The South African Revenue Services. Photo: Ziphozonke Lushaba/African News Agency (ANA)

Durban - If you have not submitted your personal income tax returns, you have until the end of the month to do so.

Tax season will close on October 31 for non-provisional taxpayers and for those provisional taxpayers who opt to file at a branch.

To date, Sars is close to reaching the 3-million mark in tax return submissions for the current year of assessment. This is approximately a 4% increase compared to the same time last year.  Of these returns, 51% have been submitted through eFiling.

According to Sars provisional taxpayers ordinarily have until January 31, 2019 to file on eFiling only.

The focus this filing season has been on the 24-hour eFiling channel which taxpayers can use at their leisure without having to go to a branch.  eFilers are supported by the Help-You-eFile mechanism during business hours, which links them to a Sars contact centre agent who can assist the taxpayer to complete their tax return.

Sars said in the last month of filing season, the Sars contact centre will be available on Saturdays from October 6 - 27 from 8am to 1pm to support those wanting to file with eFiling.

All Sars branches will also be open on Saturdays at the same time where taxpayers can make use of self-help kiosks to electronically file their personal income tax returns.  

It is important to note that the extended hours on Saturdays will only be used to assist with personal income tax returns.

Administrative penalties will be applied to late filing of tax returns and range from R200 to R5000. In accordance with the Tax Administration Act No. 28 of 2011 (TAA), and specifically Section 234 (d), it is a criminal offence not to submit a tax return for any of the tax types a taxpayer is registered for.

Sars has clamped down on outstanding tax returns to improve compliance, with 18 taxpayers prosecuted this year for not filing a return.  These taxpayers, who were publicly named, had ignored Sars’ reminders that they were due to file a return, and now possess a criminal record. Fines ranging from R2000 to R20 000, as well as admission of guilt fines were handed down by the courts, while some were imprisoned.

Daily News