CAPE TOWN – SARS said on Monday that they will reduce the length of this year’s tax filing season by three weeks.
The South African Revenue Service said that the three weeks from the closing of filing season to the start of the December vacation season will provide the institution time to finalise their audits and verifications.
A meeting was held by SARS with recognised controlling bodies like the South African Institute of Tax Professionals (Sait), the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (Saic) and the South African Institute of Professional Accountants (Saipa) to look at the possible change.
The change will primarily impact the non-provisional individual taxpayers who earn a salary and do not have extra income supplies like interest or rental income.
The non-provisional taxpayers who manually file their tax returns will have from July 1st, 2018 to September 21st to do their filing.
Malebo Moloto a Sait tax technical advisor said that a reduced filing season will particularly impact small to medium practices that has a client base of mostly non-provisional taxpayers. Other clients that would be affected include clients will value added tax (VAT), employer annual reconciliation and other non-tax deadlines.
SARS tax collections
The gross tax collections for April were R79,5 billion. That is a 6,7% increase compared to 2017 where the tax collections was R74,5 billion.
The 2018 budget speech announced that there would be R36 billion in additional taxes for the 2019 tax year. The increase in VAT from 14% to 15% is expected to contribute R23 billion to the additional taxes.
Sars said that it had set its sights on businesses withholding VAT and PAYE to recover a revenue shortfall it said was a result of deteriorating compliance with the country's tax laws.
Acting Sars commissioner Mark Kingon said the revenue service had experienced falling compliance in outstanding returns across all taxes.
Kingon said Sars was more concerned about the growing tendency of companies to withhold VAT and PAYE.
“The Sars outstanding returns campaign will be boosted this year to bring this matter under control,” Kingon said. “Sars is also collaborating with the Department of Justice to expedite the prosecution of tax offences.”
Sars said it had collected R700 million less in taxes in the 2017/18 financial year than its February revised target.