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SARS thanks millions of compliant taxpayers, whilst cautioning those who are non-compliant

SARS thanks millions of compliant taxpayers, whilst cautioning those who are non-compliant

Tshwane, 7 November 2023 – The South African Revenue Service (SARS) thanks all non-provisional taxpayers who have fulfilled their legal obligations by filing their personal income tax (PIT) returns by the end of Filing Season. SARS also thanks taxpayers who made outstanding payments that  were due.

As in previous years, SARS is pleased at the continuous improvement in compliance levels for Individuals. We believe that most taxpayers are honest and want to do the right thing by meeting their legal obligations. In this respect, SARS had received a total of 7 million returns from non-provisional taxpayers, compared to 6 million last year.

Our on-line platform for individuals has enabled:

  • 88% of returns received were made through eFiling, MobiApp platforms;
  • 93% of returns were processed in 5 seconds;
  • 79% of refunds were processed in 72 hours; and
  • More than R29 billion has already been paid in refunds.

SARS Auto-Assessment is also gaining traction with 4 million taxpayers receiving assessments already calculated in the current year, up from 3 million the previous year.

The rapid development of data science, algorithms, machine learning and the various third-party data sources has enabled SARS to provide taxpayers with a smooth and seamless service experience. While these digital platforms have been used to give the best service to compliant taxpayers, it has also allowed SARS to identify categories of non-compliant taxpayers.

SARS has seen an increase in levels of compliance. We do remain concerned about non-compliant taxpayers who have not submitted a return as required, and the following were identified:

  • Registered taxpayers who have not, for whatever reason, filed a return
  • Taxpayers who have not  made a payment where it was due;
  • Taxpayers who are not registered as taxpayers despite being economically active; and
  • Taxpayers who may in the past not have been required to file, but receive income from employment, investments, rental, or other income; certain taxpayers may also have received shares or have active business interests that push them above the income threshold, which means they have to file.

Non-compliant taxpayers are reminded that they do face legal consequences for failing to register, file a return and/or  make payments where applicable.

These taxpayers are urged to regularise their tax matters as a matter of urgency and are encouraged to approach the Voluntary Disclosure (VDP) unit before SARS contacts them. If such a taxpayer’s VDP application reaches SARS after SARS has contacted them, the VDP option falls away and their applications will not be accepted. SARS is willing and ready to assist taxpayers who want to be compliant. Where taxpayers willfully and intentionally ignore their legal obligations, SARS will act sternly.

SARS Commissioner Mr Edward Kieswetter expressed his appreciation to compliant taxpayers who have discharged their legal obligations. He further said “some taxpayers are intentionally non-compliant by making false declarations to SARS or plainly ignoring their legal obligations. Those who engage in such conduct must know that what they are doing is in fact not only a civil offence, but also a criminal offence, which will be met with the proportionate response. The courts have confirmed that SARS is acting lawfully by confronting non-compliance,” Mr Kieswetter said.

For more information, please contact SARS at [email protected]

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