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SARS notches up nearly half a million returns via e-channels

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The South African Revenue Service’s (SARS’s) efforts to reduce traffic in branches appear to be working, with an increase of 5% in the uptake of eFiling since the start of the tax season on 1 July.

In a statement, SARS says it has received over 456 000 more personal income tax returns via eFiling compared to last year, with over 36 600 submissions via the tax collector’s mobi app.

This year, SARS has made a concerted effort to encourage taxpayers to file their income tax returns via digital channels. As a result, the revenue service says it has put in place WiFi at its branches to convert taxpayers to use eFiling or the mobi app.

The SARS mobi app is available for download from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store. Through the app, users can register for eFiling, submit a return, upload supporting documents, retrieve their username or reset their password and view their ITA34 form, among other services.

SARS reiterates that branch submissions will be accepted between 1 August and 31 October, while eFilers and mobi app users have until 4 December.

“SARS is aware that some taxpayers are experiencing challenges with the payment of refunds, and the inspection, verification or audit processes. SARS apologises for the inconvenience caused,” notes the statement.

According to the tax collector, if a current year’s refund is due to a taxpayer and no other debt is due, all obligations have been met, administrative control processes are adhered to and no inspection, verification or audit is required or has been initiated, it will endeavour to pay the current filing period’s refund, above R100, within seven business days of finalising the final assessment.

If the taxpayer is selected for an inspection, verification or audit, it will endeavour to:

  • Notify the taxpayer that the return or declaration is subject to verification within 15 business days of submission, if the return is for the current filing period.
  • Conclude verification within 21 business days from the date all required supporting documents are received, if the return is for the current filing period.
  • Conclude an audit within 90 business days from the date all required supporting documents are received.
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