Business / Business News

Inge Lamprecht
2 minute read
21 Nov 2016
7:14 am

eFiling deadline looms

Inge Lamprecht

Most taxpayers have until Friday to submit returns.

Non-provisional taxpayers who file their tax returns electronically via eFiling only have until Friday, November 25 to do so.

The majority of taxpayers fall into this category.

Taxpayers who file electronically at a branch of the South African Revenue Service (Sars) also have until November 25 to submit their returns. Provisional taxpayers who file electronically can do so until the end of January next year.

If your total annual salary before tax is less than R350 000, you only receive an income from one employer, have no other sources of income such as rent, taxable interest or a car allowance and don’t want to claim deductions for medical expenses, contributions to a retirement annuity or travel expenses you probably don’t need to submit a tax return. The threshold is unchanged from 2015.

Since the start of the Tax Season on July 1, Sars has processed more than 4.9 million tax returns. Over 1 million returns were received in the first three weeks.

According to Sars the figure remained fairly high since the start of the Tax Season.

This is a welcome development in compliance behaviour, it says.

From November 21 to November 25, Sars branches will extend their trading hours and will be open from 08:00 till 19:00 to assist taxpayers with their returns. Sars has 53 branches around the country and 21 mobile tax units that service taxpayers in remote areas.

Taxpayers are personally liable for their tax affairs and compliance even if they use the services of a tax practitioner.

Taxpayers should ensure their tax practitioner is registered and accredited, Sars says.

This has been a regulatory requirement since 2013.

Taxpayers can check the registration status of a tax practitioner on the Sars website by clicking here.

Supporting documents must be kept for a period of five years from date of submission. Where an audit is conducted or a dispute exists, it may be necessary to keep documents for a longer period of time.

Moneyweb previously reported about growing frustration regarding delays in the payment of tax refunds to some taxpayers. Refunds have been an ongoing issue, with the Tax Ombud citing the delay in the payment of refunds as the number one serious and systemic issue encountered by taxpayers in his 2015/16 annual report.

Sars said it had tightened its controls on the tax return process to prevent possible tax fraud and to reduce the risk of incorrect refund pay-outs. One of the challenges included taxpayers’ personal details being compromised by possible fraudulent activity. About 5% of the returns received were identified for verification of personal details.