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Tax Season

Filing Season 2021 for Individuals

Individual income tax return filing dates 

Individual filing opening

Taxpayers, your turn to file your tax return starts on 1 July this year. The good news is that a significant number of individual taxpayers will be auto-assessed again this year, and this process will start in July.  No need to call us, we will send you an SMS if you are selected to be auto-assessed. If you accept your auto-assessment, any under or overpayment of tax will be processed as normal. If you want to edit your return, you can file your return on eFiling or the SARS MobiApp. See our leaflet on how to prepare for the 2021 Filing Season.

New mobile services

Taxpayers can now 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 detail, see the Guide to SARS Mobile Tax Services.

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 send an SMS to request a booking or call the SARS Contact Centre on 0800 00 7277 and select option 0 (zero). A SARS official will book the appointment on your behalf. Click here to Make an Appointment with SARS.
You can also Send us a query if you have forgotten your tax reference number, to submit supporting material and more.

We have made it easier for you

Taxpayers, your tax matters, we continue to make it easier for you to comply.  Starting July, we will be assessing a significant number of taxpayers automatically.  If you accept the outcome you do not have to file a tax return at all.  This enables you to view, accept or edit your proposed assessment from the comfort of your home or place of work using eFiling or SARS MobiApp.

We auto-assess based on the data we receive from employers, financial institutions, medical schemes, retirement annuity fund administrators and other 3rd party data providers. If you have not yet received your IRP5/IT3(a)s and other tax certificates like medical certificate, retirement annuity fund certificate and other 3rd party data that are relevant in determining your tax obligations, you should immediately approach your employer or medical scheme or retirement annuity fund or other 3rd party data providers to make sure that they have complied with their submission requirements.

See an example of the updated ITR12 return here.

Starting July you can view the auto-assessment by:

See more info on Auto Assessment.

What to prepare before filing starts

Now is a good time to get your tax matters ready to ensure a smooth filing experience! Make sure that you have received your IRP5/IT3(a)s and other tax certificates like medical certificate, retirement annuity fund certificate and any other 3rd party data that are relevant in determining your tax obligations. Reset your eFiling username and password if you have forgotten them. Update your personal information such as banking details, address and contact details online on eFiling or the SARS MobiApp.

Follow us on Social Media for daily Tax Tips or keep an eye on this webpage for all the information.

Auto registration for Personal Income Tax

When you register for SARS eFiling for the first time and you do not yet have a personal income tax number, SARS will automatically register you and issue a tax reference number. Note that you must have a valid South African.  Read more.

Donations to the Solidarity Fund or to another Public Benefit organisation during the 20/21 Filing Season.

We will help you understand some of the unique features in the 20/21 Filing season, such as the difference between payroll giving and a direct donation; the supporting documents you require and other frequently asked questions.

For more information see the Tax Exempt Institution webpage:

    • See the following important information on the Tax Exempt Institution, Section 18A donations and Solidarity Fund donations:
      • Tax Exempt Institution Fact Sheet 2020/2021
      • Solidarity Fund clarifications 2020/2021
      • Frequently Asked Questions:
        • How do I claim S18A deductions on the ITR12 return?
          To claim donations made by the donor in a personal capacity, the following questions must be answered on the return wizard:
          • Do you want to claim donations made to an approved organization(s) in terms of s18A?
          • How many organizations did you donate to?
            Upon answering these questions, the donation containers for both source codes 4055 & 4011 will open on the return.
        • Which container is applicable for donations made to S18A-approved institutions, other than the Solidarity Fund?  Select source code 4011 (4055 only relates to donations made to the Solidarity Fund during the period April 2020 and September 2020).
        • Which documents are required to support my S18A claim?A valid section 18A certificate provided by a S18A-approved organization. If the donation was made through your employer, the IRP5 certificate issued by your employer will suffice.
        • Where will I see the donations made through my employer on my return?  The amount donated through your employer will be reflected on your IRP5 and will therefore be pre-populated under “Employee Tax Certificate Information [IRP5/IT3 (a)]” on your return
        • How will donations made to the Solidarity Fund during April 2020 to September 2020 via the Employer be indicated on the IRP5 Certificate?  If the donation to the Solidarity Fund was made through the Employer between 1 April 2020 and 30 September 2020, the amount donated will be reflected under the source code 4055 on the IRP5 Certificate and on your ITR12 return on SARS e-Filing. You are not required to capture this amount on your ITR12 return in order to claim a deduction.
        • How will donations made to the Solidarity Fund during 26 – 30 March 2020 and 01 October 2020 to 28 February 2021 via the Employer be indicated on the IRP5 Certificate?  For any donations made to the fund through your employer during  26 – 30 March 2020 and 1 October 2020 to 28 February 2021, the amount donated will be reflected under the source code 4030 of the IRP5 certificate issued by your employer. Please ensure to capture the amount reflected under code 4030 on your IRP5 certificate under code 4011 on your ITR12 return.”

Need help?

  • Our online service Help you eFile is available. The SARS YouTube channel as well as this website provide detailed guidance on how to file.  If you have no other choice but to visit a SARS branch by appointment to assist you to file, you can do so until 23 November 2021.
  • 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.
  • If you are not sure whether you meet the requirements to claim home office expenses complete our easy questionnaire. For more information click here.
  • If you need help to submit your Personal Income Tax Return, watch our helpful tutorial video on the SARS YouTube channel by clicking on the image below.

  • To view a helpful tutorial on what to do when your Income Tax Return (ITR12) has been rejected by SARS on eFiling, due to a directive click on the image below.

  • Click on the image below to view a helpful tutorial on what to do when your Income Tax Return (ITR12) has been rejected by SARS on eFiling, due to a duplicate IRP5.

  • To see all current SARS surveys, emails and SMSs, click here.
Related Documents

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

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

DT-GEN-01-G02 – Declaration of Dividends Tax via eFiling – External Guide

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

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

GEN-ELEC-15-G01 – A Step by Step 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-ELEC-21-G01 – How to download the new SARS eFiling Browser – External Guide

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

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

GEN-REG-48-G01 – Venture Capital Companies – External Guide

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

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

IT-AE-40-G02 – Guide to the SARS MobiApp – External Guide

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

IT77TR – Application for registration Trust – External form

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

LAPD-IT-G01 – Guide on Income Tax and the Individual

LAPD-IT-G18 – Guide to Building Allowances

SPPOA – Special Power of Attorney – External Form

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

Frequently Asked Questions

Table of Contents

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