How to lodge a complaint with the Tax Ombud


An Ombud is an independent and impartial officer who deals with complaints about an organisation or agency, whether private or public. Typically these  complaints involve issues that the organisation or  agency has been unable or unwilling, to resolve  to the complainant’s satisfaction. 

The Office of the Tax Ombud  operates independently of the South African  Revenue Service as an impartial mediator  between the South African taxpayers and SARS. 


The Tax Ombud is appointed by the Minister of  Finance to whom it reports directly. The Tax Ombud reviews and addresses complaints that  are of service, procedural and administrative  nature. They work specifically with taxpayers who  have been unable to resolve a complaint through  the normal complaints management channels of  SARS. 


There are certain  circumstances where the Tax Ombud cannot  make recommendations. Before  approaching the Tax Ombud, taxpayers must first try to resolve their complaints directly with SARS (through SARS’s Complaints Management Office which can be reached on 0860 121 216)  unless if there are compelling circumstances. 

If still unresolved, you may then submit your  complaint to the Office of the Tax Ombud by  downloading and completing the Complaints  Form on their website, call 0800 662 837, send an email to or visit their office in Pretoria. 

Taxpayers should continue to pay  the tax amounts due to avoid penalties while  their complaint is under review. 


► You need to obtain a complaint form. Visit the  Office of the Tax Ombud or contact the Office by  telephone, fax or email to request a copy of the  complaint form. The form is also available on their  website. 

► Document the factual situation of your  complaint in chronological order. Attach all the  supporting documents relevant to the complaint. 

► Ensure that the form is completed in full. Write down the reference numbers from SARS;  indicate the name of the SARS branch, date and  person you escalated the case to. 

► All complaint forms must be signed and  dated. If the form does not allow you to relate  your complaint fully, use extra paper which must  be attached to your complaint form. 

► The Office of the Tax Ombud will not accept  unsigned forms. Taxpayer representatives must  confirm their authority to act on behalf of  their clients through a fully completed power  of attorney, and submit ID copies of both the  taxpayer and taxpayer representative. 

► If there is not enough evidence to support  your complaint, the matter may be closed.  However, they will first give you an opportunity  to substantiate your complaint or provide the  necessary evidence. 

► Once they have received your form, the Tax  Ombud will investigate the complaint and decide  how to handle it if it falls within their mandate, otherwise they will recommend alternative remedies.

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