Individual taxpayers have two days left to file their personal income tax returns via eFiling or the SA Revenue Services (Sars) MobiApp. Photo: Ziphozonke Lushaba/African News Agency (ANA)

CAPE TOWN – Before tax season closes on Wednesday, individual taxpayers have two days left to file their personal income tax returns via eFiling or the SA Revenue Services (Sars) MobiApp, the revenue service announced on Monday.

The revenue service said R21.3 billion has been paid out in refunds since July 1.

“The deadline applies to non-provisional taxpayers, as well as those provisional taxpayers who opt to file at a branch. Provisional taxpayers using eFiling have until 31 January 2020 to file,” Sars said in a statement.

With digital filing still available, Sars said it expected an estimated 1 744 535 as of November 8, 2019 of the outstanding returns to still be submitted through these channels. Sars reminded taxpayers who were yet to file, that tax season for 2019 had been designed to make filing a return simple and easy.

Should the extended electronic filing period not be used, administrative penalties will be levied for every month the return is outstanding.

Ten things to note as we approach the deadline:

  • eFiling is available 24 hours, seven days a week. Taxpayers are encouraged to go online on their PCs or laptops, or the Sars MobiApp.
  • eFiling can now be accessed via www.sars.gov.za
  • The Sars MobiApp can be downloaded from your Google Play store for android (version 5.0 or higher) and the App Store for apple devices (version 10.0 or higher). It is a free app and includes a friendly chat bot named Lwazi that can help you with your submission.
  • For an optimal eFiling experience, we suggest using one of the following browsers and higher - Chrome v41, Firefox v55, Edge v13, Safari v10 or Opera v55.
  • eFiling has on average handled 25 000 submissions a day, and as volumes increase towards the deadline, can handle up to 150 000 submissions a day.
  • Help-You-eFile is how Sars brings a branch tax consultant to taxpayers without them leaving their home or place of work. It is an online function on eFiling that connects the taxpayer to a Sars tax agent, who will help the taxpayer complete their tax return. Help-You-eFile is available during business hours on 0800 00 7277.
  • Tax returns are assessed on the same day they are submitted.
  • Sars has made it easy for taxpayers by prepopulating tax returns with information received from third party data. This leaves less fields for the taxpayer to complete, and requires that the taxpayer merely verifies the information contained on their tax return.
  • From November 5, administrative penalties ranging from R200 to R15 000 will be applied to filing tax returns late. This is according to the Tax Administration Act No. 28 of 2011.
  • Taxpayers are again alerted to scams where refunds are promised or where the taxpayer is informed of debt they owe SARS. Authenticate all suspicious communication seemingly from SARS through the SARS Contact Centre or at a branch. Fraud is often committed in the name of the taxpayer through fraudulent expenses. Taxpayers should be aware that when SARS identifies such fraud, the taxpayer will be liable for the full debt as well as penalties.

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As at midnight on 27 November:

  • 3 514 842 million returns were submitted across all submission channels (eFiling, MobiApp and at Sars branches)
  • 65 percent of returns were filed electronically either on the Sars MobiApp or eFiling
  • Over half a million outstanding returns have been received from taxpayers since the opening of Tax Season on 1 July.
  • R21.3 billion has been paid out in refunds since 1 July.

Sars urged all taxpayers who fit the submission criteria to submit before the deadline to avoid being liable for penalties and interest, as well as being non-compliant.

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