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E-Filing Goes Live In South Africa

by Robert Lee, Tax-News.com, London

02 June 2006


A free electronic facility through which South African taxpayers can submit their income tax returns via the internet for the first time went live at midnight on Wednesday.

Potentially some 2.7 million individuals who earn a basic salary of more than R60,000 per annum or a basic salary with allowances will be able to submit their tax returns through the internet.

The launch of e-filing for individuals is the first phase of eventually extending the electronic submission facility to all individuals and businesses.

This initiative to further improve the service offered to individual and business taxpayers by SARS extends the free “e-filing” service being used by increasing numbers of businesses to submit their VAT, PAYE, UIF, SDL, provisional tax returns and payments.

"The electronic facility will have a range of benefits to taxpayers which includes, among other things, convenience and accuracy with the submission and capturing of personal information," the tax office explained.

The determination of Travelling expenditure and Capital Gains Tax will be automatically calculated from the taxpayer’s information.

However, SARS has advised taxpayers to retain all documents supporting their electronic return for a period of five years in case of an audit.

SARS says that this year it will issue 5.3 million income tax returns to individuals, businesses and trusts that are required by law to submit a return and declare all income to the tax office.


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