Submission of an Income Tax Return (IT12EI)

All Exempt institutions MUST annually submit an IT12EI – Return of Income Tax Exempt Organisations – External Form income tax return.

The income tax return enables the Commissioner to assess whether the approved exempt entity is operating within the prescribed limits of the relevant approval granted. Should a liability arise after submission of the income tax return, payment must be made or an application for a deferral must be made to SARS Debt Management.

NOTE: Returns must be submitted regardless of the exempt status, and even if there is no tax liability. No NIL returns may be submitted unless it is supported by the necessary documents to show that there has been no activity, such as your bank statements.

Helpful Hint:

  1. Organisations that have submitted an application for income tax exemption, but have not received an outcome yet, should not file an IT12EI but submit a normal tax return.
  2. Approved tax exempt organisations are not considered provisional taxpayers
  3. If returns are not submitted on time, the exempt entity will be liable for administrative penalties

Returns can be submitted in the following manner:

  • Through eFiling if you are a registered eFiler; should you need assistance with efiling registration, please send an email to [email protected] and provide your correct contact details, an Agent will call you within 72 hours to guide you through the eFiling registration process.  Only then will you be able to file a return for the entity.
  • By making an appointment to visit the SARS office where you will be assisted to register on eFiling from your own cell phone device or on a SARS device.

When to submit a return:

The return for companies or other entities must be completed and submitted within 12 months of the financial year end of the exempt institution,

Returns for trusts must be completed and submitted annually by the due dates announced by the Commissioner as set out in the annual notice issued.

If supporting documents are requested

Where supporting documents are requested in support of a submitted income tax return, taxpayers must direct these to the Requestor, clearly indicating the tax reference number. Alternatively you can submit your relevant material via the SARS Online Query System on the SARS website. If unsure, you may book an appointment at a SARS branch and submit your relevant material there.

Helpful resources:

  1. How to Register for eFiling and Complete the IT12EI Return for Tax Exempt Organisations – External Guide.
  2. IT-AE-44-G02 – How to Register for eFiling and Complete the IT12EI Return for Tax Exempt Organisations – External Guide
  3. IT12EI – Return of Income Exempt Organisations – External Form

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