SARS tax filing season changed due to COVID-19

Published May 7, 2020


DURBAN – As the South African economy gradually opens, South African Revenue Service (SARS) commissioner Edward Kieswetter outlined changes that would be implemented during the current tax season. 3 phases were outlined for both taxpayers and companies and the periods that these changes would occur.

Phase 1 which is Employ Filing, will occur between 15 April 2020 to 31 May 2020.

Kieswetter said: “Employers are legally appointed agents on behalf of SARS. We remind employers that it is a criminal offence to collect income tax from their employees, and not pay this over to SARS. We also appeal to employers, along with other providers of third-party information to fulfil this requirement by the end of May 2020.”

The third part information would be used in a final assessment of standard taxpayers. The third-party information providers are but not limited to: -

• Employers

• Banks

• Financial Service Companies (that administrate retirement funds and pension schemes)

• Medical Savings

• Insurance schemes

Phase 2 which is Tax filing Updates, will occur between 1 June 2020 and 31 August 2020.

This is the period where taxpayers are requested to updated their tax files with any outstanding third-party information which may be followed up by SARS.

Kieswetter said: “During this phase a significant number of taxpayers will receive auto-assessments and given an opportunity to confirm their acceptance of the assessment outcome according to SARS.”

Individual taxpayers that are required to file during this period and have not been auto assessed, will be able to file for their taxes via online facilities with the aid of employers and third-party information providers. However, those who are not required to file during this period will be informed.

Phase 3 which is Employee Filing, will occur between 1 September 2020 and 31 January 2021.

This would be the normal tax filing period for individuals. Non-provisional taxpayers who have not accepted the outcome of an auto-assessment, are required to file for their taxes between September 1 and November 16. Provisional Taxpayers who have not accepted the outcome of an auto-assessment, are required to file for their taxes before January 31, 2021. Non-provisional taxpayers who visit the SARS branches will have until October 22 to file.

Tax payers are encouraged to use the online facilities to file for their taxes to minimise the number of people who visit the SARS branches.


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