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It’s the final tax countdown
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13 January 2016

Pretoria - Provisional taxpayers have now only two weeks left to finalise their tax affairs and submit their annual returns to the South African Revenue Service (SARS).

More than 1.1 million of the 1.5 million registered provisional taxpayers have already submitted their returns. The remaining 400 000 have until Friday 29 January to do so or face administrative penalties.

SARS spokesman Sandile Memela said more than 350 000 non-provisional taxpayers did not submit their returns in time for the November deadline.

Provisional taxpayers are allowed additional time to complete their tax returns as their affairs are normally more complicated than taxpayers who only receive remuneration, Memela said.

Provisional taxpayers receive additional income in the form of rent, interest and investments and their affairs require the consolidation of their financials.

More than 680 000 taxpayers (provisional and non-provisional) have not yet submitted their returns at the start of 2016.

Keith Engel, CEO of the South African Institute of Tax Professionals, yesterday said most tax practitioners are fully aware that the pressure on SARS to obtain revenue is now becoming intense given the economic environment.

"Taxpayers filing late or with unsubstantiated deviations proceed at their own peril, especially as we reach budget time," he warned.

SARS announced at the end of November last year, the deadline for non-provisional taxpayers, that it had received 5.94 million tax returns. This included returns from individuals, trusts and prior year submissions.

Of the total number of returns submitted by the end of November 4.2 million returns were from individuals for the 2015 tax year and 1.69 million were outstanding returns from prior years.

Outstanding return submissions increased with 679 544 returns, representing a growth of 66.43 percent. "This noteworthy increase is ascribed to the success of the administrative penalty regime," SARS said in a statement at the end of last year.

Manual submissions are down to less than 2 000 returns, representing 0.04 percent of total volume.

SARS has paid out 1.82 million refunds to the value of R15 billion rand.


Section 240A of the Tax Administration Act, 2011 (as amended) requires that all tax practitioners register with a recognized controlling body before 1 July 2013. It is a criminal offense to not register with both a recognized controlling body and SARS.


The Act requires that a minimum academic and practical requirments be set to register with a controlling body. Click here for the minimum requirements of SAIT.

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