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03 July 2013 – Update on submissions for the 2013 Tax Season

03 July 2013 – Update on submissions for the 2013 Tax Season

PRETORIA, 3 July 2013 — The South African Revenue Service (SARS) is committed to providing to the highest levels of professional service to taxpayers who want to comply with their tax obligations and submit their tax returns during the annual Tax Season.

Launching the 2013 Tax Season on Monday this week, the Minister of Finance reminded SARS that this institution stands at the service of taxpayers. This is a duty SARS takes very seriously.

The response by taxpayers to the 2013 Tax Season over the last 48 hours has been overwhelmingly positive.

Activity by taxpayers and tax practitioners on the eFiling site continues to reach new levels – yesterday more than 320 000 log-ins onto the site was recorded with more than 300 000 recorded on Monday. The highest number of log-ins per day during 2012 was 266 000.

Since the weekend more than 250 000 returns were issued on eFiling to taxpayers and tax practitioners (94 000 returns yesterday).

Since Monday morning SARS has acknowledged that there were intermittent problems with eFiling which affected public access to the site.

During the course of yesterday, SARS had received a number of complaints and enquiries from the media suggesting that the eFiling website had “crashed” or that it had “gone down”. These claims are untrue and alarmist.

Activity on the eFiling website is constantly being monitored and SARS is working with its service provider to urgently resolve problems that cause delays or limitations in access to the site for taxpayers and tax practitioners.

SARS regrets the inconvenience caused to some taxpayers over the last 48 hours. It is anticipated that some delays and limitations to access eFiling may continue today as work is underway to upgrade systems through which the public access eFiling.

Any notion that eFiling has “crashed” must be rejected.
By this morning the following update on the submission of tax returns were recorded (these numbers change by the hour)—
  • Total number of tax returns submitted by 9am this morning: 198 276
  • Returns submitted on SARS eFiling by 9am this morning: 135 377
  • Returns submitted at SARS branch offices by 9am this morning: 62 855
Refunds issued to taxpayers—
  • Number of taxpayers: 88 288
  • Total value of refunds: R646 million (versus R203 million paid for the same period in 2012)
All operations and services at SARS branch offices are functioning optimally.
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