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What’s New at SARS

Media release – Implementation of Tax Directives Enhancements

8 December 2021 – SARS will introduce changes to its systems from 1 March 2022 to prevent taxpayers who receive income from more than one source, and where one of the sources is income from a retirement fund, ending up with a large tax debt payable to SARS after assessment of their income tax return.

See the full media statement here.

Cancellation of Tender

7 December 2021 – Cancellation of RFP27/2021:  SARS hereby notifies bidders that the tender process for RFP27-2021 has been cancelled.

Enhancements to the Disputes Process

6 December 2021 – The disputes forms i.e. Request for Remission (RFR), Notice of Objection (NOO) and Notice of Appeal (NOA) have been enhanced on eFiling to the HTML format. The process on eFiling to submit a Personal Income Tax (PIT) and/or Corporate Income Tax (CIT) dispute was improved to be more intuitive and the taxpayer will be presented with the next step based on previous dispute steps taken. For more information, see the Guide on how to Dispute Administrative Penalties via eFiling.

Updated Turnover Tax submission channels

6 December 2021 – The Postal channel for the application and/or submission of Turnover Tax has been discontinued.

The following channels can be used:

For any related queries or submission of the supporting documents use the following channel: SARS Online Query System (SOQS).

For more information, see the updated Guide for the administration of Turnover Tax.

The eFiling option is not yet available for submission of the Turnover Tax (TT01) Application Form.

All eFiling forms were successfully migrated to HTML5

6 December 2021 – We are pleased to inform you that significant progress has been made with the migration of the Adobe Flash forms to the new HTLM5 platform. All forms have been successfully migrated. You are no longer required to use the software which was introduced as an interim solution whilst SARS completed the migration. Thus no further download and usage of the SARS Browser is needed.

Please note that existing browsers such as Chrome, Edge and Safari will continue to work for all forms already migrated with the major and high volume ones being Income Tax (PIT, Provisional Tax, CIT & Trusts), Value Added Tax, Pay as you Earn and Excise. The final batch of forms migrated to HTML5 include the RAV01 Registration form, the Amendments and Verification form, the TDC01 Transfer Duty form, IT3-01 Financial Certificate Information, IT3-02 Financial Declaration, the TCR01 Tax compliance Status Request, DTR01 Dividends Tax Transactions Information and the WTI Withholding Tax on Interest form.

See here for more information and how to uninstall the SARS browser.

Tax Directives enhancements

6 December 2021 – Enhancements were implemented to the Tax Directives system in line with the IBIR-006 -Tax Directive Interface Specification:

In cases where a pensioner has one source of income during a tax year, our PAYE system typically ensures that the tax due at year-end is sufficiently covered by way of monthly PAYE withholdings. However, where a pensioner is in receipt of more than one source of income, a tax debt may arise at year-end when we combine all the sources of income together for purposes of determining taxable income and tax due.

While the PAYE system permits a pensioner to request that a higher amount of PAYE be deducted so that any tax due at year-end is adequately covered, not many pensioners are making use of this option, which then leaves them with a tax debt at year-end, which they did not budget for. In turn, this has a significant negative impact on the outstanding debt book of SARS.

In response to this, recently introduced legislation makes provision for SARS to determine the effective rate of tax in respect of the combined employment and/or pension sources of income of a taxpayer, with reference to the latest data available to SARS, and to provide that rate to the retirement fund administrators for purposes of withholding PAYE.

It is the intention to introduce this service with effect from 1 March 2022.

In practice, this will mean the following:

  1. Prior to 1 March 2022, SARS will, where it deems necessary, provide retirement fund administrators with the PAYE withholding percentage for each of the pensioners on its payroll that qualify;
  2. This means that retirement fund administrators will be required to use the rate provided by SARS in respect of remuneration paid or payable with effect from 1 March 2022;
  3. SARS will provide the PAYE withholding rates by way of an electronic file in CSV format. This file will be issued via [email protected]™;
  4. Where a PAYE withholding rate has not been provided by SARS in respect of a particular pensioner, retirement fund administrators must continue to apply the normal PAYE withholding rates;
  5. Where SARS provides a PAYE withholding rate, it will be by way of an annual directive. Where a pensioner’s circumstances change during the year (for example other employment income ceases, or death and so on), the retirement fund administrator may apply the normal PAYE withholding rate as opposed to the withholding rate provide by SARS with effect from the month in which the it becomes aware of the change of circumstances;
  6. Notwithstanding the PAYE withholding rate provided by SARS, a pensioner may at any time, request his or her retirement fund administrator to withhold PAYE at a rate higher than the rate provided by SARS. The Voluntary over deduction indicator in the code 3195 field on the IRP5/IT3(a) certificate must be set to “Y” for yes, if applicable, as per the normal procedure; otherwise it must be “N” for no – this field is mandatory from the 2020 year of assessment. However, all PAYE amounts withheld and paid over to SARS must be declared under code 4102 on the IRP5/IT3(a), including any voluntary over-deducted amounts.
  7. Notwithstanding the PAYE withholding rate provided by SARS, a pensioner may request his or her retirement fund administrator to withhold PAYE at a rate that is equal to the PAYE withholding rate under the normal PAYE withholding tables. In such a case, the retirement fund administrator is required to inform the pensioner of the possibility that the PAYE withholding rate will be insufficient to cover the tax liability of the taxpayer on assessment;
  8. The rates of PAYE withholding provided by SARS apply in respect of the following source codes only:
    a. 3603 – Pension
    b. 3610 – Annuity from a Retirement Annuity Fund
    c. 3611 – Purchased Annuity
    d. 3618 – Annuity from a Provident Fund or a Provident Preservation Fund.

The following Guides were published in support of the enhancements:

Legal Counsel – Secondary Legislation – Rule Amendments 2021

3 December 2021 – Customs & Excise Act, 1964: Publication details for rule amendment notice R1563, as published in Government Gazette 45570 on 3 December 2021, are now available

Legal Counsel – Legal Counsel Publications – Average Exchange Rates

3 December 2021 – Income Tax Act, 1962: Average Exchange Rates

  • Table A – ​A list of the average exchange rates of selected currencies for a year of assessment as from December 2003
  • Table B – ​A list of the monthly average exchange rates to assist a person whose year of assessment is shorter or longer than 12 months

SARS participation in the TARC conference

3 December 2021 – The SARS Commissioner, Edward Kieswetter, is delivering a a Plenary Lecture for the Tax Administration Research Centre (TARC) on the subject of Tax Administration and the Pandemic: The South African Experience and participate as a panellist during a Roundtable discussion on the subject of Tax administration policy during and after the pandemic: Opportunities and challenges.  Join here.

Update on Advance Import Payments

3 December 2021 – A further update on the Advance Import Payments (AIP) initiative.  The new AIP Guide and Policy were published:

The Customs Trader Portal for Registration and Licensing of Customs Clients Guide was updated with AIP information: SC-IT-03 – RLA Customs Trader Portal – External Guide.

The SF-CF-55 – Clearance Declaration Policy was also updated with AIP information. The importer receives a unique APN reference number assigned by SARS and communicates it to the authorised dealer and inserts it on the Customs Clearance Declaration (CCD) in the additional information field as prescribed in SC-CF-55-A01 i.e. the Annexure  ‘SC-CF-55-A01 – Completion of Declarations  – External Annex.

For more information, see the Advance Import Payments webpage.

SARS Nelspruit branch closure

3 December 2021 – The Nelspruit branch is closed this afternoon. All virtual appointments will continue as agreed. Our apologies for the inconvenience.

Notice – Advance Tax Rulings freeze period

3 December 2021 – A freeze period will be effective in respect of all Advance Tax Rulings (ATR) applications from 16 December 2021 until 15 January 2022 (both days included), as indicated in the Comprehensive Guide on Advance Tax Rulings. These 20 business days will apply to all applications received and in progress during this period and must be added to the estimated time to complete a ruling application.

Customs – Updated Refunds and Drawbacks

3 December 2021 – The Refunds and Drawbacks policy was amended to insert the requirements for the Automotive Production Development Programme (APDP) Phase 2 (refund item 538.00/04.00) as well as the required supporting documents; and the alignment of the limitation date for export duty refunds. To claim back these duties, the importer must be in possession of a valid Production Rebate Certificate (PRC) of which the importer is the beneficiary. See the updated Refunds and Drawbacks Policy for more information.

Legal Counsel – Secondary Legislation – Tariff Amendments 2021

3 December 2021 – Customs & Excise Act, 1964: Publication details for tariff amendment notices R1561, R1562 and R1564, as published in Government Gazette 45570 on 3 December 2021, are now available.


3 December 2021 – There is a new scam that purports to be from SARS, which deceives taxpayers about Income Tax refunds. Do not open the link because it takes you to a phishing site.

Notice – SARS Contact Centre

3 December 2021 – Please note that the SARS Contact Centre will close on 3 December 2021 from 14:00 and will reopen on Monday, 6 December at the usual time (8:00). Virtual appointments will continue as agreed. Our apologies for any inconvenience. SARS Management.

Legal Counsel – Secondary Legislation – Tariff Amendments 2021

2 December 2021 – Customs & Excise Act, 1964: The tariff amendment notices, scheduled for publication in the Government Gazette, relates to the amendments to –

  • Part 1 of Schedule No. 1, by the substitution and insertion of various tariff subheadings under tariff heading 73.10, in order to increase the rate of customs duty on tinplate from free to 15% – ITAC Report 651;
  • Part 1 of Schedule No. 2, by the substitution of item 215.02/7324.10/03.06, in order to increase the rate of Anti-Dumping duty on stainless steel sinks imported from or originating from the People’s Republic of China from 62,41% to 221% – ITAC Report 648; and
  • Part 1 of Schedule No. 2, in order to substitute the rate of Anti-Dumping duty on wheelbarrows originating in or imported from the People’s Republic of China (PRC) – ITAC Report 659.

Publication details will be made available later

Government Connect Newsletter now available

1  December 2021 -SARS’ vision for Government is to represent a model, first fiscal citizen of the country who demonstrates a culture of voluntary compliance.

Government Connect is a new monthly newsletter intended to improve communication with the government segment through regular updates. It will enable sharing of information on developments within SARS with the aim of empowering and supporting government to achieve and promote voluntary compliance. SARS will use it to communicate:

  • Key, current issues in the tax landscape
  • Reminders of current and upcoming filing priorities
  • Updates on Education programmes
  • Updates on SARS system changes, and
  • Introduction of new SARS products.

Read the newsletter here.

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