- 29 April 2021 – Maintenance alert
ISVs please note that due to maintenance changes the Tax Directives system will not be available for the weekend of 30 April 2021. No Directive files should be submitted after 14:00 on 30 April 2021. Applications can be submitted from 3 May 2021.
26 April 2021 – Tax Directive changes:
The Guide on Tax Directive for emigration, cease to be resident and expiry of visas was updated to include the definitions of ‘provident fund’ and ‘provident preservation fund’ were amended for the annuitisation of benefits on retirement. The purpose of this guide is to provide basic information relating to the tax directive applications for emigration withdrawals and withdrawals due to the expiry of a visa. For more information, see the Guide on Tax Directive for emigration, cease to be resident and expiry of visas.
The Guide to the Tax Directive functionality on eFiling was updated with the Tax Directive functionality to request previous years’ tax directives. This guide is designed to assist Fund Administrators / Long-term Insurers / Employers / Tax Practitioners and/or Individuals with the Tax Directive administrative functions on eFiling. For more information, see the Guide to the Tax Directive functionality on eFiling.
The completion guide for IRP3(a) & IRP3(s) forms was updated with the Arbitration / CCMA Award filed and the ‘Year of assessment’ on directive and tax certificate was clarified. The purpose of this guide is to assist employers with the completion of a Tax Directive Application form to obtain a Tax Directive (IRP3) before a lump sum can be paid to an employee. In addition, the Guide to complete the tax directive application forms was updated with the Provident and Provident Preservation funds compulsory annuitisation and with the following new reasons on the tax directive application forms:
- Par (eA) Living Annuity Commutation Termination of a Trust (Form E);
- Cessation of SA Residence (Form B and Form C)
- Unclaimed death benefits (Form A&D)
The purpose of this guide is to assist Fund Administrators / Long-term Insurers and / or employers on how to complete all of the various tax directive application forms in order to obtain a tax directive (IRP3) before a lump sum benefit can be paid to a member. For more information, see the Completion guide for IRP3(a) & IRP3(s) forms.
- 16 April 2021 – Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) please note the changes stated in the Tax Directives Interface Specification (IBIR-006 Rev 6.104) will go-live on 23 April 2021. No Directive files should be submitted after 14:00 on 23 April 2021.
- 1 March 2021 – Update on Trade Testing
The South African Revenue Service (SARS) is in the process of enhancing the Tax Directives process and trade testing for Independent Software Vendor (ISV) submissions. To prepare for the implementation of these enhancements, trade testing will start on 24 March 2021 until 22 April 2021, in line with our intention to go-live within the first quarter of the 2021/22 financial year.
- 1 March 2021 – Legislative Amendments
On 1 March 2021 several amendments to retirement funds were promulgated and became effective. The amendments are concerning the following:
- Annuitisation of the Provident Fund
- Free Portability of Retirement Funds
- Emigration Withdrawals
- Retirement Annuities
- Commutation of living annuity for terminating Trusts
- ROT [SR1] Enhancement
- Request for Previously issued Directives for Individuals ad Tax Practitioners
- 2 February 2021 – Update on Trade Testing
SARS is in the process of enhancing the Tax Directives process and trade testing for Independent Software Vendor (ISV) submissions. To prepare for the implementation of these enhancements, trade testing will start on 22 March 2021 until 22 April 2021, in line with our intention to go-live within the first quarter of the 2021/22 financial year. See more here.
- 11 December 2020 – Trade Testing and Go-live date
SARS will introduce enhancements to the Tax Directives process as indicated in the IBIR-006 Tax Directives Interface Specification Version 6.103. The Trade Testing dates will be communicated in January 2021. This is necessary to prepare for the go-live date planned within the first quarter of the 2021/2022 Financial Year.
You are encouraged to review the Tax Directives Interface Specification prior to testing.
- 26 October 2020 – Enhancements to the Tax Directive functionality on eFiling
The tax directive functionality on eFiling has been enhanced to allow individuals and tax practitioners to apply for a tax directive on behalf of their clients. The tax directives applications that individuals and tax practitioners may request on behalf of clients are for:
- IRP 3(b) – Employee’s tax to be deducted at a fixed percentage (e.g. commission agents / personal service company / personal service trust).
- IRP 3(c) – Employee’s tax to be deducted at a fixed amount (e.g. Paragraph 11 of the 4th Schedule (hardship) / assessed loss carried forward).
- IRP 3(f) – Doubtful Debts 11(j)(1)(2) – Only available for tax practitioners.
- IRP 3(q) – Foreign Tax Credit under paragraph of 10 of the 4th Schedule of Income Tax Act – Only available for tax practitioners.
See the new Guide to the Tax Directive functionality on eFiling.
What are ISV’s or Interface agents?
The ISV’s software interfaces with SARS for the submission of various returns required by SARS. The ISV service was initiated as an extension of the eFiling service. The software vendors approached SARS to integrate with the eFiling service that would reduce user effort and manage the process of completing tax returns. The tax types serviced through the ISV service include:
- Annual Returns :
- PAYE returns
- Transfer Duty
- Tax Directives (Tax Directive submissions have been allowed for a number of years via an interface that allows for the bulk request of directives)
See the letter on the ISV Tax Directives file submission migration to the new SFTP solution.
How does it work?
Secure access is enabled by a unique access key for the specific product and application. After user authentication is done, the interface interaction is allowed. The user is required to be an active user on eFiling with the appropriate rights. Currently we have three categories of ISV’s:
- Tax Returns Submissions
- Transfer Duty
- Directive Requests
For Tax Directives applications the existing process will continue whereby the interface specification and External Application for Access to SARS – Electronic Interface under “Form INF001” to register for access to SARS Interface are available in the Interface Specification IBIR-006 Tax Directives. Please note that the Terms and Conditions are also applicable to Tax Directive applications.