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SARS Announces Individual eFiling Delay

by Robert Lee,, London

09 August 2007

Despite a successful limited launch of the income tax eFiling facility for individual taxpayers in South Africa this week, the South Africa Revenue Service has announced that the full launch of the service has been postponed until next week.

The tax authority explained on Monday that:

"The South African Revenue Service (SARS) today made available its income tax eFiling facility to a targeted group of taxpayers to receive feedback on their experience of the electronic submission facility."

"We then opened the facility to a larger pool of taxpayers in order to test the robustness the system. It was planned that the facility would be opened to all taxpayers who wanted to file electronically."

"This phased approach was adopted to ensure an acceptable quality of service to SARS e-filers."

"We are pleased that the eFiling system for income tax worked in the limited testing environment and that taxpayers had a good experience. However, when we opened the facility to a wider pool of taxpayers, we received feedback of performance problems with the system."

It went on to reveal that:

"SARS is now doing further work and more tests to the internet system to eradicate the problems experienced by our early income tax eFilers. We prefer to attend to these issues before opening the eFiling facility for wider use and to ensure the best possible product for taxpayers."

"SARS therefore regrets to announce that the eFiling channel for individual tax returns will now only be available next week."

The normal eFiling facility for companies including VAT and PAYE is unaffected, and these services will continue as normal.

The option to download and complete the new IT12S and IT12C income tax returns via the SARS eFiling website in Adobe format also continues to be available to taxpayers.

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