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Early birds get tax season off to a good start

Tuesday, 02 July 2013   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Author: Agency Staff
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Author: Agency Staff (Businessday,

The 2013 tax season for submission of tax returns has officially opened, the South African Revenue Service (SARS) said on Monday.

By 6.30am on Monday, 260 SARS officials were already on the streets of various cities raising awareness about the start of the tax season, SARS spokesman Adrian Lackay said.

"By the start of business this morning, more than 11,238 income tax returns have already been submitted though the internet on eFiling," he said.

Mr Lackay said that by the deadline of the end of November last year, 5.66-million tax returns had been submitted — a 16.4% increase on 2011.

Refunds of R14.55bn were paid to taxpayers, which was 14.8% more than the previous year.

Mr Lackay said the annual tax season was one of the biggest direct engagements between a public institution of the South African government and taxpayers.

"It also serves as a key determinant of the levels of compliance among ordinary citizens with the laws of the country," he said.

The main goal this year is to encourage taxpayers to avoid queues in SARS offices by using electronic channels to file their tax returns.

If taxpayers are not able or confident enough to submit their tax returns via eFiling, it can be done electronically by a SARS consultant at a branch office.

The deadline to submit returns by post or via a SARS drop box is September 27. Nonprovisional taxpayers have until November 22 and provisional taxpayers — who have income from investments, business activities, rent and royalties — until January 31 next year.

Mr Lackay said from this year taxpayers whose gross income for the year was below R250,000 did not need to file a tax return if they met the following requirements:

  • if they earned one salary from one employer;
  • if they did not have any other form of income such as interest or rental income; and
  • if they did not need to claim deductions such as medical expenses, retirement annuities or travel expenses.



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.

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