What’s New at SARS

Digital platforms upgrade on 26 to 28 April 2024

18 April 2024 – Achieving our Vision 2024 of a smart, modern SARS with unquestionable integrity that is trusted and admired is of paramount importance. Pivotal to the delivery of our vision are our digital platforms and technology infrastructure. To provide clarity and certainty, make it easy for taxpayers and traders to comply with their obligations and building public trust and confidence, our technology assets must demonstrate the highest levels of availability, robustness, and security.

In accordance with our Vision and Strategic Objectives, which include modernising our systems to provide Digital and Streamlined online services, we are hard at work ensuring that our digital platforms and technology infrastructure are available, robust, and secure, by performing regular upgrades, enhancements, and maintenance.

Considering the above, SARS Digital platform upgrades are scheduled for Friday, 26 April 2024 from 18h00 to 21h00 on Sunday, 28 April 2024.

During this time, you may experience intermittent service interruption on our Tax and Customs Digital Platforms.

Stakeholders are therefore urged to submit priority Goods Declarations (bills of entry) and Road Manifest by Friday, 26 April 2024 @ 14h00.

New SCAM alert

16 April 2024 – There is a new scam doing the rounds talking of a letter of demand .  Please do not open the link and delete the email immediately.  An example of this scam was published on our Scams & Phishing webpage.

Durban Branch office is open

16 April 2024 – The Durban branch office is open.  We apologise for any inconvenience that was experienced by taxpayers and traders during the closure of the office.

SARS media statement on constitutional court judgement

15 April 2024 – The South Africa Revenue Service (SARS) wishes to comment briefly on the decision of the Constitutional Court issued on 12 April 2024 in the matter between Capitec Bank Limited v SARS.

As always, SARS welcomes the clarity and certainty provided by courts, since this is in line with our strategic intent of voluntary compliance.

SARS wishes to emphasise that this judgment is unique and specific to the circumstances surrounding this taxpayer and the particular transaction involved. It is important to note that originally Capitec sought to deduct the full amount of R 71 million as an input claim, however the court noted “That is a battle that it has lost”.

As SARS was substantially successful in the Supreme Court of Appeal, which ought to have awarded a modest, 8% to 10% apportionment, legal costs was granted in favour of SARS. The Constitutional Court found, however, that Capitec’s initiation and service fees generated a surplus that covered other lending costs, and that an apportionment was appropriate. The Constitutional Court recognised, nevertheless, that the VAT Act makes “no explicit provision for apportionment in this situation” and therefore ordered SARS to consider an apportionment methodology. SARS’ success in the Supreme Court of Appeal remained substantially unchanged, legal costs in the SCA was granted in favour of SARS.

SARS and Capitec are now required to engage in order to determine an appropriate apportionment methodology.

For further please contact [email protected]

Durban Branch remains closed

15 April 2024 – Due to a water interruption the Durban branch office remains closed today, Monday 15 April 2024.  We apologise for any inconvenience that is experienced by taxpayers and traders because of the closure of the office. Note that virtual appointments will continue.

Legal Counsel – Dispute Resolution & Judgments – Constitutional Court

12 April 2024 – Value-Added Tax Act, 1991

Value-Added Tax Act 89 of 1991 — whether a supply free of charge may constitute a taxable supply

Value-Added Tax Act 89 of 1991 – section 16(3)(c) – whether the supply of an insurance contract to borrowers who pay interest and fees made exclusively in the course or furtherance of an exempt activity – whether the amount in section 16(3)(c) may be apportioned where the insurance contract is supplied only partly in the course or furtherance of an enterprise – significance of taxpayer’s failure to plead apportionment.

Legal Counsel – Dispute Resolution & Judgments – Tax Court: 2025–2023

12 April 2024 – Tax Court Judgments: The following tax court decisions were published:

  • SARSTC IT 45979 (IT) [2024] ZATC JHB (20 March 2024) – Deduction
  • SARSTC IT 45997 (IT) [2024] ZATC (27 February 2024) – Condonation for late delivery of discovery in terms of rule 36(6)
  • SARSTC VAT 22498 (VAT) [2024] ZATC CPT (16 January 2024) – Jurisdiction of Tax Court to hear tax appeal
  • SARSTC VAT 22425 (VAT) [2024] ZATC JHB (16 January 2024) – Discovery of documentation and further particulars
  • SARSTC IT 24852 (IT) [2024] ZATC JHB (4 January 2024) – Jurisdiction

Summaries are available on the Tax Court Judgments page

Legal Counsel – Secondary Legislation – Rule Amendments 2024

12 April 2024 – Customs and Excise Act, 1964: Rule amendment notice R4715, as published in Government Gazette 50458 of 12 April 2024, to amend rules under sections 4 and 120, to insert rules for the publication of tariff determinations (DAR257)

Durban Branch remains closed

12 April 2024 – Due to a water interruption the Durban branch office remains closed today, Friday 12 April 2024.  We apologise for any inconvenience that is experienced by taxpayers and traders because of the closure of the office. Note that virtual appointments will continue.

Customs – Registration, Licensing and Accreditation

11 April 2024 – The facility codes used in Box 30 on the Customs Clearance Declaration (CCD) have been updated to change the name of Airline Cargo Resources under facility code A3 in O.R. Tambo Internation Airport and Airline Cargo Resources (Menzies Aviation) under facility code C1 in Cape Town to Menzies Aviation (South Africa) (Cargo) (Pty) Ltd.

SC-CF-19-A02 – Facility Code List – External Annexure

eFiling platform upgrade on 13 April 2024

11 April 2024 – Achieving our Vision 2024 of a smart, modern SARS with unquestionable integrity that is trusted and admired is of paramount importance. Pivotal to the delivery of our vision are our digital platforms and technology infrastructure. To provide clarity and certainty, make it easy for taxpayers and traders to comply with their obligations and building public trust and confidence, our technology assets must demonstrate the highest levels of availability, robustness and security.

In accordance with our Vision and Strategic Objectives, which include modernising our systems to provide Digital and Streamlined online services, we are hard at work ensuring that our digital platforms and technology infrastructure are available, robust and secure, by performing regular upgrades, enhancements and maintenance.

Considering the above, SARS Digital platform upgrades are scheduled for Saturday, 13 April 2024 from 20h00 to 23h30.

During this time, you may experience intermittent service interruption on our Tax and Customs Digital Platforms.

Tax Exempt Institutions Connect Issue 4 (April 2024)

9 April 2024 – The latest Tax Exempt Institutions Connect Issue 4 is available. This issue includes information on FATF updates, third-party data submissions to SARS, world NGO day and taxation of Bodies corporate, Share Block companies and Home Owners associations.

Legal Counsel – Dispute Resolution & Judgments – High Court: 2025–2023

5 April 2024 – High Court judgments: The following High Court judgments were published on the SARS website:

  • Poulter v CSARS (A88/2023) [2024] ZAWCHC 97 (2 April 2024)
  • Richards Bay Mining (Pty) Ltd v CSARS (2023/045310) [2024] ZAGPPHC 275 (26 March 2024)
  • Ramudzuli v CSARS and Others (A261/22) [2024] ZAGPPHC 280 (26 March 2024)
  • Bullion Star (Pty) Ltd v CSARS (18176/2022) [2024] ZAGPPHC 184 (2 February 2024)

Summaries of the aforementioned judgments are available on the High Court Judgements page.

Legal Counsel – Dispute Resolution & Judgments – Supreme Court of Appeal: 2025–2023

5 April 2024 – Customs and Excise Act, 1964

Practice – Appealability – application to review ruling on admissibility in criminal trial while trial still pending – leave given to complainant to intervene in review application – test for appealability – no final and definitive effect on review application – does not dispose of any portion of relief in review application – courts opposed to piecemeal adjudication – interests of justice not supporting appealability – no jurisdiction to entertain appeal – not appealable.

New Scam alert

5 April 2024 – There are new scams doing the rounds talking of payment demands and debit order details.  Please do not open the links and delete the emails immediately. Examples of these scams were published on our Scams & Phishing webpage.

Legal Counsel – Interpretation and Rulings – Published Binding Rulings – Binding General Rulings 61–80

5 April 2024 – Value-Added Tax Act, 1991

 

Legal Counsel – Secondary Legislation – Tariff Amendments 2024

5 April 2024 – Customs and Excise Act, 1964: Publication details for tariff amendment notices R4599, R4600, and R4601, as published in Government Gazette 50431 on 5 April 2024, are now available.

Third Party Data Annual Submission

4 April 2023 – A reminder that the SARS Third Party Data Annual Submissions opened on 1 April 2024 and will close on 31 May 2024. Third parties must submit accurate and complete data for the entire period of 1 March 2023 – 29 February 2024.

Third Parties (banks, medical schemes, fund administrators, among others.) must, by law, send data to SARS via a return. They must include information such as:

  • savings account interest,
  • medical scheme contributions,
  • withholding tax on interest,
  • dividends tax,
  • IT3 data submissions: IT3(b), IT3(c), IT3(e), IT3(s),
  • medical scheme contributions, and insurance payments.

Third Party data providers can submit data to SARS using these three electronic options:

  1. eFiling (via a data submission form with a limited volume)
  2. Connect: Direct® (Unlimited)
  3. Secured File Gateway [HTTPS] (for files smaller than 10MB)

To ensure a successful submission to use and activate these channels, you must be registered with eFiling.

For more information, see the Third Party Data submission landing page.

Employer Annual Declarations (EMP501): 1 April to 31 May 2024

4 April 2024 – One of SARS’s strategic objectives is to improve our service to deliver a seamless taxpayer experience that provides clarity and certainty to make it easier to meet your tax obligations. This letter guides you how to manage your pay-as-you-earn (PAYE) tax obligations during the annual declaration period.

Your tax compliance helps SARS to achieve its Higher Purpose, which is to enable the State to provide for the well-being of all South Africans.

Employees’ Tax Compliance Starts with You, the Employer

The Employer Annual Declaration period is open from 1 April and closes on 31 May 2024. During this period, Employers must submit their annual reconciliation declarations (EMP501) with accurate and up-to-date payroll information about their employees. Your EMP501 must include:

  • Monthly Employer declarations (EMP201) for PAYE, Unemployment Insurance Fund contributions (UIF), and the Skills Development Levy.
  • Information about payments made (excluding penalties and interest paid).
  • Employee tax certificates (IRP5/IT3[a] generated) covering the tax year from 1 March 2023 to 29 February 2024.

For more information, see the PAYE landing page.

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