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SARS in digital push this tax season

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Ahead of the 2019 tax season, the South African Revenue Service (SARS) has encouraged taxpayers to submit their income tax returns via eFiling or the SARS mobi app.

Tax season for eFilers and users of the SARS app kicks off on 1 July, and closes on 4 December.

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.

“Taxpayers who do not use SARS eFiling or the SARS mobi app but require assistance from SARS branch staff to file their income tax returns will only be able to do so from 1 August 2019. The deadline for taxpayers who file at a SARS branch is 31 October 2019, a much shorter period.”

Provisional taxpayers have until 31 January 2020 to file via eFiling, says SARS.

The staggered approach for this year’s tax season not only encourages use of its digital channels, but also aims to reduce traffic in branches, according to SARS. The revenue service notes it continues to deal with more than a million taxpayers at its branches who do not need to file tax returns.

In the statement, SARS points out that not all taxpayers need to file an income tax return.

Taxpayers who meet all of the following criteria need not submit a return:

  • Their total employment income for the year before tax is not more than R500 000.
  • They only receive employment income from one employer for the full tax year.
  • They have no other form of income, such as car allowance, business income, and rental income, taxable interest or income from another job.
  • They don’t have any additional allowable tax-related deductions to claim, such as medical expenses, retirement annuity contributions and travel expenses.

“To further assist taxpayers from making unnecessary trips to SARS branches, taxpayers who are not required to file a return and who have repeatedly filed a return in the past will receive a notification from SARS that they do not have to submit a return.

“In addition, they will receive simulated outcome from SARS as if they had filed a return. The outcome will be based on information that SARS has received from employers and other sources and will show what the taxpayer could expect as if they had filed a return,” states SARS.

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