“There is nothing to fear but fear itself” Anon
I have come to realise that there are few things in life that can instantly cause panic in someone’s life. Apart from the obvious events like war, natural disasters etc, possibly one of the most rapid fear-inducing events is a letter from the tax man (South African Revenue Service or SARS). I am 100% see that this is a worldwide phenomenon.
Personally, I have no fear of SARS. I am a SARS tax practitioner and am compliant with all tax affairs. As a company, we strive to keep all our clients tax compliant. We are constantly educating clients (and people in general) about SARS and their processes with the goal of reducing the fear of SARS. Changing the mindset of people is demanding work!
In our endeavours for tax compliance and tax return submissions, SARS issue letters asking for extra supporting documentation. This to us is nothing serious. This is because we know the amounts inserted into the returns are correct. We also know that the client has nothing to hide or keep from SARS. We gladly submit any documents as we use these for any calculation.
Clients, on the other hand, view this differently. They take it as a personal attack and enter defensive mode immediately. This results in a frantic phone call or abrupt email to us. The demands for answers are great and resolution must be immediate. Despite efforts to reduce this, the only way to reduce fear is to make sure that everything is dealt with timeously. Due to work demands this may not be in their time frame but is within the deadline given by SARS.
We calm the spirit by reiterating that clients have nothing to hide and they have nothing to worry about. Their fear is relieved when all requests from SARS are satisfied. We often receive a relieved response and a polite thank you.
if you have nothing to hide, any request from SARS can be handled with a calm response. They are just doing their job.
*Being a South African company, SARS is used for illustration purposes.