Tax return deadline looms

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Individual taxpayers have until Wednesday to file personal income tax returns before it closes on the day, the South African Revenue Service (Sars) said on Thursday.

The deadline, SARS said, applies to non-provisional taxpayers, as well as those provisional taxpayers who opt to file at a branch. Provisional taxpayers using eFiling have until 31 January 2019 to file.

In the statement, the revenue service said it would be assisting taxpayers with their personal tax returns this Saturday morning, 27 October 2018, between 8am and 1pm. This will be done through the contact centre, Help-You-eFile and all branches across the country.

“eFiling is available 24 hours, seven days a week. Taxpayers are encouraged to go online to avoid the queues. Self-Help kiosks are available at selected branches for eFiling,” Sars said.

Sars said eFiling had on average handled 25 000 submissions a day and as volumes increase towards the deadline, the system can handle up to 150 000 submissions a day, adding that one point this week, 20 000 taxpayers logged onto the system at exactly the same time to transact. 

“Help-You-eFile is how SARS brings a branch tax consultant to taxpayers without them needing to leave their home or place of work. It is an online function on eFiling that connects the taxpayer to a SARS tax agent who will help the taxpayer complete their tax return. Help-You-eFile is available during business hours,” said Sars. 

Tax returns are assessed on the same day they are submitted. 

“SARS has made it easy for taxpayers by prepopulating tax returns with information received from third party data. This leaves less fields for the taxpayer to complete and requires that the taxpayer merely verifies the information contained on their tax return,” said Sars. 

From 1 November, administrative penalties ranging from R200 to R15 000 will be applied to late filing of tax returns. This is according to the Tax Administration Act No. 28 of 2011. 

Eighteen taxpayers have been prosecuted and publicly named this year for not filing a tax return.   

“Taxpayers are again alerted to scams where refunds are promised or where the taxpayer is informed of debt they owe SARS. Authenticate all communication seemingly from SARS through the SARS contact centre or at a branch.

“Fraud is often committed in the name of the taxpayer through fraudulent expenses. Taxpayers should be aware that when SARS identifies such fraud, the taxpayer will be liable for the full debt as well as penalties,” added Sars. -