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South African Tax Returns Up, As Deadline Approaches

by Lorys Charalambous, Tax-News.com, Cyprus

15 November 2011


With only a short time left before the deadline of November 25, 2011, the number of tax returns submitted to the South African Revenue Service (SARS) has exceeded three million.

As at November 13, the number of income tax returns submitted stood at 3,038,500; an improvement of about 15% on the number of almost 2.6m seen at the same time last year. In last year’s tax season it had taken taxpayers 22 weeks to reach the 3m mark, compared to only 19 weeks this season.

To avoid congestion, SARS took the opportunity of reminding taxpayers who need assistance at a branch to file their return to visit their nearest SARS branch as soon as possible before the deadline. During the last two weeks of the 2010 tax season, SARS branches countrywide had to assist more 318,700 taxpayers, which in the major centres meant an average of 2,000 taxpayers per day.

In addition, as more than 230,000 calls were received by the SARS Contact Centre in the last week of the 2010 tax season, and more than 54,000 on the last day, SARS also made an appeal to taxpayers with outstanding returns to submit these or seek assistance from the Contact Centre as soon as possible to avoid the last minute rush.

Taxpayers are being encouraged to use the more convenient option of filing their tax returns via eFiling, which is a free electronic platform for submitting returns, making payments and tracking the status of their assessment. Provisional taxpayers who file their returns via eFiling have until January 31, 2012 to submit returns.

Finally, SARS reminded taxpayers who file their returns late that they may face tough administrative penalties for every month that a return is late.

TAGS: South Africa | compliance | tax | tax compliance | tax authority | individual income tax | Africa

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