4 MARCH 2004


The South African Revenue Service (SARS) is to launch a new branch office that will provide services to taxpayers and professionals in general.

The new office, which will be situated in Ashlea Gardens in Pretoria East, will be opened on Monday 8 March 2004 as part of SARS' tangible commitment to improved service delivery and to make tax compliance as easy as possible.

An extra service offering is that the office will be open for business every Saturday from 08h00 to 12h00.

The office will offer a dedicated taxpayer service function to the legal fraternity, auditors, accountants, general taxpayers and also potential filers in the Mamelodi area.

It represents a milestone in SARS' reform of its Gauteng business operations, and forms part of its Siyakha ("we are building") transformation programme aimed at making the organisation more efficient and responsive to taxpayer needs.

The selected location of Ashlea Gardens - 46 Lebombo Road, was chosen because the office is surrounded by tax professionals such as attorneys and accountants, who are more likely to use facilities such as e-Filing.

The office will provide an opportunity for taxpayers to engage on one-on-one consulting with SARS trained taxpayer service personnel that will be able to deal with queries and issues around journals, statement of accounts, deferred payments, objections, appeals, tax clearance certificates, revised assessments, registrations, and changes to personal details.

Ashlea Gardens is devoting itself to customer service and in so doing is the first "cash-less" service centre of its kind in South Africa, having no facilities for cash transactions.

Whilst a drop-box for cheque payments, correspondence and documents will be available on site, clients will still have to make cash transactions at the SARS Taxpayer Service Centre, cnr van der Walt and Schoeman Street, in Pretoria City Centre. This CBD office will continue to offer its full complement of services.

The reason for a service centre without a cash hall is to encourage corporate taxpayers to make more use of the electronic filing system that SARS launched in September 2003. At the new office, taxpayers will be able to make electronic filing via Internet kiosks.

SARS believes that by educating taxpayers through service initiatives such as this one, it will be able to offer a professional and responsive service that is fair, open and accountable in helping citizens comply with their tax obligations at minimal cost and inconvenience to themselves.

Taxpayers deserve the most prompt, courteous and effective service possible. The Siyakha initiative is helping transform SARS into an organisation that prioritises efficiency and prides itself on customer relations.

SARS recognises that by providing excellent service and ensuring all taxpayers understand their rights and obligations, an improved trading and compliance environment can be developed to the benefit of all South Africans.


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