080310 The new offices of SARS at corner Rissik street and Albert street. Picture: Ziphozonke Lushaba

KwaZulu-Natal - More than 3 million returns have been submitted for the 2012 tax season at Sars branches and on eFiling systems before Friday’s deadline.

Sars spokesman Adrian Lackay said that if outstanding returns from previous years were included, the total number of submissions would be more than 4.8 million.

Twenty percent more submissions have been made this year compared with the same period last year.

“Close to a million outstanding returns owed over the past years were submitted, which is an encouraging indicator of better compliance,” said Lackay.

On Friday Sars had collected 26 182 submissions. The volume had increased to 37 832 by Monday.

Economist Mike Schussler said said the growth in tax revenues meant that municipalities and provincial governments would receive a “little more grant money from national government”.

Sars office hours have been extended to 8pm to help taxpayers meet the deadline. - Daily News