Time is running out for non-provisional taxpayers – the majority of employed individuals who submit a tax return – to file their returns. The submission deadline for all non-provisional taxpayers is tomorrow.
Provisional taxpayers (individuals who earn other forms of income, such as investment or rental income have until January 29, 2016 to submit their returns. Based on the 4.25 million returns the South African Revenue Service (Sars) received by close of the filing season last year, about 90% of all expected returns have been submitted, Sars spokesperson Sandile Memela says.
Individuals whose total annual salary from one employer did not exceed R350 000 during the 2015 tax year and who did not have any allowances, deductions or additional income do not have to file a tax return. In 2014 the threshold was R250 000 and, as a result, it is difficult to compare the figures on a like-for-like basis.
Memela says the submissions are on a par with the previous year, due to the increase in the threshold. By close of business on Monday, 3.873 million taxpayers had submitted returns, compared to 3.748 million last year, an increase of 124 721 or 3.33%. Memela says 93% of all returns submitted through the branch front end and eFiling were assessed within five seconds.
And 98% were assessed within 24 hours. Thus far, about 70% of all required returns qualified for a tax refund. “In terms of the level of collections and refunds, we are tracking the previous year’s performances fairly closely,” Memela says.
About 95% of all refunds are paid within 72 hours, he says. Failure to submit a return on time could result in an administrative non-compliance penalty, which comprises a fixed amount, as well as percentage-based penalties.
“The penalty amount that will be charged depends on a taxpayer’s taxable income and can range from R250 up to R16 000 a month for each month that the non-compliance continues,” he says.
According to tax statistics released by Sars and National Treasury early in November, personal income tax remained the main source of tax revenue during the 2014/15 fiscal year and, at R353.9 billion, accounted for almost 36% of tax revenue. With economic growth expected to be less than 1.5% this year, Sars is under pressure to step up its revenue collection efforts to meet its revenue target.