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SARS promises to iron out technical hiccups

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The South African Revenue Service (SARS) says it has noted the dissatisfaction expressed by some taxpayers over technical glitches encountered while trying to submit their tax returns.

In a statement, SARS reveals it has put measures in place to resolve the issues expeditiously and minimise the impact on compliant taxpayers who want to fulfil their filing obligations. 

“SARS acknowledges that while many taxpayers have experienced a smooth service, some have experienced difficulties with logging in, not receiving one-time PINs, the inability to upload supporting documents, data issues impacting filing, including assessments and tax calculator results.

“SARS would like to apologise for the inconvenience to the affected taxpayers, but wishes to emphasise this is not the general rule.”

The revenue authority kicked-off the tax season at the beginning of the month, calling on taxpayers to use digital channels, such as eFiling and the SARS mobi app, to submit tax returns. The SARS mobi app is available for download from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.

To date, according to SARS, the response has been great, with over six million logins, almost 1.3 million returns requested, and over a million returns submitted, of which 900 000 are for the 2019 tax year.

Furthermore, it reveals it has paid R5.5 billion, with an average turn-around of seven days for taxpayers that had not been selected for audits, and 21 days for those selected for audits, as of 29 July. 

To ensure a smooth service, while maintaining cyber security protocols and staying abreast of technology, SARS says various changes were introduced this tax filing season for taxpayers’ convenience.

These include new security protocols, introduction of HTML5 technology, a new mobi app and a refreshed eFiling Web site.

SARS also says it enhanced co-browsing to enable its call centre agents to assist and guide taxpayers with return completion.

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