How does Auto-Assessment work

Filing Season for Individuals

Income tax return filing dates 

The dates for the 2024 Filing Season are:

  • Individual taxpayers (non-provisional): 15 July 2024 to 21 October 2024
    • Auto-assessment notices: 1 – 14 July 2024
  • Provisional taxpayers: 15 July 2024 to 20 January 2025
  • Trusts: 16 September 2024 to 20 January 2025

Auto-Assessment – we have made it easier for you

Frequently asked questions

When will SARS issue Auto-Assessments?

This year from 1 July 2024 we will again issue auto-assessments to taxpayers whose tax affairs are less complicated.  If you are in agreement with your auto-assessment, then there is no need to “accept” the assessment. 

How is Auto-Assessment different from previous years?

Previous years 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 deadline.  If an auto-assessment has been issued after the deadline, the 40 business days will start on the date of the notice of the assessment. 

 How does the Auto-Assessment work?

SARS receives data from employers, medical schemes, banks, retirement annuity funds, and other institutions. This data is used to calculate your tax assessment. If we are satisfied that the data and tax calculation is correct, we issue the assessment to you via eFiling or the SARS MobiApp. At the same time, we also send you a message via your preferred channel of communication (like SMS or email) to let you know that your assessment on eFiling or SARS MobiApp is ready for you to view.

 What must I do when I receive my auto-assessment?

Log onto eFiling or the SARS MobiApp and view your assessment. You will be able to see all the data we used to calculate your assessment.

If you are in agreement with the assessment, then check if a refund is due to you or if you owe SARS. If a refund is due, then there is nothing more you have to do – you can log out of eFiling or MobiApp and wait for the refund, which you can expect within approximately seventy-two (72) hours, provided your banking details with SARS are correct. If you owe SARS, then make the payment via eFiling or SARS MobiApp and EFT or before the payment due date.  The payment due date of the amount owed to SARS is displayed on the “Notice of Assessment” (ITA34).

If you are not in agreement with the assessment, you can access your tax return via eFiling or SARS MobiApp, complete the return, and file it by the filing season due date.

If you are not in agreement with the auto-assessment, you can complete and file your tax return from 1 July 2024 by visiting eFiling on www.sars.gov.za or via the SARS MobiApp.  You can download MobiApp from the Apple App Store, Google Play Store, or the Huawei App Gallery.

 How do I know the data is correct?

You can view your data in detail, as follows:

  1. Login onto eFiling
  2. Select the “Third Party Data Certificate” search button on the menu bar.
  3. Submit/search for any certificate that you wish to verify.
  4. Select the certificate type in question.

If there is an error in your data or the data is incomplete, you can correct it by doing two things:

  1. Ask the institution that provided the data to SARS to correct it by sending updated data to SARS and yourself.
  2. When you receive the updated data, access your tax return on eFiling or MobiApp, refresh the data on the tax return, and file your tax return via eFiling or the SARS MobiApp.

If I update my bank details on eFiling, how long does it take to reflect, and how long before the refund due is paid?

When all the required supporting documents are submitted and the request has passed verification, the bank details should update immediately, and the refund should be paid within 21 working days.

 What if tax is due to SARS (I’m owing SARS)?

If your assessment shows that you owe tax to SARS, it is important to make payment as soon as possible to avoid interest. The payment due date of the amount owed to SARS is displayed on the “Notice of Assessment” (ITA34).

The easiest way to make a payment is to log into eFiling or SARS MobiApp and schedule the payment there.

However, you can also make payment at any branch of Absa, FNB, Nedbank, Standard Bank, and Capitec, or make an electronic funds transfer (EFT) using the standard drop-down listing of pre-loaded beneficiary IDs provided by the bank. The beneficiary reference is the Payment Reference Number (PRN) listed on your “Notice of Assessment” (ITA34).

However, you can also make payment at any branch of Absa, FNB, Nedbank, Standard Bank and Capitec, or make an electronic funds transfer (EFT) using the standard drop-down listing of pre-loaded beneficiary IDs provided by the bank. The beneficiary reference is the Payment Reference Number (PRN) listed on your notice of assessment (ITA34).

Will SARS select me for verification or audit?

No, we have already quality-checked your assessment and if you agree with the assessment, you will not be selected for verification or audit.

However, you must please make sure that your assessment is correct. For example, if you received rental income or other income or have deductions in addition to what we reflected in your assessment, you must file a tax return with the information in addition to what we have already pre-populated on your tax return before the end of the filing season.

In such a case, you may possibly be selected for verification or, where appropriate, for audit. It is therefore very important that you have supporting documents for any changes you make to your auto-assessment.

How do I submit supporting documents when they have been requested?

Supporting documents can be uploaded and submitted on eFiling, SARS MobiApp, or SARS Online Query System on the SARS website. You must ensure that you use the correct case number.

If we accept the updates in your tax return, we will issue a reduced or additional assessment to you. If we do not accept the updates in your tax return, we will let you know why not. If you disagree with the reason(s) why we did not accept the updates in your tax return, the normal objection and appeal facility will be available to you.

​By when must I file a tax return?

If your return has been auto-assessed, you are not required to file a tax return.
If you agree with your auto-assessment, you do not need to do anything further.  If you are not in agreement with the auto-assessment, you can complete and file your tax return from 1 July 2024 by visiting eFiling (www.sars.gov.za) (or via the SARS MobiApp.  You can download MobiApp from the Apple App Store, Google Play Store, or the Huawei App Gallery.

If you are not part of the auto-assessment process you can complete and file your tax return from 1 July 2024 until 21 October 2024, by visiting eFiling (www.sars.gov.za) or via the SARS MobiApp.  You can download MobiApp from the Apple App Store, Google Play Store, or the Huawei App Gallery.

​What will happen if I do not file my return by the due date?

It is important to understand that filing a return post the due date of 21 October 2024 will attract penalties.

What would happen if I made updates on my return?

If we accept the updates in your tax return, we will issue a reduced or additional assessment to you. If we do not accept the updates in your tax return, you will receive a notification from SARS. If you disagree with the assessment, you can follow the normal dispute process on eFiling or the SARS MobiApp.

Can I ask for an extension to file a tax return if I cannot file on or before the due date for non-provisional taxpayers of 21 October 2024?

If reasonable circumstances exist, you may request an extension to file your tax return within 21 business days after 21 October 2024.  In exceptional circumstances, you may request an extension post the 21 business days.  It is important to note that the extension does not waive the penalties for filing late, which means that any return filed after 21 October 2024, regardless of the circumstances, will attract penalties.

I don’t see my IRP5 on my return?

If you have requested your IRP5 or IT3(a) certificate from your employer / ex-employer and the employer has failed to provide such, you can book an appointment or call 0800 00 7277 to book a branch visit for advice on the next steps.

You will be required to provide the following documentation:

  • All payslips issued by the employer for the year of assessment in question.
  • Bank statements to show the movement of salary into your account from the employer, and if applicable a copy of a service contract.
  • Name and contact details of the employer; and
  • Physical address of the employer.

To secure an appointment you can access our digital channels; SARS Online Query System (SOQS) on the SARS website, SARS MobiApp, and SARS eFiling.

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