5.64 million tax returns received

Pretoria - With the close of Tax Season 2016 last week, the South African Revenue Service (SARS) has received 5.64 million returns, it said on Monday.

“SARS received 5.74 million returns by the close of tax season for non-provisional taxpayers on Friday, 25 November 2016,” said the revenue service.

Of the tax returns received, 4.16 million were submissions by individuals for the 2015/16 tax year, while 47 000 submissions were by trusts for 2015/16 tax year.

SARS received 1.52 million returns for previous tax years from individuals and trusts.

Tax season also saw the SARS Contact Centre handle more than 3.6 million calls, while over 5.1 million taxpayers were assisted at SARS branches.

In addition, 99.9% of all returns were processed electronically, while 93.28% of refunds were paid to taxpayers within 72 hours.

A total 173 000 taxpayers made use of the Help You e-File channel which is 15% higher than in 2015 and 44 373 made use of the SARS mobile application to submit their 2016 tax returns.

“SARS imposed penalties to the value of R1.64 billion on defaulting taxpayers. Taxpayers that have not submitted their returns are urged to do so immediately. An astounding R15.5 billion in tax refunds were paid to 1.98 million taxpayers by the Tax Season deadline, directly contributing to household incomes and the domestic economy,” said SARS.

SARS Commissioner Tom Moyane expressed appreciation to taxpayers that have submitted their returns before the deadline.

“Paying tax is the highest form of patriotism. SARS also wishes to thank all its employees for their efforts in making Tax Season successful,” he said. – SAnews.gov.za