SARS Launches Multilingual Tax Terminology Publication

The Commissioner of the South African Revenue Service (SARS), Edward Kieswetter, has committed the organization to promoting the use of historically marginalized official languages ​​in the tax and customs environment.

The Commissioner made this commitment when launching the multilingual publication on SARS tax terminology.

The document contains 450 terms in the country’s 11 official languages.

In a statement, the tax collector said the list covers the wide range of financial terminology, such as taxes, wills and general financial business practices.

Kieswetter said that through this initiative, SARS is working to provide more clarity and certainty to its taxpayers in all 11 official languages ​​to “promote social justice and fundamental human rights.”

The launch of the document comes as the country commemorates Human Rights Month.

The Use of Official Languages ​​Act (UOLA) was enacted in 2013. The Act provides for the regulation and control of the use of official languages ​​by the national government for governmental purposes. It further requires the adoption of a language policy and the creation of a language unit for national services, national public entities and national public enterprises.

SARS has adopted such a language policy, published in the Official Gazette on November 23, 2015, and is currently implementing the policy.

SARS said its language services unit was created with a mandate to make a concerted effort to develop previously marginalized languages.

“He also supports taxpayer and merchant education initiatives, as he reaches out to communities to educate taxpayers in their own language about the importance of tax compliance.

“This year marks the 25th anniversary of SARS, a major and joyful milestone, established with a mandate to collect all revenue due, ensure optimal compliance with tax and customs laws, and provide a customs service that protects our borders and facilitates legitimate trade.

“Helping our efforts continue, the publication of multilingual tax terminology is not only our gift to the taxpayers, traders and citizens of South Africa, whose mother tongue is not necessarily English, but to our staff who interact with our taxpayers and ensure that they do so using the correct terms, as approved by the Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB).

“We acknowledge and commend this progressive work done by over 140 contributors in achieving this milestone. We acknowledge the efforts of this diverse team and convey our sincere appreciation and gratitude to the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture, PanSALB and our SARS team.

The commissioner said the work done by SARS touches the lives of all citizens, especially the poor and vulnerable, through the revenue it collects, which enables the government to provide basic services such as grants. social, education and health care.

“All South Africans need to understand this vital role that SARS plays. There is no better way to create this understanding than by speaking to our compatriots in their own language so that our work touches their hearts, as the ‘said Madiba,” he said.

(With contributions from the South African government press release)

Jacob L. Thornton