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South Africa's On-Line Tax Return Service In Operation

by Amanda Banks, Tax-News.com, London

12 July 2001


Some categories of taxpayer in South Africa now have the choice of submitting their tax returns and payments over the Internet and the South African Revenue Service (SARS) has advised that anyone wishing to do so can register with companies approved by SARS to provide the service.

Five service providers have been approved: Accenture, DDiCS, Hicor, Pillar Technologies and Tax Break. Each company has been given a two-year contract.

The e-filing project will be rolled out in phases, with the first one providing VAT, PAYE/SDL (Skills Development Levy) and Provisional Income Tax returns functionality online. Income tax payers will continue to submit their returns in the traditional way.

According to Accenture, the second and third phases will include Customs and Excise taxes and individual taxes as well as a few other tax types. The launch date for these has not been established yet and will only be decided once the adoption and success rate of the first internet filing initiative has been fully analysed.

SARS expects about 50 percent to 60 percent of relevant taxpayers will use the online system.

The department stated: 'E-filing is addressing the needs of part of our target market and is informed by the rationale that our target audience has unique and diverse needs ... This initiative is one of the cogs of our world-class re-engineering program, Siyakha, which is aimed at improving operational efficiencies in order to deliver a better and quicker service to the taxpayers.'



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