Sars says the perception created that the eFiling system is on the verge of collapse is incorrect. File Photo: IOL

CAPE TOWN – Testimony by SA Revenue Service executives at the Commission of Inquiry into Tax Administration and Governance by Sars has led to widespread reporting in the media that the eFiling system is on the verge of collapse.

The perception created that the eFiling system is on the verge of collapse is incorrect, and unfortunately has the effect of creating unnecessary alarm and uncertainty.

Sars would like to assure taxpayers that the Sars eFiling system is stable and performing well within specification, as evidenced by the system’s uptime (ie availability) at a rate of 99.7 percent. Already 3.3 million tax returns have been filed with 50.4 percent of these via eFiling.  The platform has handled an average traffic volume of 25 000 tax returns daily.

The concern expressed by Sars executives testifying at the Sars Commission of Enquiry, centred around the compatibility of eFiling and web browsers toward the year 2020 timeframe.  This concern is associated to a future risk and not a reflection on the current capacity, functionality or stability of Sars’s systems.

The eFiling system continues to be Sars’s premier preferred filing channel and has been capacitated to process high transaction volumes. Sars would like to encourage taxpayers to continue using the eFiling channel and submit returns before the October 31, 2018 deadline. 

Sars has extended its operating hours to Saturday mornings to assist taxpayers to file personal income tax returns. The taxpayer also has the option of using Help-You-eFile – an online functionality on the taxpayer’s eFiling profile – which connects taxpayers to a Sars tax agent who can co-browse and assist with the completion of the ITR12 (tax return) form electronically. 

All branches will also be open on Saturday mornings with self-help kiosks available for eFiling.

As SARS, we are committed to providing the best service to taxpayers and understand that world-class technology supports this.  This includes ensuring that our digital infrastructure and technology receives the required updates and upgrades.  We are confident in the digital and technology enhancements we have in place and those we have planned for the future to remain on par with industry best practice. 

BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE