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SARS expects decrease in number of tax returns received

Wednesday, 01 July 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Author: Amanda Visser
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Author: Amanda Visser (BDlive)

The annual tax season starts on Wednesday and about 3.7-million tax returns from individuals and trusts will be submitted until the end of January, when the season ends.

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) is expecting a decrease of 850,000 tax returns that will be filed, following the increase in the submission threshold from R250,000 to R350,000, announced in the February budget.

SARS spokesman Luther Lebelo said 4.26-million tax returns, or 94.5% of all returns, were filed on time during the 2014 filing season. Close to 99.8% of all the returns that were filed were assessed within 24 hours.

Mr Lebelo said 247,955 returns were outstanding at the end of the previous tax season. "This was a decrease of 40% compared to 2013."

The tax season runs from July to November every year, however, provisional taxpayers who submit via the electronic filing system have until January next year.

Individual taxpayers who submit their returns manually or by post must do so by September 30 this year, non-provisional taxpayers who submit at a SARS branch have until 27 November. This is also the deadline for taxpayers who do not pay provisional tax. Provisional taxpayers have until January 29.

People whose income is less than R350,000 do not have to file a return, unless they have more than one employer, have a rental income or receive a car allowance.

South African Institute of Tax Professionals CEO Stiaan Klue said taxpayers should take responsibility and ensure that their tax practitioners were accredited and registered to submit their returns.

"Although taxpayers are keen to file early to get a refund from SARS, they need to ensure that they have all the required supporting documentation before filing, and confirm whether they are legally required to file."

He said taxpayers needed an IRP5 document issued by their employer, proof of medical expenses, certificates of interest received and proof of retirement annuity or pension fund contributions.

He added that all supporting documentation should be retained and safeguarded by the taxpayer for five years.

National Treasury has set a collection target of R394bn from individuals for the 2015-16 fiscal year.

This article first appeared on



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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