to improve the tax administration system.

In this episode:

  • The aim of The Office of the Ombud’s digital awareness campaign, #TaxpayersRightsMatter.
  • The importance of striking the right balance between taxpayers’ rights and SARS powers.
  • The key considerations for maximising tax collection.
  • Could more have been done to manage the Covid-19 relief funds and avoid the misappropriation of funds?
  • Minister of Employment and Labour has warned of a possible UIF fund collapse if it has to again extend Covid-19 benefits on taxpayers. How would this impact taxpayers, and how will the Office of the Ombud seek to ensure fairness.
  • The Office of the Ombud’s views on SARS rebuilding public confidence and capacity based on the outcomes and recommendations of the Nugent Commission.
  • Given the economic challenges faced by individuals and businesses as taxpayers, how is the Office of the Ombud ensuring compliance and encouraging taxpayer morality in trying to bridge the tax gap?
  • Do the national regulations sufficiently protect the rights of taxpayers?

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