Thursday, September 13, 2007

Sheesh, It Never Ends

So, I finally got the car. And the good news is that so far I am thrilled with it (pics to follow!) :) I was a little worried that the schlep of the last few days would damper my opinion of my spanking little C2, but it hasn't. I can see that the trauma of losing all faith in human kind will wear off, the further away from the experience I get ... or until I next have to venture into the fray and deal with more annoying service folk :P

Unfortunately just when I was starting to really get into the "new car" thing, I got my post and there was a letter from SARS. Blegh. Now again, I'm a law-abiding citizen, my tax return has never been late. But back in 2005, I worked at a company that liquidated in the August and as such, by the time it came time to do my 2006 tax return, they hadn't provided us with our much needed IRP5s.

I didn't think this would have such an impact, I included my final pay-slip from the company (which had the total amount of tax paid so far) and duly submitted my return with a friendly note explaining my predicament. A few months later I was asked to submit all my pay slips for the tax period from that company. And being the good and decent person I am, I took time out of my life and headed down to their Randburg offices to submit the required information (This was last year still).

Then in June (this year!), I get a request for my bank statements for that entire period. So I got thru the general rigmarole of fighting with the banks about having to go into their branch for this sort of information (hello, post it to me for Gawds sake!) and eventually get the required info (at a cost of R35 a pop at my expense - do you think I can charge the Reciever on this years tax return?). I again duly send them the information (via post this time because the Assessment Centre is in Alberton?).

Which brings me pretty much up to date with my story. So I get a letter in the post from them saying (and I quote because I find the language used hysterical!): "I have to enquire whether circumstances now permit a reply to my letter dated 15/06/2007" ... the letter is unsigned. Is it just me, or is this just the funniest, most roundabout way of reminding me to respond (again with no mention of what I was supposed to be sending, so not a very helpful reminder, really). This is equally hysterical because I actually had to phone their customer line to find out what the hell the original letter even wanted, there was nothing saying whether they needed originals or photo copies or where to send the information. These people are far to vague about something as important as this, as far as I'm concerned.

So again last night I was confronted with the impossibility of my life, again! I have come to the conclusion that there is pretty much nothing you can do if the government decides to screw you over. You just have to take it. It doesn't matter that you're trying and you have no desire to incur their wrath, they're just not that interested. And although Varen pointed out last night that SARS has bigger fish to fry (as it were), I still think it's easier to catch and implicate the little guy (that would be me in this story) because I have no arsenal with which to fight back. How sad :(

But I'm breathing a lot easier this morning, not least because I made it thru Joburg traffic with my spanking new car unscathed but also because I phoned SARS (and wit ha lot of general misunderstanding - I guess because they are just telephone operators after all ... ), I found out that they received my stuff on the 22 Aug (who knows why they got it that late, but who really cares?) and it's being processed (hopefully). So for now I'm ignoring their hysterically worded letter.

1 comment:

Nico van Rensburg said...

on the sars note, this morning i got told that i'm not registered for tax.(i recently applied for tax clearance).After i assured Samantha, the most apologetic SARS clerk in existence, that i'm a good boy she managed to type in my tax number without her (no doubt trembling) fingers slipping and told me i would know by this afternoon.


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