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TAGI has PBO status!

It is with a great amount of pride that I get to announce that we have been granted PBO status!

And what a mission it was…

When I first embarked on this mission in April SARS pointed out I didn’t have all the forms, all the titles weren’t correct and the 5mm high stack of documents I offered them was counteracted with a stack of documents 11mm high.

So back I went, held the necessary meetings, got all the signatures in triplicate… or was it more?… and so the first week in May I bravely got up at 4am to leave my house at 4:30am to arrive at SARS by 5:30am so that I have a spot in the queue by 6am so that SARS would be willing to help me when they open at 8am… I kid you not… previously when I arrived at SARS just after 8am they sent me home stating that the queue is already too long…

But on this day I made it in time and I was helped by a lovely lady that patiently answered all my questions in a helping manner… unfortunately… she missed scanning in one of the papers and so a few weeks after filing, the Tax Exemption Unit (TEU) informed me I have 21 working days to file the correct paper with them… and here the real nightmare started…

I mailed and phoned the TEU repeatedly to no avail. Emails were left unanswered and when you managed to get a phone call through you can hear the operator in the back ground picking up the phone and then putting it back down again without said person even talking to you.

Eventually after several attempts SARS managed to put me in touch with my case worker… well… so I thought…

It happened that this was not the person assigned to my case, she was not even in the correct department. Fortunately she escalated my email to her superior, Johan, who was so kind as to forward my documents to the correct person. I got in contact with her and she confirmed my documents were correctly put on the system. I felt relieved.

Now the clock is ticking forward and again no one in the TEU is corresponding with me to update me on the status of our application. I contacted SARS and they couldn’t help me either as they don’t have access to the TEU. What we did discover at this stage was that in spite of reassurances, my last requested papers weren’t on the system. In a desperate attempt I contacted Johan again in the hopes that he could possibly direct me in the right direction or person.

This is where I regained some faith in humanity. Johan is not in the TEU, he does not work in the Gauteng province and this is by no means his responsibility. But putting all that aside he took it upon himself to apply the time and effort, along with a colleague(s), to help me get it on the system. They were my lifesavers and I cannot thank them enough!

A few weeks after this Johan had the pleasure of informing me that we were granted tax exemption, approved for PBO status under Section 18A(1)(A) and that this also now allows us to hand out Section 18A certificates for tax purposes!!

We are immensely proud for having reached this for TAGI, all in a years time. We are grateful to everyone that stood by us and supported us. And we want to give Johan and his colleagues a special thank you for helping us!

Eric Elronde and the TAGI team.