SARS appoints High Wealth Individual Segment director

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has announced the appointment of Natasha Singh, a chartered accountant with more than 20 years’ experience, as Director: High Wealth Individual (HWI) Segment.

Singh began in her new role on Monday, 18 October 2021.

She holds a Master’s degree, specialising in taxation. She joins SARS from Eskom where she served as Finance Executive: Group Insurance and Tax.

The revenue collector said Singh’s appointment was most opportune as it coincided with a number of recent reports that affect the critically important segment of taxpayers, including the recently released Pandora Papers.

In line with its strategic objective to make it easy and simple for taxpayers to comply with their legal obligations, SARS said Singh’s appointment “was of strategic importance to help improve compliance of wealthy individuals with complex financial arrangements”.

SARS Commissioner Edward Kieswetter said the revenue collector recognises the revenue contribution from this segment, in its various forms, to the Republic of South Africa.

“We also acknowledge the likely challenges that may arise, or currently exist with regards to the tax affairs and tax obligations of individuals and their families. Wealthy Individuals, tend to arrange their financial affairs in complex on- and off-shore structures, often masking their direct beneficial ownership and true income,” he said.

Kieswetter added that the continuing revelations from global media regarding the financial transactions of high wealth individuals across the world is a matter that needs proper investigation by suitably qualified experts such as Singh.

“Whilst our initial selection includes about 1500 wealthy individuals and their related entities, to ensure focus, we will continue to extend our reach to include more individuals and families.

“While SARS is committed to assisting taxpayers with their legal obligations, the organisation is equally determined to detect and deter non-compliance. In addition SARS will not tolerate wilful non-compliance and will make it hard and costly for such taxpayers without fear or favour,” Kieswetter said.

On her appointment, Singh said she was “deeply appreciative of and humbled by the rare privilege entrusted to me as the first Director of SARS’ High Wealth Individuals unit”.

“I am a public servant at heart, and a strong proponent of power of purpose. By marrying my passion for the public sector and hunger for purpose, I hope to honour and positively contribute to SARS’ Higher Purpose of serving the well-being of all South Africans,” she said.

The Commissioner introduced Singh to colleagues and staff at the Woodmead offices where the new unit will be co-located with the Large Business & International (LB&I) Segment.

Source: South African Government News Agency