Ina Opperman

By Ina Opperman

Business Journalist


Mark your calendar: 2024 tax season and auto-assessments begin on Monday

In our world there are only two things you can be certain of: death and taxes. The beginning of July is time for tax.


Tax season starts on Monday 1 July with auto-assessments for an expanded pool of taxpayers running from 1 to 14 July 2024.

Filing season for provisional and non-provisional taxpayers who are required to file a tax return starts on 15 July.

Other important filing season dates include individual taxpayers (non-provisional), who must file their tax returns between 15 July 2024 and 21 October 2024, provisional taxpayers who must file between 15 July 2024 and 20 January 2025 and trusts hat must file between 16 September 2024 and 20 January 2025.

According to Sars, if your contact details, including email address and cell phone number, as well as your banking details, have changed, you must update these details on eFiling or the SARS MobiApp to facilitate an easy and seamless filing season.

Sars says updating this information goes a long way to prevent fraud and identity theft.

Sars commissioner, Edward Kieswetter, has assured taxpayers that Sars remains committed to its goal of making filing season for standard taxpayers an invisible process that requires little or no action from the taxpayer thanks to the use of big data, machine learning and algorithms.

“In line with the strategic objective of making it easy and simple for taxpayers to meet their legal obligations, Sars is proud to announce that the pool of taxpayers who will be auto-assessed will increase to about 4.8 million this year compared to about 3.8 million taxpayers last year. “

ALSO READ: R6 of every R10 of your tax goes to healthcare, education and grants

Auto-assessments for some tax payers

Taxpayers who agree with the auto-assessment do not have to do anything. If a refund is due to them, it will be paid within 72 hours. If tax is due to Sars, the taxpayer must make the payment by the due date.

If you do not agree with the auto-assessment, you must make all applicable changes and file your return the normal way via eFiling or the Sars MobiApp on or before 21 October 2024, the closing date for non-provisional taxpayers.

“The large number of digital platforms available to taxpayers reinforces the trend of a decreasing number of taxpayers needing to visit branches and wait in queues.”

Kieswetter says it is expected that in the first two weeks of July and the first two weeks of October, as many taxpayers rush to engage Sars, there may be instances where taxpayers may need to wait longer than usual to be served.

Taxpayers who are auto-assessed but who wish to claim the solar tax rebate, must complete their tax return and file it in the normal way. More information on the solar tax rebate is available on the Sars website at sars.gov.za.

ALSO READ: Sars tax season: Five scams to look out for

What tax payers with questions can do

Taxpayers can also contact Sars through the Sars Online Query System, easy-to-use online platform on Sars’s website (https://tools.sars.gov.za/soqs). Taxpayers can use this service without going into a Sars branch or calling Sars. The Sars Online Query System enables taxpayers to:

  • Submit a payment allocation query
  • Request your tax reference number
  • Submit supporting documents if Sars asked you to do so
  • Report a new estate case
  • Update a registered representative
  • Request your tax compliance status
  • Verify your tax compliance status
  • Check if a taxpayer is due for an auto-assessment, which can only be done once the auto-assessment process starts on 1 July.

Sars says additional information in the form of questions and answers can be found on the Sars website, at sars.gov.za. Taxpayers can also engage SARS through the Lwazi Chatbot or the Live Agent function on eFiling and the SARS MobiApp.

Kieswetter urges taxpayers to be transparent and accurate when filing their tax returns to enable a constructive relationship with Sars.

“The use of technology and data has enhanced Sars’ ability to detect instances of non-compliance. Taxpayers must not inflate their expenses and under-declare their income to obtain impermissible refunds.

“Not including rental income is an example and such actions will make the taxpayer potentially guilty of fraud.”

ALSO READ: Many wealthy taxpayers are leaving SA due to increasingly high taxes

How to register for eFiling

Sars will issue a One Time Pin (OTP) on your preferred method of communication to allow you to complete your eFiling registration, Naicker says. When uploading a supporting document, make sure the document is not password protected.

When uploading an excel spreadsheet, save the sheet in a landscape PDF format before uploading so all the information displayed. After uploading your document, view it to ensure legibility.

When SARS has verified your information, it will send you a notification on eFiling. Supporting documents can be uploaded and submitted on eFiling, Sars MobiApp, or Sars Online Query System on the Sars website. You must ensure that you use the correct case number.

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