Sars Acting Commissioner Mark Kingon. Sars said on Friday that the perception that the eFiling system is on the verge of collapse is incorrect. Picture: Nhlanhla Phillips/African News Agency/ANA
CAPE TOWN - Testimony by Sars Executives at the Commission of Inquiry into Tax Administration and Governance by Sars has led to widespread reporting that the eFiling system is on the verge of collapse.

Sars said on Friday that the perception that  the eFiling system is on the verge of collapse is incorrect, and unfortunately has the effect of creating unnecessary alarm and uncertainty.

In a statement on Friday, Sars said it would like to assure taxpayers that the Sars eFiling system is stable and performing well within specification, as evidenced by the system’s uptime (i.e. availability) at a rate of 99.7%. 

The tax revenue service said that already 3.3 million tax returns have been filed with 50.4% of these via eFiling.  

The platform has handled an average traffic volume of 25 000 tax returns daily, according to the statement.

The concern expressed by Sars Executives testifying at the commission centred around the compatibility of eFiling and web browsers toward the year 2020 timeframe.   

This concern is associated to a future risk and not a reflection on the current capacity, functionality or stability of Sars’ systems, the statement read. 

The eFiling system continues to be Sars’ premier preferred filing channel and has been capacitated to process high transaction volumes.  

Sars said that it would like to encourage taxpayers to continue using the eFiling channel and submit returns before the 31 October 2018 deadline.   

It should be noted that all branches will also be open on Saturday mornings with self-help kiosks available for eFiling.

 " As Sars, we are committed to providing the best service to taxpayers and understand that world-class technology supports this. This includes ensuring that our digital infrastructure and technology receives the required updates and upgrades.  We are confident in the digital and technology enhancements we have in place and those we have planned for the future to remain on par with industry best practice."