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SARS Apologises To Taxpayers Over ‘Threatening’ Filing Reminder Message

The South African Revenue Service (Sars) has apologised to taxpayers after sending a bulk sms reminder for them to file which was flagged as threatening.

Hundreds of taxpayers took to social media this week to complain about the message which warned them about possible criminal action if they fail to file on time.

Part of the sms sent to taxpayers on Tuesday night read: “Kindly submit your returns within 10 days of receiving this sms. Should you fail to submit the returns, we will initiate a criminal process and send you a notice of intention to summons.”

The revenue service said the SMS fell short of professional standards that it seeks to uphold.

Sars said this was meant to be a genuine and helpful reminder, however, it was not received well.

The revenue collector added that taxpayers who have honoured their obligation should not be threatened by SARS as it does not engage in legal action before engaging with people.

Their sms line has been suspended until further notice.