To date Sars has received 2.3m tax returns since the 2012 Tax Season commenced at the beginning of July. The number of returns submitted by far exceeds Sars's own expectations - by the same time last year 1.5 million tax returns had been submitted. Currently the average rate of submission per day since 1 July 2012, is over 40 300.
The unintended consequence has been that queues at branches have been much longer than during previous year. Across the country Sars branch staff, on average, assists more than 20 000 taxpayers per day.
Statistics indicate that branches are seeing 55% more taxpayers than the same period last year As a result of the pressure on Sars branches, queuing times are averaging at between 60 and 90 minutes - although once members of the public are with a consultant, it takes only 10-12 minutes to capture returns.
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.