SARS

Trade Statistics

Medical Deductions on ITR12

If you experience any issues when completing your Medical Deductions on your Income Tax Return (ITR12), see our tips,

Review of your tax return

If you’ve received a SMS or email from SARS to go to your nearest SARS branch, you will need to take the required documents with you,

eFiling downtime

Due to ongoing maintenance, eFiling will not be available on 19 May 2017 from 18h00 to 24h00. Apologies for the inconvenience.

Retirement Fund on ITR12

If you experience any issues when completing your Retirement Annuity Fund contributions on the ITR12, see our tips,

Omission of code 4582

Taxpayers who received IRP5/IT3(a) tax certificates from their employers reflecting codes 3701, 3702, 3802 and/or 3816), may be affected,

Tax Directives enhancements

The enhancements to the directive application forms will enable Fund Administrators and Insurers to comply with the legal requirements,

Tax Season is here

Tax Season is here. Why wait in line when you can go online. Register today for eFiling. Let’s do this,

Single registration

Allows taxpayers to register, maintain and view associated tax and customs registrations in a consolidated tax profile,

Issues with PDF’s?

See our browser compatibility guidelines when you experience any issues with opening PDF’s in eFiling,

Estate Reform

SARS introduced system changes in respect of deceased estates on 9 December 2016,

Trade Statistics

SARS released trade statistics for March 2017 recording a trade balance surplus of R11.44 billion based on exports of R101.23 billion and imports of R89.79 billion,

New eDNA system

SARS is rolling out a system at our branches where your fingerprints will be captured and authenticated for certain services,

Changes to personal details

If you received a message recently from SARS about changes to your personal details, you need to visit your nearest SARS branch to verify and avoid fraud,

eFiling downtime

Due to maintenance, eFiling will be unavailable on Friday, 20 Jan from 22h00 to Saturday, 21 Jan at 04h30. We apologise for any inconvenience.

AEOI admin penalties

If you are a Reporting Financial Institution (RFI) and you have missed the AEOI deadline of 31 May 2017, you may be liable for penalties

14 July 2017 – SARS seizes cocaine and us dollars at OR Tambo International Airport

Pretoria, Friday 14 July, 2017 – SARS Customs seized 197kg cocaine and approximately

R7 million in US dollars in two separate incidents at OR Tambo International Airport since the 5th July.

The latest incident happened when SARS Customs detector dogs intercepted 197kg of cocaine disguised as shampoo en route from Sao Paolo, Brazil in transit to Australia on Monday, 10 July. Three narcotic detector dogs searched the shipment and the positive indication by the dogs led to a physical examination of the consignment.

After the shipment was identified, the goods were unpacked, under the supervision of SARS Customs officials. Upon physical examination the contents were found to be bottles of hair shampoo.  It was subsequently discovered that the shampoo contained a white cream which dried up quicker than normal cream and also become powdery when dry. Narcotic testing revealed that the cream reacted positive for cocaine.

The goods were handed over to the South African Police Services, Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations (HAWKS), for further investigating and safe-keeping.

In an earlier incident, on 5 July, SARS Customs officials intercepted a male traveller from Beira, in transit to Dubai, carrying $501 332.00 (approximately R6 717 848. 00). The incident happened when the traveller, who claimed to be a businessman, failed to declare excess currency in his possession.

SARS Customs officials searched his carry-on luggage and discovered that it contained the currency in varying denominations. He was requested to complete a Passenger Traveller card before he was handed over to the South African Police Service for further investigation.

6 July 2017 – Tax Season 2017

Pretoria, 6 July 2017 – SARS would like to thank all those taxpayers who have already submitted their Income Tax Returns. As of 08:00 this morning 341 356 taxpayers have submitted their returns. The majority, 243 388 were submitted using eFiling, while 97 968 have submitted at a SARS branch.

It is important for taxpayers expecting a refund to note that SARS has this year implemented additional risk processes to ensure both the legitimacy and accuracy of the refunds paid. SARS has an obligation to both taxpayers as well as to the fiscus to ensure that fraudulent and invalid claims are stopped.

We are aware that taxpayers have an expectation that once they submit a return which results in a refund that this would be paid to them shortly thereafter. It must though be noted that such refunds can only be paid once all SARS processes have been concluded. SARS is committed to ensure that legitimate refunds are paid as soon as possible.

3 July 2017 – Tax Season 2017 now open

Pretoria, Monday 3 July 2017 — Tax Season 2017 officially opened on Saturday, 1 July 2017 for eFilers, and today for branch filers. Taxpayers can now commence completing and submitting their 2017 personal income tax returns for the 2016/17 tax year.

Tax Season is the single biggest annual engagement between ordinary citizens and SARS. Last year during Tax Season, SARS received 6.31 million income tax returns. Tax Season is an opportunity for taxpayers to reconcile their personal income and tax-related deductions with SARS. This allows SARS to assess if there were any factors that were not accounted for over the tax year, thus ensuring that the taxpayer is compliant.

For the bulk of personal income taxpayers, July to November is the period to complete and submit their tax returns. Over the past few years, SARS has tried to make the process even easier for those wanting to comply and ‘pay their fair share’. The user-friendly eFiling system, Contact Centre, mobile tax units which visit remote areas, helpful services such as Help-You-eFile, the Contact Centre call-back facility and our friendly staff at our branches have all contributed to improving taxpayer engagement with SARS.

To ensure that taxpayers are prepared, below is some helpful information to make Tax Season even easier.

Not everyone needs to file an income tax return. Taxpayers do not have to submit an income tax return if:

  • Their total salary for the year before tax is not more than R350 000
  • They only receive employment income from one employer for the full year of assessment
  • They have no other form of income such as car allowance, business income, taxable interest, rent or income from another job
  • They don’t have any additional allowable tax deductions to claim such as medical expenses, retirement annuity contributions and travel expenses.

Avoid disappointment and ensure that you have all your documents ready:

  • Proof of income such as:
    • IRP5/IT3(a) from your employer or pension fund
    • Tax certificates for investment income IT3(b)
    • Tax Free Investments certificate(s) IT3(s)
    • Financial statements (e.g. for business income), etc.
  • Proof of deductions such as:
    • Medical aid contribution certificates and receipts
    • Completed confirmation of diagnosis of disability form (ITR-DD) if you want to claim any disability expenses
    • Retirement annuity contribution certificates
    • Information relating to foreign tax credits withheld
    • Travel logbook (if you receive a travel allowance or use a company car), etc.
  • Proof of identity: ID, passport or driving licence if you visit a branch to submit your return.

Medical deductions

Check if the information on your medical aid contribution certificate is correct. If not, contact your medical aid scheme to correct it before you file your tax return.

If your employer paid your medical scheme contributions to your medical scheme on your behalf, the amount will appear on your IRP5/IT(3)a certificate but SARS will not use this amount in calculating your assessment. You must complete the medical expenses section on your ITR12 using the information on your medical scheme tax certificate.

Medical expenditure not covered by a medical scheme that is reflected on the relevant medical scheme tax certificate must be completed in the field next to the code 4020.

Qualifying medical out-of-pocket expenses which are not reflected on any medical scheme certificate and that were not claimed from a medical scheme should be indicated next to code 4034. 

Disability claims

If a taxpayer, their spouse or qualifying children have been diagnosed with a disability by a duly registered medical practitioner and they want to claim deductions, they have to provide the following information:

  • The date of birth of the qualifying person(s)
  • The severity of the disability as per the ITR-DD
  • The date when the most recent Confirmation of Diagnosis of Disability (ITR-DD) certificate was completed
  • The medical practice number of the medical practitioner who completed the ITR-DD
  • Where there is more than one person with a disability, detailed information per person is required.

Retirement Annuity Fund Contributions

If you want to claim deductions for retirement annuity contributions you made, you must provide the individual policy number(s) and the name(s) of the insurer(s) or fund(s) of each.

Making it easy for taxpayers to file their returns

SARS will continue to strive towards providing the best services possible to taxpayers during Tax Season. Taxpayers are encouraged to use SARS eFiling to submit their tax returns as it is the quickest and easiest way to submit a return and is available 24 hours.

eFilers requiring assistance can make use of the free Help-You-eFile service by simply clicking on  the Help-You-eFile icon on eFiling and following the prompts to get access to a friendly SARS Contact Centre agent who will help them every step of the way while eFiling. This service is available during office hours.

The ever-increasing SARS footprint now extends to 53 branches nationwide, 21 Mobile Tax Units that service taxpayers in remote areas of the country and increased efficiency at the SARS Contact Centre. Our contact centre will be open from 08:00 to 18:00 during July 2017.

Beware of scams

Taxpayers are warned not to fall victim to tax identity fraud. They need to protect their taxpayer information, login name and password at all times.

SARS will never request a taxpayer’s banking details or personal details in any correspondence that they receive via post, email or SMS. SARS will not send them correspondence with hyperlinks to other websites – even those of banks.

Taxpayers who are concerned about emails or SMS messages claiming to be from SARS should:

  • Visit the Scams and Phishing webpage
  • Email phishing@sars.gov.za
  • Call the Fraud and Anti-Corruption Hotline on 0800 00 2870
  • Call the SARS Contact Centre on 0800 00 7277. 

Deadlines

Taxpayers are urged to complete their returns on time. Non-provisional taxpayers who eFile or submit their returns electronically at a SARS branch have until 24 November 2017 to file. Provisional taxpayers who eFile, have until 31 January 2018 to submit their returns.

Manual submissions through the post or at SARS drop boxes must be made by 22 September 2017.

30 June 2017 – Trade Statistics for May 2017

Pretoria, 30 June 2017 – The South African Revenue Service (SARS) today releases trade statistics for May 2017 recording a trade balance surplus of R9.50 billion. These statistics include trade data with Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland (BLNS). The year-to-date trade balance surplus (01 January to 31 May 2017) of R19.52 billion is an improvement on the deficit for the comparable period in 2016 of R13.29 billion.

Click here for the full document.

20 June 2017 – SARS busts counterfeits worth R4.2-million over long weekend

Pretoria, Tuesday 20 June 2017 – SARS Customs officials intercepted 10 bags and 3 boxes with counterfeit goods estimated at R4.2-million at OR Tambo International Airport over one day on the long weekend.

On Thursday 15 June, three passengers from Hong Kong via Nairobi were linked to the 10 bags and 3 boxes filled with designer wrist watches, footwear and tracksuits. They have since been handed over to the counterfeit team and brand holder attorneys.

In separate incidents on 18 June, two passengers from Sao Paolo to Johannesburg that swallowed 49 cocaine bullets each with a combined weight of 0.820kg estimated at

R235 914.00 were intercepted, while a third was linked to three abandoned parcels that weighed 3kg and estimated at R863 000.00.

The two passengers were identified as drug mules and taken for X-ray that revealed foreign objects in their abdomen while the third was found with marks of a body wrap.

All three passengers and goods were handed over to the South African Police for further investigation.

15 June 2017 – SARS intercepts 28.76kg rhino horns worth R6-million

Pretoria, Thursday 15 JUNE 2017 – SARS Customs officials intercepted yet another suspicious bag with 28.76kg rhino horns valued at almost R6-million at OR Tambo International Airport yesterday, Wednesday, 14 June.

This is the second rhino horn bust in less than four days after SARS Customs officials intercepted two bags with 10 rhino horns weighing 24.96kg estimated at R4.99-million at OR Tambo International Airport on Monday.

In yesterday’s incident, the discovery was made when Customs officials followed up on the suspicious bag on a plane bound for Hong Kong. The passenger was identified as the owner of the bag that was put through a scanner.

A physical inspection found the contents to be mould in the shape of 5 rhino horns concealed in 1 – 2 cm hard wax wrapped in paper.

The passenger and the goods have been handed over to the South African Police Service for further investigation.

In a separate incident, Customs officials intercepted consignments destined for Hong Kong with a selection of counterfeit designer label goods weighing 1220kg valued at R1 437 800 at a cargo shed at OR Tambo International Airport.

This included belts, jackets, shirts and sneakers.

The goods were handed over to South African Police Service for further handling.

SARS wishes to thank Customs staff for their focus, discipline and hard work. We are very proud of the dedicated commitment of SARS Customs staff in preventing illicit drugs and other goods from entering or leaving our country.

SARS will continue to work with all stakeholders at our Ports of Entry, including law enforcement agencies, to protect the economy by reducing illicit trade activities.

12 June – SARS intercepts 24.96kg of rhino horns worth R4.99-million

Pretoria, Monday 12 June 2017 – SARS Customs officials intercepted two bags with 10 rhino horns weighing 24.96kg estimated at R4.99-million at OR Tambo International Airport yesterday.

The discovery was made when Customs officials followed up on a suspicious bag which led to a second bag that was offloaded from the cargo hold of the plane bound for Turkey. The contents were scanned and on inspection found to be 4 full rhino horns in the one bag and 6 in the other.

Two passengers and their bags were handed over to the South African Police Service for further investigation.

SARS wishes to thank Customs staff for their focus, discipline and hard work. We are very proud of the dedicated commitment of SARS Customs staff in preventing illicit drugs and other goods from entering or leaving our country.

SARS will continue to work with all stakeholders at our Ports of Entry, including law enforcement agencies to protect the country and its citizens by disrupting organised crime and reducing illicit trade activities.

2017 Tax Season Opens

Trusts enhancements

SARS introduced enhancements to the Income Tax Return for a Trust (ITR12T) from Monday, 15 May 2017,

Tax Season 2017 opens 1 July 2017

Tax Season is around the corner, it shouldn’t drive you round the bend. Let’s do this,

eFiling downtime

Due to ongoing maintenance, eFiling will not be available on 19 May 2017 from 18h00 to 24h00. Apologies for the inconvenience.

Disputes enhancements

From 15 May 2017 SARS introduced changes to the current dispute management process,

FATCA and CRS filing season

The filing season for FATCA and CRS is closed now,

Special Voluntary Disclosure

Legislation was passed on 19 Jan 2017. A reminder that non-compliant taxpayers with unauthorised offshore assets can apply before 31 Aug 2017,

Employer Annual Reconciliation

The Employer Annual Reconciliation started on 18 April 2017 and employers had until 31 May 2017 to submit their Annual Reconciliation Declarations (EMP501),

Single registration

Allows taxpayers to register, maintain and view associated tax and customs registrations in a consolidated tax profile,

Issues with PDF’s?

See our browser compatibility guidelines when you experience any issues with opening PDF’s in eFiling,

Estate Reform

SARS introduced system changes in respect of deceased estates on 9 December 2016,

Trade Statistics

SARS released trade statistics for March 2017 recording a trade balance surplus of R11.44 billion based on exports of R101.23 billion and imports of R89.79 billion,

New eDNA system

SARS is rolling out a system at our branches where your fingerprints will be captured and authenticated for certain services,

Changes to personal details

If you received a message recently from SARS about changes to your personal details, you need to visit your nearest SARS branch to verify and avoid fraud,

eFiling downtime

Due to maintenance, eFiling will be unavailable on Friday, 20 Jan from 22h00 to Saturday, 21 Jan at 04h30. We apologise for any inconvenience.

Mobile Tax Units

Find out where our mobile units are this tax season and see our tax workshops to learn more about tax,

6 June 2017 – SARS does not share taxpayer information

Pretoria, Tuesday, 6 June 2017 – SARS has noted the City Press article, Moyane okays R70m payment to Gupta’s, published on 4 June 2017.

SARS would like to place on record that assessments and refunds are dealt with through a risk engine that utilises tightly governed rules and processes, to ensure impartiality in SARS dealings with taxpayers.

Furthermore, SARS wishes to express its continued concern about the persistent media reporting of taxpayer matters. SARS once again reiterates that SARS is not allowed by Chapter 6 of the Tax Administration Act (TAA), 2011 to discuss or divulge information on individual taxpayers’ tax affairs. This right to confidentiality applies to all taxpayers irrespective of one’s position, rank or status.

We call on all South Africans, including the media to respect the confidentiality clause of Chapter 6 of the TAA 2011 to keep all taxpayers information private as prescribed by this Act.

SARS wishes to reassure all taxpayers that it does not discuss or divulge taxpayer information.