Get ready, Tax Season 2016 is here

Pretoria, 27 June 2016 — Tax Season 2016 is a mere three days away. From Friday, 1 July 2016, taxpayers can officially commence completing and submitting their 2016 income tax returns.
 
Tax Season has grown into an important partnership between government and taxpayers who make a vital contribution to our country’s tax system. It represents the single biggest annual engagement between SARS and taxpayers, when more than 4 million taxpayers submit their income tax returns.
 
To ensure taxpayers are prepared, SARS has some helpful information to make Tax Season even easier.
 
Only those that earn more than R350 000 need to submit an ITR12
 
Not everyone needs to submit an income tax return. Taxpayers whose total salary for the year is no more than R350 000 may not need to submit a tax return if:
  • Their total salary for the year before tax is less than R350 000
  • They only receive employment income from one employer for the full year of assessment
  • They have no other form of income such as car allowance, business income, taxable interest or rent or income from another job
  • They don’t have any additional allowable tax deductions to claim such as medical expenses, retirement annuity contributions, travel expenses.
If there is an uncertainty about who should submit a tax return, taxpayers can get assistance on the 2016 Tax Season webpage on www.sars.gov.za.
 
Avoid long queues by eFiling
 
Taxpayers are once again encouraged to use SARS eFiling to submit their tax returns as it is the quickest and easiest way to submit a return and is available 24 hours. To register visit www.sarsefiling.gov.za or visit www.sars.gov.za for information.
 
eFilers requiring assistance can make use of the free Help-You-eFile service by simply clicking on  the Help-You-eFile icon on eFiling and following the prompts to get access to a friendly SARS Contact Centre agent who will help them every step of the way while eFiling.
 
Recovering forgotten eFiling login details and password
 
We understand that Taxpayers sometimes forget their eFiling credentials. To receive your login details, follow these easy steps:
  • Visit www.sarsefiling.co.za
  • Click on Login
  • Click on the question mark
  • Request your login details
  • SARS will send it to your registered email address or cellphone number
  • If you are still stuck? Phone the SARS Contact Centre on 0800 00 7277 for help. 
SARS at the service of taxpayers
 
SARS will continue to strive towards providing the best services possible to taxpayers during Tax Season. In this regard, we continue to extend our operational reach across the country. The ever-increasing SARS footprint now extends to 53 branches nationwide, 21 Mobile Tax Units that service taxpayers in remote areas of the country and increased efficiency at the SARS Contact Centre.
 
Taxpayers calling the SARS Contact Centre who are too busy to be put on hold can request SARS to call them back without losing their place in the queue. By following the voice prompts, a SARS agent will return calls and provide telephonic assistance. 

 

SARS would like to remind taxpayers that, even if they are using the service of a tax practitioner or an intermediary, the taxpayer remains personally liable for their own tax affairs and their own compliance. Taxpayers should ensure the tax practitioner they use is registered and accredited. 

 

Bring correct documents

If you would like to submit your ITR12 easily, have the following documents which are applicable to you on hand if you are eFiling or with you if you are filing at a SARS branch:
  • PROOF OF INCOME. All the certificates you received IRP5 (employer), IT3(a) (Pension or retirement fund, IT3 (b) (Investments), Capital gain tax and Financial statements.
  • PROOF OF IDENTITY. ID book, passport or driver’s licence.
  • PROOF OF DEDUCTIONS. All relevant documents such as medical aid, pension and retirement annuity certificates and medical expenses

DON’T INFLATE OR UNDERSTATE AMOUNTS. Use only accurate information and the correct figures that appear on your various supporting documents when you complete your return.

Reaching new heights

Last year 5.94 million submissions were submitted to SARS  which was 11.52% higher than in 2014. This included individuals, trusts and prior year submissions. Compliance for taxpayers filing on time exceeded 90% for the third consecutive year.

A review of 2015 Tax Season highlights the following:

  • 4.2 million returns were from individuals for the 2015 tax year
  • 1.69 million were outstanding returns from prior years
  • 45 390 were trust returns
  • 99.96% of returns were filed electronically, either via eFiling representing 51.84%, or through electronically assisted filing at a SARS branch or mobile tax unit
  • Manual submissions are down to less than 2000 returns, representing 0.04% of total volume
  • More than 95% of all returns submitted were assessed within 3 seconds and more than 99% within 24 hours
  • SARS paid out 1.82 million refunds to the value of 15 billion rand – more than 95% of these refunds were paid within 72 hours

Deadline Dates for the 2016 Tax Season

  • 23 September 2016 - Manual/postal submissions
  • 25 November 2016 -  At a SARS branch (non-provisional)
  • 25 November 2016 - eFiling (non-provisional)
  • 31 January 2017 - Provisional taxpayers via eFiling

Fraud Alert

Taxpayers who are concerned about emails or SMS messages claiming to be from SARS should:

  • Visit the SARS Scams and Phishing webpage on www.sars.gov.za
  • Email phishing@sars.gov.za
  • Call the SARS Fraud and Anti-Corruption Hotline on 0800 00 2870, or
  • Call the SARS Contact Centre on 0800 00 7277.
SARS staff ‘Walk for Tax’
 
As part of SARS’ efforts to become more accessible to the public, SARS officials across the country will be ‘Walking for Tax’ throughout Tax Season. Between July and November 2016, employees throughout South Africa will be ‘putting on’ on their walking shoes and hitting the streets to engage taxpayers and distribute informative material in an effort to help taxpayers complete and submit their income tax returns with greater ease.
 
The first ‘Tax Walk’ will take place in Tshwane on the 1 July 2016, when Tax Season officially opens. Taxpayers in Brooklyn, Sunnyside and the Pretoria CBD are urged to be on the lookout for SARS officials from 10:30.

 

For the 2016 Tax Season Pocket Guide, click here.