Guide to Submit your Individual Income Tax Return (ITR12) via the SARS MobiApp

Table of Contents

Summary

SARS is committed to making it easy and simple for taxpayers to comply. One of the taxpayer’s compliance responsibilities is to submit their income tax return (ITR12) to SARS during the filing season or at the end of the financial year. To make it simpler for taxpayers to submit their income tax return (ITR12), SARS digital channels have introduced the SARS MobiApp, which can be installed on your smart mobile phone or device.

This webpage demonstrates how taxpayers can navigate the SARS MobiApp for the purpose of submitting their income tax return to SARS. The webpage also includes functionalities that may be utilised when filing income tax returns, such as how to respond to duplicate income tax certificates (IRP5) or how to view tax assessments before an official return is submitted. Additionally, where SARS has engaged and requested supporting documents, there is a section that demonstrates how to upload the requested supporting documents.

Introduction

Income tax is imposed under the Income Tax Act No. 58 of 1962. It is a tax levied on all income and profit received by a taxpayer (which could include individuals, companies, and trusts). Collecting taxable income is a SARS mandate, inter alia by assisting the citizens of South Africa in complying with their tax responsibilities. One of the compliance requirements for individuals is to file or submit the personal Income Tax return (ITR12) every year. The completion and submission of the ITR12 return is to determine whether the taxpayer is indebted to pay any taxes or eligible for a tax refund.

Various SARS service channels are available in which taxpayers can file/submit their return. These service platforms, amongst other duties, ensure that taxpayers are serviced efficiently and the information pertaining to their tax affairs are up to date, accurate and credible. This ultimately results to more reliable and credible assessments. The SARS MobiApp is one such service platform within the SARS digital domain. The SARS MobiApp mainly caters for individual taxpayers and registered tax practitioners with full access for the submission of the Income Tax Return for Individuals.

Note the following:

  • The SARS MobiApp cannot be used to dispute income tax outcomes.
  • The SARS MobiApp cannot be used to submit tax returns for future years.

Prerequisites for using the SARS MobiApp 

The following should be considered for effective use of the SARS mobile application:

  • The SARS MobiApp caters only for individual taxpayers and registered tax practitioners.
    • Registered tax practitioners who have linked their client’s profile will have full access to their client’s profile.
  • You must be a registered SARS income taxpayer who is liable for the submission of an Income Tax return (ITR12).
    • For more information on how to register refer to the SARS website www.sars.gov.za
  • You must be registered for the use of eFiling or the SARS MobiApp.
  • You must have downloaded the SARS MobiApp on your smart device.
    • Ensure that you have downloaded the latest SARS MobiApp.
    • Ensure your device has the latest iOS/Android/Huawei Operating System Software
  • Your device must have data or connected to a functioning Wi-Fi system.
  • You must have the correct username and password to be able to transact on the SARS Mobile Application.

Download the SARS MobiApp

You can easily install the SARS MobiApp from the Apple Store, Google Play Store, or the Huawei App Gallery.

The following are the operating systems versions required for your smart phone/device to enable the downloading of the SARS MobiApp:

  • Android – Version 5.0 or Higher
  • Huawei – Version 5.0 or Higher
  • iOS – Version 10 or Higher

To Download:

  • Tap on the Apple App Store /Google Play Store/Huawei App Gallery to open the store.
  • Type “SARS MobiApp” into the Search box displayed. Once the SARS MobiApp appears as part of the search results, download the Application to your device.
    • Note that SARS Mobile eFiling (Beta) will be displayed as the application to download from the Apple Play Store.
  • Download and install the App as per requirements of your device. When the installation is complete, the SARS MobiApp icon will be displayed on your mobile device home screen.

Note the following:

  • Taxpayers are encouraged to download the latest SARS MobiApp version.
  • Where the latest SARS MobiApp has not been downloaded on your device, the following error message will be displayed.

  • Respond by tapping on UPDATE.
    • This will redirect you to the Apple App/Google Play/Huawei App Gallery store.
    • Proceed by downloading the SARS MobiApp as described above. 

Methods of Submitting your Income Tax Return via the SARS MobiApp

Once you are registered and activated for Personal Income Tax (PIT), the applicable Personal Income Tax return (ITR12) will be issued and made available during filing season on your eFiling profile and the SARS MobiApp. You can then either submit your ITR12 return via the auto assessment process or submit your ITR12 Income Tax return.

Where you request your return prior to filing season, an error message will be displayed on your device.

  • Please note the message and the date when your income tax return will be made available to you for submission.

Below is a brief description of the various ways to submit your income tax return to SARS.

  • Auto-Assessment is when SARS pre-populates your income tax (ITR12) return with your most recent third-party certificate/s and proceeds by submitting the generated estimated assessment result of your income tax on your behalf.
    • If you agree with the auto-assessed results, you do not have to accept it or to submit a personal Income Tax Return (ITR12) because your generated assessment is regarded as final.
      • This process is further unpacked in section Auto Assessment of this webpage.
  • Completing and submitting your income tax return is when you open your prepopulated ITR12 return and proceed by completing/updating your return accordingly.

How to submit your Income Tax Return

This section details how to respond to an auto estimated assessment and how to edit and submit your ITR12 return via the SARS MobiApp.

Auto Assessment 

Once an auto estimated assessment of your income tax return (ITR12) has been made available to you by SARS, an SMS or email correspondence will be sent through to your preferred channel of communication.

How to respond to an Auto Assessment

You can respond to the automated assessment by filing your original return where you do not agree with the assessment raised by SARS, else you do not have to do anything if you agree with the auto assessment.

You are given until the end of filing season to respond to an auto assessment. Where you require an extension, kindly refer to section How to request an Extension of your Submission Date of this webpage.

When an auto assessment has been issued to you via the SARS MobiApp, you will be able to view your Notice of Assessment (ITA34).

Once you have viewed your automated estimated assessment results.

  • If you agree to the assessment results, no action is required.
  • If you are not in agreement with your automated estimated assessment results, respond by updating your ITR12 return (Request for Correction) and submitting your updated return to SARS, before the end of filing season.

How to navigate on the SARS MobiApp in response to an Auto Assessment

Login to the SARS MobiApp.

  • On the Landing Page, tap on Tax Returns
  • Select the applicable Year of Assessment

Note the auto estimated pop-up message displayed.

  To View your income tax estimated assessment results

  • Tap OK on the pop-up message.
  • This will route you to the Notice of Assessment (ITA34).

Once you have viewed the auto estimated assessment:

  • If you agree with the estimated assessment results
    • No further action is required for this purpose.

Note that you can download the estimated assessment results on your device, by tapping on the DOWNLOAD icon displayed at the bottom of your device.  

  • If you are not in agreement with the estimated assessment results
    • On the Work Page
      • Tap on the REQUEST RETURN icon.
        • This will route you to the standard income tax return form.  

      • Proceed to complete/update your income tax return (ITR12).
      • Once your income tax return has been completed/updated, tap on SUBMIT.

How to Complete and Submit your Income Tax Return

Completing /Editing your Income Tax Return

To complete and submit your return,

  • Tap on Tax Returns,
  • Select the applicable financial tax year.
    • The standard income tax return form will be displayed on your device.
    • Note what is on the creation wizard and once you viewed and agree with it, tap on OK.

Complete the form as detailed on the Income Tax ITR12 comprehensive external guide available on the SARS MobiApp and the SARS website.

Complete your income tax return form by tapping on the following icons displayed, to open or close the income tax return components.

Note the red fields on the form.

  • This indicates that these fields are mandatory and should be completed.

Note the following when completing/updating your income tax return (ITR12):

  • Where the pre-populated information (third party data/certificates) displayed on your ITR12 return is incorrect and uneditable, the taxpayer is advised to view/download their third-party certificates which have been submitted by their financial service provider to SARS.
  • Where there is a query on the third-party certificate/s or the certificate/s are found to contain incorrect information, the taxpayer should then contact their financial service provider or employer (if for example the error relates to the IRP5 certificates) and engage them regarding the incorrect information.
    • Once the financial service provider has been engaged and informed, they will then update the taxpayer’s information accurately on their system and submit an updated file to SARS.
    • Once the financial service provider or employer (if for example the error relates to the IRP5 certificates) has made the updated file containing accurate taxpayer information available to SARS, the taxpayer can then refresh their ITR12 return via the SARS MobiApp to populate their return with the updated information.

Submitting your Income Tax (ITR12) Return

Once you have completed the mandatory fields on your Income Tax (ITR12) return, you are required to submit your return.

  • To do this, on the Standard Form Page, select SUBMIT’ displayed at the bottom of the page.
    • Tap on SUBMIT  
  • You will then be routed to the Declaration Page.
    • Take note of the declaration and when in agreement, select ‘Confirm’.
    • Note that if Cancel is selected, your Income Tax (ITR12) return will not be submitted to SARS.
  • Once Confirm is selected, an interim status of “In Progress” will be displayed on your device.
    • This indicates that your return has been submitted and is being processed by SARS.

Once SARS has processed and assessed your Income Tax return,

  • The Work Page will indicate your Income Tax return as “Filed”.

Note that where the ITR12 return was submitted through another channel, the status for the Income Tax return ITR12 will reflect as “Filed through another channel”.

Where your ITR12 return is opened and you tap on the native back button of your device, the following message will pop-up. 

  • Select Cancel for the ITR12 return to remain open.
  • Select Ok for the ITR12 return to close.

Service Offered on the Work Page

The Work Page on your profile lists services SARS offers you regarding your Income Tax Return. This section will list these services and their use.

To access the Work Page, proceed as follows:

  • Login
  • On the Landing Page, tap on Tax Returns
  • Select the applicable Year of Assessment
  • The Work Page will be displayed.

Below are the descriptions of the various service options displayed on your Work Page:

This will route you to the Statement of Account page

This will route you to edit the income tax return form

This will display the status of your income tax return

This will route you to your Income Tax Assessment page

This will route you to the payment page

This will route you to the income tax return form

This will route you to the supporting documents page.

This will route you to the Tax Calculation page

This will communicate your refund status

How to Submit your Income Tax Return for Previous Tax Years  

The SARS MobiApp enables you to submit/ file your tax return for the current or the previous five tax years. To open and view your ITR12 return, login using your username and password.

  • Once logged in, on the Landing Page
    • Tap on Tax Returns
  • Select by tapping on the applicable year.
  • On the standard income tax return form page,
    • Note the information is on the wizard.
  • Once you have viewed and agree with the information on the wizard, tap on OK.

Complete the form as detailed on the Income Tax ITR12 comprehensive external guide available on the SARS website www.sars.gov.za

  • Tap on the applicable field to expand the form.
  • Once completed, to submit the return tap on SUBMIT. To save the return and work on it later, tap on SAVE.

Please note that to request and submit tax return(s) older than 5 years, make an appointment with a branch office for further assistance.

Services to Manage your Income Tax Return

At the bottom of your ITR12 return (Standard Form Page), the following services are offered.

The use of these service icons are as follows:

To Save your Income Tax Return

To calculate a Tax Calculation of your Income Tax Return

To update your Income Tax Return with the latest third-party certificates/data  

To Submit your Income Tax Return

How to Save Updated Information on your Income Tax Return

You can edit and save your Income Tax ITR12 return to work on it later. This section will demonstrate how to save your return on the Work Page.

  • Once logged in, on the Landing Page,
    • Tap on Tax Returns
  • When the Income Tax return is open, you can update the return.
  • To save the updated information
    • Tap on Save
  • The status on the Work Page will change to Saved.

How to Request a Tax Calculation

You can request a tax assessment of your completed Income Tax return. This is done by selecting the TAX CALC option displayed at the bottom of the Standard form screen.

Once logged in, on the Landing Page, tap on Tax Returns. This will open your saved Income Tax return.

Once your Income Tax form is open,

  • Tap on TAX CALC  

This will display the TAX Calc Results Page.

To download the Tax Assessment

  • Tap on Download   

Note that you can request a tax calculation whenever you select the Tax Calc icon and not only when your ITR12 return was saved.

How to Refresh Third Party Data (Certificates)

You can update your Income Tax return (ITR12) with the latest Third-Party Data information available at SARS. This includes the latest IRP5 information.

  • Begin by opening your Income Tax return (ITR12). To do this, on the Landing Page, tap on Tax Returns
  • On the icons displayed at the bottom
    • Tap on Refresh    
  • Select the applicable data by tapping the check box.  
  • Once selected, tap on OK
  • To cancel the request, tap on the Cancel option.

Note the following:

  • Expect a warning message. Once noted, tap on OK and your selected third-party information will be updated on your IRP5 information and populated on your Income Tax Return.
  • You may select any of the following Third-Party Data options using the checkbox displayed on your pop-up screen:
    • IRP5
    • Medical Details
    • Retirement Annuity
    • Investment Income
    • Tax Free Investment
    • Farming (IT48)
    • Farming (IT48V)
  • The SARS MobiApp will display the ITR12 with updated third-party data/certificates.

In instances where your Third-Party Data on your saved return has been automatically refreshed, the following message will be displayed.

  • Take note the message and tap on OK.

Note that you may be prompted to refresh Third Party data of your ITR12 return issued and/or saved before filing season opening date to ensure that the return contains the latest Third-Party data information. The following options will be displayed on your device for selection.

  • View the saved return – This will direct you to the saved return in read-only mode. This will allow you to either copy or capture any information prior to refreshing the data.
  • Refresh the data – This will initiate the refresh process and update all the information related to the third-party data.

How to change your Residency Status

To change your tax residency status, you can apply via your eFiling profile. Upon application SARS will send correspondence which details the list of documents required by SARS to verify your application. This letter will be sent to all your correspondence digital platforms (eFiling or the SARS MobiApp).

You will then be required to provide supporting documents to substantiate your application. The supporting documents are used to measure your qualifying basis. They usually include amongst others the following:

  • The signed declaration indicating the basis on which you qualify (you can download the form from the SARS website www.sars.gov.za)
  • A letter of motivation setting out the facts and circumstances in detail to support the disclosure that you have ceased to be a tax resident.
  • A copy of your passport and travel diary.

Upon successful submission of the required supporting documents, SARS will send correspondence which will disclose the results of your application.

This section will detail on how you can enquire to change your residency via eFiling. Furthermore, we will demonstrate on the SARS MobiApp where to locate the correspondence and lastly show you how to upload the required supporting documents for the completion of your application.

You can also refer to the SARS website on how to access your eFiling profile www.sars.gov.za

Note the following:

  • It is required that this verification process takes place before the period of assessment is performed.
  • Once SARS receives and accepts the supporting documents, you will be coded as a “Non-Resident” on the SARS system. Additionally, correspondence will be issued to you confirming that your tax resident status has been updated. 

Login to your eFiling profile and navigate eFiling to access the RAV01 form.

  • Once logged in
    • Click on SARS Registered Details icon under My profile.
    • The Maintain SARS Registered Details screen will display.
    • Confirm that you are authorised to perform maintenance functions of the registered details of the company or individual.
    • The “Saved Details” message will display if SARS has received updated information for the legal entity.
    • After making the applicable selection, the RAV01 screen will be opened.

Once the RAV01 form is opened:

  • Click on the <Tax Type Demographics> container on the form.
  • Note the field <Income Tax Liability Details>

  • Click on the arrow to display the drop-down list and select <4 – Non-Resident>
    • The second drop down <Taxpayer Classification> will be activated.

  • Select the applicable <Taxpayer Classification> as well as the date when you ceased to be a resident.

  • Save and submit the form.

Note that this will trigger SARS to issue correspondence detailing the list of supporting documents required for this application. This letter will be sent through by SARS and is available under the SARS Correspondence menu on your eFiling profile or on the Correspondence tab of your SARS MobiApp.

To access SARS correspondence regarding your application

  • Login to the SARS MobiApp
  • On the Landing Page
    • Tap on Correspondence
    • This will list all SARS correspondence.
    • Select and open the applicable correspondence sent through.
  • Obtain all the required documents and store them on your device.

Once all the required supporting documents have been obtained, upload them as follows: 

On the corresponding letter

  • Tap on Add Documents
  • Follow the prompts to upload supporting documents. 
  • Note that you can tap on the Download tab    to download the letter.
Note that you can also use your eFiling profile or the SARS Online Query System to upload the required supporting documents. 

Once the supporting documents have been uploaded and verified by SARS, you will receive another correspondence detailing your application result.

This letter can be found under the correspondence tab on efiling or the MobiApp as well.

  • You can tap on Download    to download the letter.

How to request an Extension of your Submission Date

Taxpayers can request an extension to submit relevant supporting documents or their income tax return where they are of the view that they can only submit after their submission due date has lapsed.

This implies that when the extension days has been granted by SARS, there will be no penalties imposed to the taxpayer during the granted extension days.

On the Work Page,

  • Tap on the Reason for Extension icon.
  • This will display, the Reasons for Extension Page

Note that the taxpayer cannot request an extension post the 3 years of SARS raising the estimated assessment.

On the Reason for Extension Page

  • Tap on Reason for Extension field and complete your reason for extension.
  • Tap on the Date of Extension and select the applicable date.
  • Once completed, tap on SUBMIT.

In response, SARS will send you correspondence with regards to your request. This will be in the form of a letter which can be accessed via the SARS MobiApp.

To access the letter, navigate as follows:

  • On the Landing Page,
    • Tap on Correspondence
    • The Correspondence Page will be displayed.

The letters will be displayed.

Note that a letter of acknowledgement will be sent for your request. Thereafter, SARS will respond by sending another letter which will detail the outcome of your request.

Income Tax Assessment (ITA34)

  • Once you have filed your return, you can view your assessment by tapping on the View Assessment icon on your Work Page.
  • This will display the Notice of Assessment (ITA34) page. Tap on the selected Original Assessment to view your notice of assessment.

How to Upload Supporting Documents

  • To upload the required supporting from your submission, proceed by tapping on Upload/View Docs icon displayed on your Work Page.
  • This will route you to the Supporting Documents page.
    • Tap on ADD DOCUMENTS displayed at the bottom of your page.
    • Choose location to upload your documents from

  • Once found, tap on Upload. The document(s) will be uploaded to the Supporting Documents page.
  • To submit the document(s), tap on SUBMIT DOCUMENTS.

The following pop-up messages will be displayed on your device.

  • Confirm by selecting Yes. To decline select No.
  • Once Yes and OK is tapped the status of your uploaded documents will change from uploaded to submitted and a pop-up message will be displayed detailing that your supporting documents have been uploaded successfully.

 Take note that the maximum document size must be 5MB X10 Files

Error Messages

Voluntary Disclosure Program (VDP)   

Where your income tax return submission includes an error relating to VDP information, the status of your income tax return will be “Rejected by SARS”.

  • The following error message will be displayed on your device.

Proceed by contacting the SARS Voluntary Disclosure Unit.

Definitions, acronyms and abbreviations

The definitions, acronyms and abbreviations can be accessed here – Glossary webpage

Legal disclaimer: In the event of conflict or inconsistency between this webpage and the PDF version of the guide, the latter shall prevail.

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