Title page for ETD etd-07262011-143520

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Mlalazi, Thembelani Loreta
Email thembi.mlalazi@gmail.com
URN etd-07262011-143520
Document Title Clients' expectations regarding the attributes of a tax advisor : an Eskom case study
Degree MCom
Department Taxation
Advisor Name Title
Mr T L Steyn Co-Supervisor
Prof M Cronje Supervisor
  • tax advisor
  • South Africa
  • Suid-Afrika
  • belasting
  • tax
  • belastingadviseur
Date 2011-04-07
Availability restricted
Taxation is the most commonly used method of financing government expenditure in many countries. South Africa is not an exception. Tax advisors are one form of intermediary link in the tax collection process. Tax advisors assist taxpayers to interpret the tax legislation and thus render their dues to the revenue collectors. This study seeks to investigate what individual taxpayers expect from tax advisors as service providers. The expectations and attributes identified will hopefully assist in closing the so-called Ďexpectation gapí.

Although similar research has been done in the past, this study extends prior research in that it investigates the expectations of the employees of Eskom Holdings, as they are a small part of the taxpaying population. This study was thus primarily be aimed at investigating what the expectations of people who use tax consultants are.

This study is significant in that it builds on prior research done on taxpayer perceptions, but localises it to South Africa. The significance is also emphasised by the fact that expectations are continuously evolving and service providers need to periodically redefine what clients expect from them (Burke, 2007:18).

The research data was collected from registered individual taxpayers employed by Eskom Holdings in the different Johannesburg offices in South Africa. A questionnaire was used as the data collection tool. The scope of the study was limited, as the purpose was not to generalise the findings to the greater South African population. A further limitation was that the study did not attempt to quantify the findings nor suggest ways of managing these expectations.

The research found that taxpayers expect the tax consultants to be knowledgeable in tax matters, be competent in tax consulting, have a good working relationship with the South African Revenue Services and have plenty of soft skills. The study also concluded that the ideal tax practitioner should be a tax minimiser, problem solver and someone that does not take unnecessary risks. Creative tax consulting was rated as the least important attribute. Accounting and tax graduates may thus need to develop a broader set of skills beyond the traditional technical skills.

Future researchers may consider extending the research to the greater South African population and to finding out how taxpayers form these mentioned expectations. Other researchers may wish to investigate ways of how to manage these expectations to the satisfaction of both the client and the tax practitioner.

AFRIKAANS : Die betaling van belasting is die mees algemene metode vir die finansiering van Ďn regering se uitgawes. Suid-Afrika is geen uitsondering nie. Belastingadviseurs is een vorm van vele skakels in die belastinginvorderingsproses. Belastingadviseurs verleen hulp aan belastingpligtiges om belastingwetgewing te interpreteer en dus hul verpligtinge aan die belastinginvorderaars na te kom. Hierdie studie poog om vas te stel wat individuele belastingpligtiges verwag van belastingadviseurs as diensverskaffers. Die verwagtinge en eienskappe wat geÔdentifiseer word sal waarskynlik help om die gaping wat bestaan te verklein.

Alhoewel soortgelyke navorsing alreeds in die verlede gedoen is, sluit hierdie ondersoek by vorige navorsing aan deur die verwagtinge van Eskom werknemers te ondersoek. Hierdie ondersoek was dus primÍr gemik op die verwagtinge van mense wat van belasingskonsultante gebruik maak.

Hierdie ondersoek is betekeninsvol in die sin dat dit voortbou op vorige navorsing wat gedoen is om die persepsies van belastingpligtiges vas te stel en dit vir Suid-Afrika te lokiliseer. Die belangrikheid van hierdie ondersoek word ook beklemtoon deur die feit dat verwagtinge voortdurend verander en diensverskaffers behoort voortdurend te herdefiniŽer wat kliŽnte van hulle verwag (Burke, 2007:18).

Die navorsingsdata is verkry vanaf geregistreerde individuele belastingpligtiges in diens van Eskom Holdings in verskeie kantore in Johannesburg, Suid-Afrika. Ďn Vraelys is gebruik as die data-invorderingsmeganisme. Die omvang van die navorsing was beperk, aangesien die doelwit nie was om die bevindinge te veralgemeen met verwysing na die groter Suid-Afrikaanse bevolking nie. Ďn Verdere beperking was dat die ondersoek nie gepoog het om die bevindinge te kwantifiseer of om maniere voor te stel wat hierdie verwagtinge moet beheer nie.

Die navorsing het bevind dat belastingpligtiges verwag dat belastingadviseurs kundig moet wees in belastingsake, bevoeg moet wees om belastingadvies te gee, Ďn goeie werksverhouding met die Suid Afrikaanse Inkomstediens moet hÍ, asook genoeg mensekennis. Die ondersoek het ook tot die verdere gevolgtrekking gekom dat die ideale belastingadviseur belasting moet beperk, probleme moet oplos en nie onnodige risikoís moet waag nie. Kreatiewe belastlingadvies is gereken as die minste belangrike eienskap. Rekekeningkundige- en belastinggegradueerdes sal, afgesien van die tradisionele tegniese vaardighede, Ďn breŽr spektrum van vaardighede moet ontwikkel.

Toekomstige navorsers mag dit dalk oorweeg om die navorsing uit te brei na die Suid-Afrikaanse bevolking as geheel, om uit te vind waarop belastingpligtiges hierdie genoemde verwagtinge baseer. Ander navorsers mag dalk navorsing doen oor maniere om hierdie verwagtinge tot die bevrediging van beide die kliŽnt en die belastingadviseur te bestuur.

© 2010, University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Mlalazi, TL 2010, Clients' expectations regarding the attributes of a tax advisor : an Eskom case study, MCom dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-07262011-143520/ >


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