SARS extends office hours ahead of deadline

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Pretoria - The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has extended its office hours at all its branches ahead of the deadline for tax season submissions.

In a statement, SARS said it was extending its operating offices to help taxpayers meet the 20 November deadline for electronic tax return submissions.

From this week, offices will open at 7am and close at 6pm daily. These operating hours will run until 20 November where South Africans will receive free assistance. Some branch offices will be open until 7pm, depending on taxpayer volumes during the day.

Additionally, the SARS contact centre has also extended its operating hours on weekdays to 8pm, a measure that will be in place until the deadline is reached. Customers can call the centre on 0800 00 7277 (0800 00 SARS).

A number of public venues will also be set up where SARS officials can assist taxpayers with submitting their returns. These officials will be available at the Newcastle Town Hall, the Oval Checkers in Ladysmith, the library in Kokstad and the South Coast Mall in Port Shepstone.

If South Africans fail to honour the deadline, they will face new administrative penalties that come into effect as of 23 November.

The new regulations will see taxpayers who fail to submit their tax returns, receive penalties ranging from R250 to 16 000 a month, depending on the individual's salary.

To date SARS has received three million income returns, nearly 700 000 more returns compared to the same period last year.

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