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Organisation : Office of the Tax Ombud


Facility Name : Lodge Complaint

Applicable For : Taxpayer

Country : South Africa


How to Lodge Complaint at Tax Ombud?

Many taxpayers do not know where, when and how to lodge a complaint if they are unhappy with how SARS handled their tax matters or that of the clients they are representing. Therefore, it is important that they learn about the Office of the Tax Ombud (OTO), which provides an impartial and independent process for resolving tax complaints against SARS.

To Lodge Complaint at Tax Ombud, Follow the below steps

Step 1: Obtain Complaint Form

** Online :


** Mail (complaints AT

** Telephone (0800662837)

** Fax (012 4525013)

** Post (PO Box 12314, Hatfield, 0028)

** Address (Menlyn Corner, 2nd Floor, 87 Frikkie de Beer Street, Menlyn, Pretoria)

Step 2: Complete The Form In Full

** Document the factual situation of your complaint in chronological order including all case numbers relevant to the complaint from SARS and attach all supporting documents;

** Make sure to use the relevant tax reference number;

** Before desired outcome, you need to indicate the tax period you are complaining about e.g. 2016;


** Indicate your desired outcome of the complaint. Once the complaint form is received, the OTO will capture the complaint and issue a letter of acknowledgement; and

** The OTO will decide how to handle it or recommend alternative remedies to you.

Step 3: Sign & Date All Forms

** When using a representative, the complainant must submit;

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** A power of attorney form, along with certified ID copies of the complainant and the representative. Power of Attorney Form is downloadable here.

Please Note:

If insufficient evidence is provided, the matter may be terminated, or a complainant might be given another opportunity to provide the necessary evidence.

Step 4: What Happens After A Complaint Is Lodged?


** The OTO will investigate the matter and will establish whether the complaint falls within its mandate as well as if the complainant has exhausted the SARS complaints mechanism, if not, whether the complainant has provided compelling circumstances for not doing so. The OTO will also verify if any limitations apply and check if the complaint is valid.

** If complaints are found to be within the OTO mandate, thus there is a service, procedural or administrative failure from SARS side, the OTO would then recommend to SARS how to remedy the situation. A letter of acceptance would be send to the complainant.

** If the case is rejected, a letter of outcome will be sent to the complainant with the reasons for rejection.

(NB: The Office of the Tax Ombud will conduct an independent, fair and impartial investigation to ensure that a taxpayer’s complaint against SARS is speedily resolved, and/ or information and communication is treated in strict confidence).

FAQ On Tax Ombud

Frequently Asked Questions FAQ On Tax Ombud

** The below insights on OTO services will give taxpayers a better understanding of the services and mandate of the Office. To ensure that complaints are speedily and amicably resolved, it is vital to understand the mandate of the OTO and its processes, as described below:

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** Did you know that prior to approaching the SARS Complaints Management Office (CMO), the taxpayer needs to approach the SARS call centre or branch first? This will take up to 21 working days. After these 21 days, the taxpayer can approach the SARS CMO.

** Did you know that once the 21-day turnaround time of the CMO lapses, or should the CMO reject the case in less than 21 days, the taxpayer can approach the OTO to lodge a complaint?


** Did you know that you need to allow 21 working days for feedback every time you engage with SARS? If you or your tax practitioner lodged a complaint with the OTO before this time has run out, we would, unfortunately, have to reject your complaint.

** Did you know that if SARS took a decision on an objection, a taxpayer has 30 days to appeal the outcome of the objection? This 30-day period can be extended to a maximum of 45 further days.

** Did you know that if you need your assessment to be revised, you have to engage SARS on the matter first before lodging a complaint with the OTO? We often receive complaints on such issues without taxpayers first having gone through the appropriate SARS complaints channel.

** Did you know that if you, the taxpayer, are not in agreement with your assessment, you could dispute the assessment by lodging an objection with SARS?

** Did you know that within four days of receiving the final close-out report from SARS, the OTO will verify the actions detailed in the report against the recommendations sent to SARS? We will then communicate the resolution of the complaint to you.

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A taxpayer can contact the Office of the Tax Ombud directly or through a tax practitioner or other representative. Taxpayer representatives must confirm their authority to act on behalf of their clients through a fully completed power of attorney. A taxpayer can access the service of the Office of the Tax Ombud through the following contact methods

Email: complaints AT

Call: 0800 662 837 (toll-free) or (+27) 12 431-9105

Fax: (+ 27) 12- 452-5013

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