Category Archives: Financial Education

“Internet explorer is the safest browser” SARS*

You know that SARS is really in a mess when they still insist that Internet Explorer is the “safest” browser. It is also the only browser in which their efiling application functions correctly. How is this possible in 2017? Continue reading “Internet explorer is the safest browser” SARS*

Scam alert – ISM R5000 share portfolio

ISM R5000 Share portfolio scam on the go again

It seems that an old scam is on the go again. I have just received a call from a company claiming to be called “ISM” and advising me that I had won a R5000 share portfolio. They needed to make an appointment to bring the money to me – urgently. Continue reading Scam alert – ISM R5000 share portfolio

Penalised twice! This is just not right!

We are trying to add someone who has never previously been able to afford medical aid onto a medical aid scheme. Given that she is over 35, that this is the first time that she will be a medical aid member and that in terms of the act, “A medical scheme may apply premium penalties to a late joiner...” she now faces a situation where just as she is able to join a scheme, she now might not be able to afford the premium because of the 25% penalty. Continue reading Penalised twice! This is just not right!

Working daze?

I think SARS started it all with their 21 working day turnaround times for things like “verification of supporting documents”. Or 30 working days turnaround for disputes! And they claim to be “at your service”? Unfortunately, it hasn’t taken long for some of the dinosaurs of the financial services industry to follow their example. Continue reading Working daze?

Official logo of the South African Revenue Services (SARS)

SARS still employing delaying tactics

The tax ombudsman recently made damning findings about SARS unreasonably delaying paying refunds. SARS, of course, denied that there is anything malicious in this. However, experience seems to show that they are still very much applying stalling tactics in their desperate search for funds.  Continue reading SARS still employing delaying tactics

8.5% per month in fees?

Am I reading this incorrectly or can it be that the monthly fee on this pension fund contribution is 8.5%?

Can it be that R240 of every R2808 in contributions is being eaten up by costs? Every month? And this is before the fund fees?

In 2017 with all the legislation that we have  – FAIS, TCF and RDR?

I’m completely stunned – please can someone tell me that I am reading this incorrectly?

Tombstone engraved with RIP

The great funeral-cover rip-off: Part Two

A short while back, we wrote about what we see as the iniquitous selling of funeral policies to the poor and vulnerable. It’s our view that there’s a significantly better way to do it through the use of a properly underwritten whole-of-life policy. Continue reading The great funeral-cover rip-off: Part Two

It’s often the little things that matter…

One of the “compulsory” forms of insurance that people with bonds have to have is Home Owners Insurance (HOI). This is insurance that covers the cost of replacing the building if it is destroyed through things like fire and floods. Usually the bank that provides the bond also very kindly arranges this insurance and the unsuspecting home owner signs the policy document along with all the other bond documents. There are at least two huge problems with this Continue reading It’s often the little things that matter…

Not treating customers fairly – SARS!

Something seriously dodgy is happening at SARS – just had the 3rd case of them rejecting an RA tax certificate as proof of contribution to an RA. They are insisting on proof of contributions (since inception). Shouldn’t be too difficult to obtain but so much additional work – and on what legal grounds?

Worse still is that they have applied the same ruling to pension and provident fund contributions and are insisting on proof of contributions to the fund – not that easy to get! And more costs to the tax payer.

And in a separate ruling, they went back to a 2014 tax return and outright declined the RA deduction – no reasons given and penalties imposed for underpayment of tax and outstanding interest. The call centre was clueless and the only possible reason they could offer was that the contribution was “too large”. Insanity! So it’s an objection and lots more cost to the client (who will win this one).

I will persist until I succeed!

I remember reading this quote when I started in the financial services industry about 22 years ago and came across it again recently…it’s a timely reminder as we try to make the industry better for our clients.

I was not delivered into this world into defeat, nor does failure course in my veins. I am not a sheep waiting to be prodded by my shepherd. I am a lion and I refuse to talk, to walk, to sleep with the sheep.

The slaughterhouse of failure is not my destiny.

I will persist until I succeed!

From the ancient scroll marked 111 in “The Greatest Salesman in the World” by Og Mandino, ironically!