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South Africa's 2011 Tax Season Begins

by Lorys Charalambous,, Cyprus

05 July 2011

July 1 marked the beginning of South African 2011 individual income tax season, when more than 4m taxpayers are expected to start submitting their annual income tax returns for the tax year from March 1, 2010 to February 28, 2011 to the South African Revenue Service (SARS).

SARS has rolled-out an extensive national communications campaign to assist various outreach initiatives aimed at assisting taxpayers. Taxpayers will be encouraged to file early to avoid congestion and receive any refund that may be due quicker and to file electronically, with electronically-submitted returns being processed on average in just 24 hours.

SARS reminded taxpayers that it no longer sends out income tax returns to taxpayers unless requested.

As in other jurisdictions, electronic filing continues to grow as the preferred channel to file returns with more than 2.25m submitted to SARS via eFiling during 2010 tax season. Last year more than 95% of all returns were submitted electronically either via a SARS branch or via SARS eFiling.

All tax returns are pre-populated with information which SARS has obtained from employers during the recently completed tax season for employers which ended on June 3, 2011, during which a record number of 235,882 employers submitted almost 15m employee tax certificates.

The submission deadline for taxpayers who submit a paper/manual tax return via post or by dropping it off at a SARS branch is September 30 2011; for taxpayers who use eFiling or via a SARS branch is November 25, 2011; and for provisional taxpayers who file via eFiling is January 31, 2012.

TAGS: individuals | South Africa | tax | individual income tax | Africa

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