Tax Season

Filing Season 2023 for Individuals

What’s new?

  • 10 July 2023 – Launched – Tax Return Status Dashboard

    The SARS Online Query System has a new feature called the Tax Return Status Dashboard providing Taxpayers, Registered Representatives and Tax Practitioners with a visual status of the progress of Personal Income Tax returns in terms of submission, verification/audit and refund processing.

    You are now able to check the progress of your Personal Income Tax Return after submission. This enhancement aims to keep you informed so there is no need for you to phone the SARS Contact Centre or go to a SARS Branch office.

  • 1 July 2023 – Check your auto-assessment status
    Taxpayers who qualify for this year’s Filing Season 2023 auto-assessment can now check whether they have been auto-assessed via the SARS Online Query Service functionality, click here.

  • Pre-population of ITR12 Third Party Data in preparation for the opening of Filing Season 2023
    Please be advised that in preparation for the opening of the Personal Income Tax Filing Season in July 2023, between the period of 2 June 2023 until the opening of Filing Season, there is a possibility that the prepopulated data reflecting within your Personal Income Tax or Provisional Tax returns requested via eFiling, the SARS MobiApp or via a SARS Branch Office during this period, will pre-populate but may not be comprehensive until Filing Season is officially opened to the public.

Income tax return filing dates 

Here are the dates and criteria for the 2023 Filing Season:

  • Individual taxpayers (non-provisional): 7 July 2023 @ 20:00 to 23 October 2023
  • Provisional taxpayers: 7 July 2023 @ 20:00 to 24 January 2024

What are the changes this year?

SARS has made the following updates for the upcoming Personal Income Tax (PIT) Filing Season:

Aligning the 40 Business Days Rule to the Filing Season End Date

Last year, when the rule was first introduced, those in the auto-assessment population were granted 40 business days from the issue date of the auto-assessment to revise their return if they needed to amend their auto-assessment.

This year, we are extending the 40 business days to coincide with the normal filing due date for non-provisional taxpayers, which is 23 October 2023. This will give those in the auto-assessment population more time to file a return if they wish to edit their auto-assessments.

Payment Due Dates

This year, the payment due date for non-provisional eFilers will be adjusted as follows:

  • For taxpayers who are not in the auto-assessment population, payment due date will be 30 days after a notice of assessment has been issued,
  • For taxpayers who are auto-assessed, payment due date will be 30 days post Filing Season 2023 closing date.

Statement of Assets and Liabilities

Provisional taxpayers with business interests are required to declare their assets and liabilities (based on cost) in their tax returns each year. Taxpayers who fall within this category, and with assets above R50 million, are required to declare specified assets at market values on their 2023 tax returns.

Foreign Income Disclosure

SARS introduced a Foreign Income container on the return for taxpayers who must declare worldwide foreign income, however it was noted that taxpayers who must declare income sourced from a foreign employer while working in South Africa and/or abroad do not have an appropriate source code to declare remuneration for foreign service rendered income. The following three new fields will now apply.

  • New field “Income received from foreign employment services not reflected on a South African IRP5/IT3(a) certificate, subject to tax outside RSA and the s10(1)(o)(ii) exemption does not apply”.
  • New field “Income received from foreign employment services not reflected on a South African IRP5/IT3(a) certificate, subject to tax outside RSA and the s10(1)(o)(i) exemption applies.”
  • New field “Income received from foreign employment services not reflected on a South African IRP5/IT3(a) certificate, subject to tax outside RSA and the s10(1)(o)(i) exemption does not apply.”.

Spouses Married in Community of Property Assessment

Taxpayers who are married in community of property are taxed on half of their interest, dividends, rental income, and capital gains. This Filing Season SARS has retrieved “Married in community of property” status from taxpayer’s previous declaration and collaborated with the Department of Home affairs to confirm marital status. Where the spouses are successfully matched and have interest investments, SARS will replicate the interest investment certificate on both spouses’ return where they will be taxed 50% upon assessment.

Section 93 Reduced Assessment

SARS has automated the process of requesting Reduced Assessment in terms of section 93 of the Tax Administration Act. The process will use a form called RRA01 where taxpayer will be able to complete it on e-Filing. This will enable efficiency and reduce costs for taxpayers.

Have you received an Auto Assessment?

Between 1 July and 7 July 2023, taxpayers will be notified by SMS or email if they were selected to receive an auto-assessment. Should you receive the SMS, the next step for you would be to review the auto-assessment on the SARS MobiApp or eFiling.

  • If you agree with the Auto-Assessment, you do not have to do anything.
  • If a refund is due, you can expect it within approximately seventy-two (72) hours, provided your banking details with SARS are correct.  
  • If you owe SARS, please make the payment before the due date that is shown on your Notice of Assessment (ITA34) to avoid interest charged on outstanding debt.
  • You can make payment via eFiling or SARS MobiApp; alternatively see our payment options.
  • Do not agree with the Auto Assessment? Auto assessed taxpayers have until 23 October 2023 to amend and file their return on eFiling or the SARS MobiApp if they do not agree with the auto assessment received.

How is Auto Assessment different this year (2023) from last year (2022)?

Last year you had 40 days to file a return if you were not happy with your auto-assessment, but this year we are giving you until the due date of 23 October 2023.  If an auto-assessment has been issued after 23 October 2023 the 40 business days will start on the date of the notice of the assessment. 

For more information, see How does Auto-Assessment work

Let us help you prepare for a smooth Filing Season

Only individuals who were Auto Assessed will receive the SMS or email. If you did not receive a notification from SARS that you were auto assessed; you must submit your Personal Income Tax Return (ITR12).

You can access the tax return via eFiling or the SARS MobiApp from 7 July 2023 at 20:00, complete it, and file it, using eFiling or the SARS MobiApp. Taxpayers who are unable to file their returns online must first book an appointment to visit a branch.  The deadline to submit your tax return is 23 October 2023.

What to prepare before filing starts?

Make sure that you have received your IRP5/IT3(a) and other tax certificates like medical aid, retirement annuity fund, and any other third-party data relevant to determining your tax obligations.

If you have forgotten your password you can reset it online through the eFiling website by clicking on Forgot Password or Forgot Username

Use our self-help online query system to retrieve your tax reference number and submit any required supporting documents. In addition, check and/or update your personal information such as banking details, address and contact details online on eFiling or the SARS MobiApp.

No need to call

Taxpayers, your tax matters are in better hands when you make use of eFiling or the SARS MobiApp. Register your profile now to ensure a smooth filing experience.  No need to call us, you can register online or download the MobiApp on your phone or tablet. To make an appointment with SARS is now easier, you can click here to make an appointment, send an SMS to request a booking. 

You can send us a query via  SARS Online Query System (SOQS) if you have forgotten your tax reference number, to submit supporting material and more. The SARS Online Query System (SOQS) assists taxpayers who wish to raise queries with SARS without going into a SARS branch. To initiate a query, you will simply need to complete the online form by selecting a Query Type. For more information, see SARS Online Query System – External Guide.

SARS USSD Channel

You can now request specific Personal Income Tax related services by submitting a USSD string to SARS. The USSD channel activation involves you typing a string of characters which comprises of an asterisk (*), followed by a few digits and ending with a hashtag (#) and dialling.

The following services are available on this channel:

  • What’s my Tax number?
  • Request Account balance
  • Do I need to file a tax return?
  • Request an e-Booking appointment

Steps on how to request tax services via the SARS USSD Channel:

  • Step 1:  Initiate USSD by dialing *134*7277#
  • Step 2:  Select the service you require.
  • Step 3:  Taxpayer Verification – SARS will request you to complete either your ID/Passport/Asylum Number
  • Step 4:  Tax Resolution – Upon successful verification by SARS, a response will be displayed.

SARS SMS Channel

Taxpayers can request specific Personal Income Tax related services by sending an SMS to SARS on 47277. The following additional tax related services are offered to taxpayers via their mobile device. These services can be accessed with or without data/airtime:

  • Request an eBooking appointment
    • Booking (Space) ID number/Passport number/ Asylum Seeker number
  • Confirmation request to determine whether to submit a (PIT) tax return 
    • File (Space) ID number/Passport number/ Asylum Seeker number
  • Request the issuing of the IT150 (Tax Registration Number)
    • TRN (Space) ID number/Passport number/ Asylum Seeker number
  • 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 details, see the Guide to SARS Mobile Tax Services or see our tutorial video on how to use the SMS services.

Need help?

  • Our online service Help you eFile is available – Help-You-eFile allows you, the taxpayer, to interact with a SARS agent while the agent shares the displayed view of your eFiling profile screen.  This service allows the SARS agent to identify the problems you’re experiencing and to help you resolve these.  You benefit by being able to call on the support and advice of our staff without having to visit a SARS branch. You can even ask a SARS agent to call you back.
  •  The SARS YouTube channel  – watch our helpful tutorial video on the SARS YouTube channel to provide detailed guidance on how to file. 
  • If you have no other choice but to visit a SARS branch, ensure that you have booked your appointment before your visit. 
  • You may also visit our Mobile Tax Units and pop-ups in the different regions, see the schedule here.
  • If you have forgotten your password you can reset it online through the eFiling website by clicking on Forgot Password or Forgot Username
  • Not sure whether you must submit an Income Tax Return (ITR12)?  Answer the simple questions on our Do you need to submit a return webpage.

To access this page in different languages click on the links below:

Related Documents

Administration of Deceased Estates – SARS 2022

ASPOA – Authority on Special Power of Attorney by Tax Practitioner – External Form

CRA01 – Confirmation of Residential or Business Address for Online Completion – External Form

GEN-BO-09-G01 – Book an Appointment at SARS – External Guide

GEN-ELEC-06-G01 – Guide to Help You eFile – External Guide

GEN-ELEC-15-G01-Guide-to-the-Entity-Merge-Functionality-on-eFiling-External-Guide

GEN-ELEC-15-G02 – A Step by Step guide to the Auto Merge Function on eFiling – External Guide

GEN-ELEC-18-G01 – How to Register for eFiling and Manage Your User Profile – External Guide

GEN-ENR-01-G09 – How to view submitted third party data returns or data files via eFiling – External Guide

GEN-GEN-56-G01 – Submit Request for Reduced Assessment RRA01 via eFiling – External Guide

GEN-PT-01-G01 – Guide for Provisional Tax – External Guide

GEN-PT-01-G02 – How to eFile your Provisional Tax Return – External Guide

GEN-REG-01-G04 – How to Complete the Registration Amendments and Verification Form RAV01 – External Guide

IT-AE-36-G05 – Comprehensive Guide to the ITR12 Income Tax Return for Individuals – External Guide

IT-AE-36-G06-Guide-to-submit-your-individual-income-tax-return-via-eFiling-External-Guide

IT-AE-45-G01 – Guide to SARS Mobile Tax Services – External Guide

IT-AE-46-G01 – How to submit your Individual Income Tax return via the SARS MobiApp – External Guide

IT-AE-47-G01 – How to register for the use of the SARS MobiApp – External Guide

IT-AE-48-G01 – How to make payments to SARS via the SARS MobiApp – External Guide

IT-AE-49-G01 – Services offered via the SARS MobiApp – External Guide

IT-GEN-06-G01 – Guide to the Individual ITR12 Return for Deceased and Insolvent Estates – External Guide

IT-PT-AE-01-G02 – How to eFile your Provisional Tax Return – External Guide

ITR-DD – Confirmation of Diagnosis of Disability – External form

SPPOA – Special Power of Attorney – External Form

TPPOA – Special Power of Attorney to Tax Practitioner – External Form

Frequently Asked Questions

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