File picture: Ziphozonke Lushaba, Independent Media

The South African Revenue Service (Sars) reminds taxpayers that it is a criminal offence not to submit a tax return for any of the tax types for which they are registered. 

The tax types are personal income tax (either pay-as-you-earn or provisional), corporate income tax and value-added tax.

Sars says it has noticed an increase in taxpayers not submitting their tax returns by the stipulated deadlines and not settling their outstanding debts with Sars. This is not limited to the current tax year, but includes substantial non-compliance across previous tax years. 

It is for this reason, Sars says, that, from October, it will intensify criminal proceedings against tax offenders.

Failure to submit returns can result in administrative penalties imposed on a monthly basis per outstanding return and/or criminal prosecution. 

Sars says it is also important to note that, if any return results in a tax liability, it must be paid before the relevant due date to avoid any interest for late payment and possible legal action.

To avoid any penalties or prosecution, Sars urges taxpayers to submit any outstanding returns as soon as possible to their nearest Sars branch or via eFiling at

For further clarity, you can direct any queries to its contact centre on 0800 00 7277.


Sars will be extending its office hours at selected branches throughout the country to Saturdays (8am to 1pm) from  September 30 to November18.

Note that during the extended hours queries specifically related to income tax returns will take priority.

Sars says you must bring the necessary supporting documentation, including:

• Your banking particulars;

• Your IRP5/IT3(a) certificate(s);

• Certificates you received for any investment income;

• Details of medical expenses paid by you and not covered by your medical scheme;

• Your medical scheme certificate for details of medical scheme contributions;

• Confirmation of diagnosis of disability form, if applicable;

• Information about your retirement annuity contributions;

• Details of business travel;

• Information about foreign tax credits withheld;

• Financial statements of, for example, business income, if applicable; and

• Any other relevant material relating to income you received or deductions you want to claim.

The quickest and simplest method to file a return is through eFiling. Or call the Sars contact centre at the number given above.