3. SARS Correspondence menu

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10 December 2014

So I’ve been trying for days to get a tax clearance for a client.

First, on about 28 November 2014, I put his details into my Tax Practitioner SARS eFiling profile as an individual, which he is, and the system sent me an email saying:

Dear eFiler

CORRESPONDENCE FOR YOUR ATTENTION

SARS has issued correspondence for Mr D S****** -0112223333 which requires your attention.

To view this, kindly log into your eFiling profile and either navigate to the respective Work Page or to the SARS Correspondence menu.

For any queries please contact the SARS Contact Centre on 0800 00 SARS (7277) between 08:00 – 17:00 (excluding weekends and public holidays).

Sincerely

ISSUED ON BEHALF OF THE COMMISSIONER FOR THE SOUTH AFRICAN REVENUE SERVICE

I visited the so called Work Page where I had entered the information, but found no correspondence there.

A subsequent email on 28 November 2014 read as follows:

Dear eFiler

Your eFiling registration for Mr D S*********(0112223333) has been rejected.

That is because invalid/incorrect information was provided.

If you have any queries please contact our helpdesk on 0800 00 SARS (7277).

Sincerely

SARS eFiling

I subsequently went into the Change Details page where I carefully checked and updated the required information and saved this.

Next, on 3 December 2014, another email:

Dear eFiler

CORRESPONDENCE FOR YOUR ATTENTION

SARS has issued correspondence for Mr D ******* -0112223333 which requires your attention.

To view this, kindly log into your eFiling profile and either navigate to the respective Work Page or to the SARS Correspondence menu.

For any queries please contact the SARS Contact Centre on 0800 00 SARS (7277) between 08:00 – 17:00 (excluding weekends and public holidays).

Sincerely

ISSUED ON BEHALF OF THE COMMISSIONER FOR THE SOUTH AFRICAN REVENUE SERVICE

Again, the work page had no correspondence.

Then I had to first find the SARS Correspondence menu. So I clicked all over the menu’s and discovered it halfway down the page under Returns, although there was no indication that any returns were ever processed for this client.

When I went to the SARS Correspondence menu, the following occurred:

Not knowing where to begin, I clicked on “Request Historic IT Notices”.  The response was: This tax payer is not registered for income tax. What? The client has a tax number, but is not registered for tax? How is that possible? What do you mean? What must I do now? No clue given; no indication how to address this issue. Total darkness.

In an effort to solve this dilemma, I guessed that I might discover something under Organisations: Pending Registration. So I went there.

By the way, take a look at this:

Screenshot 2014-12-10 08.58.12-organisationS

Notice the discrepancy. Slordig, very slordig! Relying on programmers to present your polished and finished end result to the world, instead of language experts.

The top menu bar reads “ORGANISATIONS” – plural.

When you click on it, you go to a menu list headed “ORGANISATION” – singular.

Now this might not seem important at first sight, but it is precisely this type of careless use of language which makes SARS eFiling’s correspondence, website instructions and other communications so imprecise and confusing.

When a site user looks at the top menu bar:

Screenshot 2014-12-10 08.58.12-top-menu-bar-1

“ORGANISATIONS” leads you to believe that if you click there you will go to other organisations or links regarding other organisations – like a search for other organisations – besides the one you are logged in to. This is completely misrepresentative!

“ORGANISATIONS” should read “ORGANISATION” because, again, when you click on it you get:

Screenshot 2014-12-10 08.58.12-organisationS

which has got nothing to do with extraneous organisations and only to do with the currently selected organisation or taxpayer or to the organisation thereof.

Having taken this wasteful but fundamentally necessary detour, I continue with my quest to find the correspondence for my client that SARS emailed me about.

Aside: If SARS makes their eFiling website so unbelievably difficult to follow and navigate, and they send an email to inform you of correspondence issued, why don’t they simply send the self same correspondence in the email they are sending you? Is it productive to send correspondence about correspondence that you have to go search for with difficulty on a confusing website?

to be continued…

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