South African Revenue Service (SARS) received 5.7 million returns by Wednesday, which marked the close of tax season for non-provisional taxpayers.
Despite this year’s filing season being shorter, a 2.1% increase in submissions received from the previous year’s submissions had been recorded by SARS.
“A total 96.1% of expected returns from individuals were submitted on time, exceeding last year’s rate of 94%. The returns expected are informed by last year’s submissions and IRP5 information from employers, excluding provisional taxpayers,” the revenue collector said in a statement on Thursday.
Acting SARS Commissioner Mark Kingon thanked taxpayers who filed, for “doing the right thing and making their contribution to our country”.
“Our data shows that taxpayers adapted to the shorter filing season and that filing patterns remained steady and on par.
“For SARS, Tax Season 2018 was about enhancing service and operational excellence, and working smarter. This is what we will strive to do each year,” Kingon said.
The 5.7 returns comprise:
• 4.229 million returns by individual taxpayers (returns relevant to the current year);
• 459 million returns by individual taxpayers filed during this tax season but relevant to prior years;
• 42 087 returns filed by trusts (returns relevant to the current year); and
• 53 973 returns filed by trusts (returns filed during this tax season but relevant to prior years).
Preliminary results for Tax Season 2018 reveal that R17.9 billion paid to more than two million individual taxpayers.
“A total of 96.88% of taxpayers due for a refund that was not routed for audit or risk verification received their refund within the 7 day turnaround time as stated in the SARS Service Charter,” SARS said.
About 87.02% of tax returns, the revenue collector said, were assessed within three seconds while 91.18% were within 24 hours.
A further assessment of the collection season reveals that 52.07% of returns filed was done through SARS eFiling compared to 47.93% filed at a branch.
A total of 241 583 taxpayers used Help-You-eFile service, a 14% increase in the uptake of the service from 2017.
The number of taxpayers filing returns via the SARS Mobi App increased by 54.74%, totalling 73 663.
Provisional taxpayers have until 31 January 2018 to file their tax returns via eFiling. – SAnews.gov.za