File picture: Philimon Bulawayo

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Revenue Service (Sars) said on Tuesday that more than 2.7 million taxpayers had submitted their tax returns since the opening of the tax season in July and that it had paid over R62.1 billion in tax refunds

This is an increase of 3.6% compared to last year's figure this time. The Tax Season was launched by finance minister Malusi Gigaba at Orlando East branch in Soweto on 3 July.

Sars Commissioner Tom Moyane expressed appreciation to taxpayers and the team of over 14,000 Sars employees committed to providing excellent service.

"As Sars we are thankful for the level of compliance amongst taxpayers who make it possible for the State to carry out its mandate. Also, we are proud of the passion, commitment and dedication displayed by SARS employees to provide excellent service throughout the country," Moyane said in a statement.

"Sars would like to remind taxpayers that e-filing is the quickest and easiest method of meeting one’s tax obligations," he said.

Sars said it had refined its approach to provide the best possible service to taxpayers as the tax season is the busiest period on the organisation's calendar often accompanied by long queues.  

The revenue services contact centre to date has handled 1.69 million calls of which 324,651 have been call-back and helped with eFile requests.

As at the start of tax season to date, 49.28% of taxpayers have used the Sars e-filing channel while 50.9%  filed at a branch. Over 2.5 million taxpayers have visited a Sars branch countrywide as of 1 July this year.