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Owing SARS Money

What’s New?

28 June 2021 – Taxpayers can now request Account related queries (balance statements) and/or a Statement of Account by sending an SMS to SARS on 47277.

These additional tax related services are offered to taxpayers via their mobile device. These services can be accessed with or without data/airtime:

  • Request Account related queries (balance statements) and/or provision of Statement of the Account (SOA)
    • Balance (Space) ID number/Passport number/ Asylum Seeker number

For more detail, see the Guide to SARS Mobile Tax Services.

Manage your tax debt 

Do you have outstanding taxes? Do you need help deciding what to do or whom to call?

Taxpayers, both individuals and businesses, are required to be fully tax compliant through on time submission of returns and payments.

In instances where taxpayers are not compliant and have outstanding tax debt the Debt Management department is committed to assisting businesses and individuals to become fully compliant.  

SARS wants to help you pay your tax debt before it is overdue. Reach out to SARS and ensure that you comply with your tax obligations. See more information on how to manage your debt.

Any outstanding debt queries and deferred arrangements requests may be sent to the following email addresses:

Note: Please only send to one mailbox. Sending to multiple mailboxes will result in duplication and time delays. Any mails not related to Debt issues, will be ignored.

How much do I owe?

There are three ways to find out how much tax debt you owe:
  1. Call the SARS Contact Centre.

Steps to follow:

  • Call the SARS Contact Centre and request a statement of account.
  • You will be requested to provide your tax reference number.
  • If you do not have your tax reference number you can provide the SARS Contact Centre Agent with your ID number or the business registration number.
  • Please note the SARS Contact Centre Agent will follow an authentication process.

2.  Log on to eFiling and request a statement of account.

3.  Log on to the SARS MobiApp and request a statement of account.

How do I make a payment?

The following payment methods are available:

  • eFiling
  • Electronic payments (EFT)
  • Payments at a bank: All payments can be made at any ABSA, Capitec, FNB, Nedbank or Standard Bank branch.
  • No tax payment can be made at a SARS branch. Cheques posted / delivered to SARS will be returned to the client. Cash and cheque duty payments are accepted at SARS Customs branches.

For more details and information on how to use each of the payment methods above please click here

What if I can’t pay the full amount now?

In order to avoid penalties and interest it is best to file returns and make payments on time.
If you are not currently able to pay your tax debt, please contact SARS without delay.
In certain circumstances we can reach an agreement with you to defer your tax debt for later payment or for payment by instalments.

Please note the following:

  • SARS has the option to decline the request.
  • Interest will accrue on any unpaid debt.
  • If you don’t adhere to the conditions of the payment arrangement the payment agreement will be terminated and normal collection proceedings will resume.

In certain circumstances a compromise may be requested on your outstanding tax debt. You will need to discuss your financial position openly with SARS.


If you require payment arrangements please contact us and we will assist you and provide you with all relevant documentation.

For more information on how to contact us please click here.

How do I make payment arrangements?

Do you have outstanding tax debt and are unable to settle the amount in one payment?

SARS provides for a deferment, or instalment payment arrangement for outstanding tax debt. You may request and enter into an instalment payment arrangement with SARS. It allows you to pay your outstanding debt in one sum or in instalments over time until you have paid your entire debt including applicable interest. This agreement however would be subject to certain qualifying criteria.

A payment arrangement may be requested through:

Criteria for payment arrangements

SARS may enter into a payment agreement only if:

  • The taxpayer suffers from a lack of assets or liquidity which is reasonably certain to be remedied in the future;
  • The taxpayer anticipates income or other receipts which can be used to satisfy the tax debt;
  • Prospects of immediate collection activity are poor or uneconomical but are likely to improve in the future;
  • Collection activity would be harsh in the particular case and the deferral or instalment agreement is unlikely to prejudice tax collection;
  • The taxpayer provides the security as may be required;
  • All outstanding returns and/or recons are submitted.

Tip 1: The payment arrangement must cover the entire debt and SARS may only consider the payment arrangement request when non-compliance has been remedied (i.e. all returns and/or recons are submitted).

Tip 2: If the taxpayer has defaulted on previous payment arrangement, reasonable and valid reasons for the default must be provided before another deferment request can be requested.

What if I don’t agree with the debt?

If you are not in agreement with your tax debt, you may lodge a dispute.
To lodge a dispute please go to objections and appeals.
Even though you are disputing the tax debt you remain under obligation to pay the debt whilst your dispute is being handled.

Application for suspension of payment may be requested while the dispute is being dealt with. 
Interest will accrue on any unpaid debt.
Call the contact centre or visit your nearest branch for assistance.

For more information on how to contact us please click here.

What if I don’t pay my taxes?

It is a criminal offense not to submit a tax return when it is due, and can be a criminal offense not to pay.

If you don’t pay your taxes there are a number of debt collection options at our disposal:

  • Collect the debt from someone who holds money on your behalf Third Party appointments i.e. employer, bank or customer.
  • Issue a judgement and have your name blacklisted.
  • Attach and sell your assets.
  • Obtain a preservation order in respect of your assets.
  • If you hold assets off-shore, an order can be obtained compelling the assets to be repatriated to South Africa and in the interim your right to trade or to travel can be restrained.
  • Liquidate or Sequestrate your Estate 

If you are having difficulties we encourage you to contact us to avoid these collection steps.

For more information on how to contact us please click here

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