SARS to expand auto assessments to over 3 million taxpayers

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) says it wants to expand its auto assessment features to over three million taxpayers. Last year the Revenue Service said it auto assessed more than 83 percent of taxpayers against its target of 80 percent.

SARS Commissioner Edward Kieswetter says the auto assessments are performed in under five seconds.

SARS’s auto assessments allow it to collect income data on behalf of the taxpayer – like income earned from employer and medical aid. The taxpayer has to either accept or reject the auto assessment. The Revenue Service says it will also pay refunds within 72 hours.

“Depending on the infrastructure that you use as a taxpayer, the speed of the network to connect with us you will receive your assessment in under five seconds. We endeavour to pay at least seven out of every ten taxpayers their refund if it is due in 72 hours if nothing else if required. 77.4 of these refunds were paid within 72 hours and we will retain the same target of 7 out of 10 for this year. You can expect us to be specific when we request for any outstanding information that is holding up your assessment.”

Tax returns can be submitted from 1 July

Taxpayers can begin filing their tax returns from today but will not be able to visit SARS branches which were closed last week due to an increase in COVID-19 infections and to contain the spread of the virus.

SARS has urged taxpayers to file their returns online and use the revenue’s mobile app.

Launching tax season 2021, SARS Commissioner Edward Kieswetter says all engagements with taxpayers this year will be through SARS’s various digital platforms. SARS says it has simplified its system and has made it easier even for those who do not have smartphones, to file their tax returns.

SARS says its digital platforms are easy and safe to use.

“We are happy to announce that all forms for major tax stipes such as personal income tax, company income tax, trusts as well as tax clearance certificate forms, as well as registration forms have now been migrated to the latest HTML five technology and can be accessed normally on e-filling. We developed more than thirty additional offerings just on the first day of COVID-19 last year and we have introduced an additional 15 digital offering enhancements to improve engagements with taxpayers and ourselves.”

Source: SABC News (