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Almost 67,000 taxpayers submit returns via eFiling as tax season starts

Thursday, 02 July 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Author: Natasha Marrian
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Author: Natasha Marrian (BDlive)

R1.1-trillion based on the current economic climate.

The tax season got off to a positive start, with 67,231 tax returns filed since midnight — 7,000 more than last year during the same period.

SARS spokesman Luther Lebelo said the target for the revenue service was set at R1.1-trillion, an increase from last year’s revised target of R984.7bn.

"As with the previous years, when the tax threshold was also increased, SARS expects a marginal decrease of approximately 850,000 tax returns from the 5.32-million tax returns submitted in 2014, primarily due to the introduction of a higher submission threshold."

The positive start to the 2015 tax season also showed that South Africans continued to have confidence in the revenue service, Mr Lebelo said — this was despite the negative reports that have plagued SARS in recent months.

It lost about a dozen senior staff members, including its deputy commissioner Ivan Pillay, after allegations of a covert or spy unit operating within the tax agency.

Mr Lebelo said the organisation had stabilised since the ructions began more than a year ago.

"We are left with an organisation that is clean and focused," he said.

An advisory board continues its work on governance at SARS — the board was appointed by the National Treasury in February to help the organisation deal with the issues around the covert unit in the short term and to provide guidance on broader governance issues in the medium to long term.

The board had received a report on information technology systems from consultancy Gartner and its operation model from Bain International. The board’s mandate expired next February, but Treasury could extend it, Mr Lebelo said.

He said the major change for taxpayers this year related to who was required to submit an income tax return (ITR 12) — those taxpayers who earned less than R350,000 may not need to submit a tax return. This figure is up from R250,000 last year.

In the 2014 tax season 5.32-million income tax returns were submitted to SARS — 4.05-million taxpayers who were meant to submit their tax returns had done so on time — 3.69-million more than in 2013.

The deadline for taxpayers submitting returns manually, by post or using a SARS drop box, is September 30 2015, the deadline for nonprovisional taxpayers is November 17 2015. The deadline for provisional taxpayers who submit returns via eFiling is January 29 2016 and provisional taxpayers using eFiling can make payments until January 31 2016.

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