8 April 2019 – Relocation of electronic services platform for SARS

Pretoria, Monday 8 April 2019 – SARS will be migrating to a new hosting platform for its electronic services in April 2019.

This new and reliable platform features the latest technology on the market, and includes a refresh of SARS’ hardware and software.

This is part of our journey towards digital transformation, which is expected to deliver a myriad of innovative solutions in support of our mandate to make it easy and safe for our taxpayers to comply.

The migration is scheduled to take place on Friday, 12 April from 17:00 to Tuesday, 16 April 2019 at 06:00. 

During the migration, the following SARS systems will be affected:

  • SARS eFiling and SARS eFiling app (including registrations,  filing, payment and the functionality to upload supporting documents)
  • e@syFile™ Employer (including the functionality to upload Customs supporting documents)
  • SARS website

The Customs Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) gateway, which is the primary electronic channel used by Customs clients to communicate with SARS, will not be impacted.

SARS clients are encouraged to conclude all transactions on these systems well before the migration. However, urgent transactions that need to be made during this period can be done manually at a SARS tax, customs or excise branch during normal operating hours.

For further enquiries, please contact or call Sandile Memela 082 800 3750.

SARS Media

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1 April 2018 – SARS announces the preliminary Revenue outcome for 2018-19

Pretoria, Monday 1 April 2019 –  For the financial year ending 31 March 2019, SARS collected an amount of R1 287.6 billion, against the 2019 Budget estimate of R1 302.2 billion resulting in a deficit of R14.6 billion (-1.1%).

It should be noted that these are preliminary results, which will be subject to detailed financial reconciliation and a final audit.

The gross amount collected is R1 575.4 billion which was offset by refunds of R287.8 billion, resulting in net collections of R1 287.6 billion. The net revenue outcome of R1 287.6 billion represents a growth of R71.2 billion (5.8%) compared to the 2017/18 financial year.

Seen against the 2019 Budget estimate of R1 345.0 billion, this results in a deficit of R 57.4 billion  (-4.3%), and against the Revised Estimate of R1 302.2 billion, this results in a deficit of R14.6 billion   (-1.1%).

Gross collections grew by 8.6% whilst refunds recorded strong growth of 22.7% following the announcement by the Minister of Finance during the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) that the VAT refund envelope would be increased to allow the release of VAT refunds from the fiscus back into the economy.
During the reporting period, global economic growth weakened to 3.7% for 2018 and a projected growth of 3.5% in 2019. Growth has been hamstrung by US-China trade tensions (and tariff increases) in 2018, the introduction of new automobile fuel emission standards in Germany, the contraction in domestic demand in Italy due to concerns over sovereign and financial risks, as well as weak financial market sentiment and growth in Turkey.

Measured in real GDP terms, the domestic economy grew by 0.8% in 2018 from 1.4% in 2017. The major contributors to the 0.8% growth rate in 2018 were finance (0.4 of a percentage point based on growth of 1.8%) and government (0.2 of a percentage point based on growth of 1.3%). On the contrary, agriculture (-4.7% and -0.1 of a percentage point), mining (-1.7% and -0.1 of a percentage point), and construction (-1.2% and -0.0 of a percentage point) contributed negatively to GDP growth in 2018.

The main sources of revenue that contributed to the R1 287.6 billion collected were Personal Income Tax (PIT), which contributed R493.8 billion (38.3%), Value-Added Tax (VAT) contributing R324.6 billion (25.2%), Company Income Tax (CIT), which contributed R214.7 billion (16.7%) and Customs duties contributed R55.2 billion (4.3%).

  • Pay-A-You-Earn (PAYE) collections for the year grew by 7.0% to R477.4bn, despite significant job losses, moderation in wage settlements and contraction in bonus pay-outs. However, this growth was dampened by lower share option pay-outs mainly from the finance sector, moderate public sector annual increases, job losses in the formal non-agricultural sector and lower bonus pay outs in the finance sector.
  • There was double digit growth in Domestic Value-Added Tax (VAT) since May 2019 due to the benefits of the 1 percentage point increase in the VAT rate. This resulted in strong growth rates in both the large business and SMME segments of 9.8% and 14.8% respectively. For vendors who paid in both years for the relevant periods, Domestic VAT would have grown by 3.9% if there was no VAT rate increase, compared to 11.2% for that sample with the rate hike.  That is why significant growth was achieved despite weak growth in retail trade sales, which continue to be under pressure. Full year collections yielded R378.8bn of which 83.0% was received via the eFiling system.
  • Company Income Tax (CIT) collections contracted by 2.5%,  the contraction is on the back of a significant number of CIT refunds which were paid to the large business segment and relate to multiple periods that were under audit review, as well as the continued efforts to clear the IT credit book. Furthermore, the continuing power cuts imposed by the utility company also contributed to the decline as business activities and company operations were severely affected thus affecting their profitability.
  • Growth in Personal Income Tax (PIT) provisional tax payments slowed from 37.5% in August 2018 to 18.4% in February 2019, mainly due to the non-repeat and / or lower declaration of capital gains compared to the previous year.
  • There was strong growth in import taxes of 14.0% for the first three fiscal quarters, after which transactional data and merchandise imports did not meet expectations during some months of the final fiscal quarter. Payments that are part of the 13th deferment statement exceeded all expectations which resulted in the overall outcome for Customs growing at 13.9% which is marginally above the required growth rate.

As announced at the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) in October, the requisite fiscal space was created for SARS to reduce the credit book on VAT refunds. SARS reduced the credit book on VAT refunds from R41.8 billion in September 2018 to R25 billion by the end of the financial year, resulting in a 16.4% increase in value and 6.3% in the volume of refunds going back into the economy. Following the announcement, we see gross collections growing at 8.6% while refunds grew by 22.7%.

In aggregate SARS paid out R287.8 billion in refunds in the 2018/19 financial year. A total of R30.5 billion was paid in PIT refunds, reflecting a 13.8% increase on the previous year. CIT refunds totalled R22.2 billion, representing about R8.7 billion (63.7%) increase in pay-outs compared to prior year. VAT Refunds for the year totalled R229.2 billion, exceeding the estimate by R1.2 billion, reflecting an increase of R38.1 billion (19.9%) on the previous year. Growth was driven by the R15.8bn (19.9%) increase in payments to the small and medium vendors, while large vendors received R22.3bn (20.0%) more refunds than in the previous year.

There was also an increase in diesel refunds of R2.8 billion (93.3%) compared to the previous year, due to the increased reliance on diesel for electricity generation.

Although the higher refund payments lowered the net revenue collection for the year, it also puts money back into the economy.

For more information please refer to the Acting Commissioner’s Speech, the PowerPoint presentation and infographics (scroll down). These will also become available on this website under Media>Media Packs.

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 Table 3 Revenue 1 April 2019__.jpg

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2 April 2019 – SARS confirms conclusion of a 3-year wage agreement with NEHAWU and PSA

PRETORIA, Tuesday, 2 April 2019 – The South African Revenue Service (SARS), the National Education Health & Allied Workers Union (NEHAWU) and the Public Servants Association of South Africa (PSA) have agreed on a 3-year multi-term agreement with an 8% increase on the Guaranteed Total Packages of employees in the Bargaining Unit for this year, effective 1 April 2019.

For the 2 subsequent years of the Agreement, the percentage salary increase will be determined on the projected CPI plus 2%.

This brings an immediate end to the industrial action that took place over two days last week.

The agreement further involves:

  • An increase in the Long Service Awards values by 8% in 2019, with further increases along the same percentage of the guaranteed salary increase in the subsequent years.
  • The hourly Shift allowance rate will also increase in the same manner, with 8% in 2019, and along the same percentage of the guaranteed salary increase in the subsequent years.
  • The introduction of a new leave type of Prenatal and Vaccination Leave of 8 days for qualifying employees.
  • The introduction of a 2-year leave cycle for Family Responsibility Leave, during which employees can utilise their provision of 5 working days per annum. This leave cycle will commence in 2019.  

SARS, NEHAWU and PSA further agreed to have various other items deferred to be resolved under the auspices of the National Bargaining Forum:

  • Review of the Remuneration policy relating to the pay progression principles.
  • GTP Cash Allowance options available to employees.
  • Short Term Insurance options to be explored around service providers that can possibly provide favourable rates to SARS employees.
  • Housing options to be explored around service providers that can possibly provide favourable bond rates to SARS employees.
  • Medical Aid Schemes to be explored to address the current challenges.
  • Review of the Extended Sick Leave policy provisions to address current challenges.
  • Review of the Recruitment policy to consider including promotions.
  • Review of the Bursary policy provisions dealing with dependent bursaries.
  • Consider a token of appreciation as a Retirement Exit Gift to the value of R2000, upon the compulsory retirement age of 65.

 The parties have committed to work together to enhance productivity, improve revenue flow and increase compliance levels.

SARS appreciates commitment that parties have exerted to this process, as well as the constructive manner in which the wage negotiation dispute was ultimately settled to bring back stability in the organisation.

29 March 2019 – SARS continues to operate

PRETORIA, Friday 29 March 2019 – SARS Customs operations at ports of entry, especially borders, have been without major interruptions.

All Customs border posts are operational with the contingencies that have been put in place. Customs has received great support from law enforcement agencies across all border posts, especially from the South African Police Service, and this resulted in minimal impact on them. SARS assessed media reports, which highlighted a number of trucks piling up at a land border, which could have been attributed to normal traffic and not the strike, as trucks wait for clearance before proceeding.

SARS advised the neighbouring countries, Southern African Development Community (SADC) and Southern African Customs Union (SACU) of the impending strike a few days ago, so that they are not caught by surprise. There has been no impact on them.

There were isolated attempts to intimidate staff members and to disrupt the flow of traffic at border posts, but the situation was swiftly dealt with by the SAPS. One SARS official was arrested at the Lebombo border post, and we are not aware of any other incidents or delays.

With regard to SARS branches, SARS is continually monitoring developments at all sites, and updates can be accessed via our website and twitter feed @sarstax. Details regarding branch services, as well as what to do if you cannot access a SARS branch, services are also available on these platforms.

Out of 53 SARS branches throughout the country, 33 have been closed due to poor turn out of staff. The South African public is encouraged to use alternative payment mediums:

For Tax payments:

  • At a bank branch;
  • EFT; or
  • Via eFiling.
For more info on Tax payment options, visit How do I Pay webpage.

For Customs payments:

For more info on Customs payment options, visit Customs Payments webpage on

With respect to any outstanding debt queries and deferred arrangements, requests may be sent to the following email addresses:

• for Alberton branch (including Nigel, Germiston, Brakpan, Boksburg, Benoni, Vereeniging and Springs)

While SARS recognises the constitutional right of workers to strike, it is equally cognisant of the state’s obligation to ensure that it has adequate resources to provide citizens with access to healthcare services, sufficient food and water, social support, housing and basic education.

SARS is doing everything in its power and affordability to resolve the dispute.

SARS has obtained an interim Labour Court order interdicting Labour Union members from picketing in places other than those specified in the CCMA Picketing Rules issued on 18 March 2018. This follows illegal picketing and several gatherings that took place outside the agreed upon areas, namely, SARS Head Office in Brooklyn, Pretorius and Alberton Campus.

SARS and Organized Labour are meeting today, Friday, 29 March 2019 at the CCMA to engage in formal discussions in a bid to amend the Picketing Rules.

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29 March 2019 – Trade Statistics for February 2019

Pretoria, 29 March 2019 – The South African Revenue Service (SARS) today releases trade statistics for February 2019 recording a trade surplus of R3.99 billion. These statistics include trade data with Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho and Namibia (BELN). The year-to-date (01 January to 28 February 2019) trade deficit of R9.08 billion is an improvement on the deficit for the comparable period in 2018 of R27.97 billion. Exports year-on-year increased by 9.3% whilst imports for the same period showed an increase of 3.9%.

27 March 2019 – Wage negotiations dispute still unresolved

PRETORIA, Wednesday 27 March 2019 – Over the past weekend, SARS had confirmed that it had reached a deadlock in negotiations with the recognised trade unions, PSA and NEHAWU, over salary increases and improvements in conditions of service and benefits for bargaining unit employees.

This deadlock came after months of negotiations which commenced in November 2018.

Organised Labour had referred a dispute to the CCMA in February 2019 but despite the dispute, parties continued with negotiations in an attempt to resolve the impasse.

Of the 26 initial demands tabled by Organised Labour, parties through their negotiations had managed to reach some form of consensus on most, with only 4 key matters remaining in dispute.

SARS acknowledged the CCMA certificate of non-resolution issued on 19th March 2019, together with the Rules for Picketing and that both PSA and NEHAWU had provided SARS with an official notice of their intention to commence industrial action tomorrow, Thursday the 28th March 2019.

The deadlock reached at the CCMA was with SARS offering a 7% increase which amounts to CPI plus 2.9% based on the published February inflation rate of 4.1%. SARS considered this offer reasonable and fair considering that it is far above increases of public institutions and most other industries.

SARS can only negotiate within its financial affordability which is influenced by amongst other factors the economic growth, resultant revenue collection and its reduced financial grant allocation from the National Treasury.

The details of the SARS financial position for financial year 2019/20, down to general ledger level have not only been disclosed to Organised Labour in a special joint financials task team, but Organised Labour were also given opportunity to make input into the budget considerations for the next three years including areas where cost containment can be further exercised.

SARS already had to put budgetary cuts and cost containment in place with regards to travelling expenditure and no provisioning has been made for payment of bonuses and external bursaries due to current budget deficits.

SARS has explained to Organised Labour that it has a bigger responsibility than only considering the current salary increases. It needs to also consider the organisation’s financial wellbeing for the next three years, especially considering the weak economic conditions and SARS’ current and projected budgetary deficits.

One will therefore understand that any increase that is above affordability will have a ripple effect on SARS capacity and ability to continue functioning optimally in the years to come.

SARS is a crucial and critical institution for this country whose work touches each and every South African. Taxes left uncollected have a dire impact on the country’s ability to render critical services where the bulk of taxes collected go towards education, health services, social protection and other public services. SARS and its employees take pride in the role that SARS plays in our democratic dispensation.



SARS, being committed to ensuring that all efforts are deployed to resolve the impasse and to avoid any adverse impact to the country’s revenue which SARS delivers to the fiscus, met with Organised Labour on Monday, 25 March 2019 until late evening.

At this session, SARS tabled a differentiated salary increase model for employees in the bargaining unit that finds its basis in principles of addressing salary anomalies, and reducing the ever-widening salary gaps caused by across-the-board increases. This model could see top performing SARS employees who are paid at the lower-end receiving increases up to 9.2% (CPI plus 5.1%). In this model, no employee would receive an increase of less than 5.2% (CPI plus 1.1%).

This proposal was unfortunately still rejected by Organised Labour and they insisted on an across-the-board increase of 11.4%.

Engagements continued yesterday, Tuesday 26 March 2019 until late at senior leadership level between SARS and the unions’ leaders. Engagements centred on the CCMA Mediator’s proposal of 8 March 2019 of an 8% increase as a possible settlement to the dispute. The CCMA Mediator’s proposal involved the following:

– 8% increase across-the-board over a single term

– introduction of pre-natal leave

– long service awards to increase with the same percentage as the salary increase

– status quo to remain on leave benefits

– introduction of a 2-year cycle for Family Responsibility Leave 

SARS, considering all its financial constraints tabled an offer to settle of 8%, conditional to it being a multi-term agreement for implementation on 1 April 2019. This offer to settle included agreement on an 8% increase in year 1 aligned to the CCMA proposal, with CPI plus 1% increases for year 2 and 3 of the Agreement.

In addition as a way of showing commitment, the settlement offer also included SARS acceding to pre-natal leave, long service awards increase and the status quo on other leave demands. The Family Responsibility leave demand would then be deliberated at a task team level together with other matters which were referred to the task team.

The only remaining point of difference between SARS and Organised Labour was the term of agreement.

Whist Organised Labour was not inclined to a multi-term agreement, SARS explained that for it to have reprioritised its expenditure for an 8% increase, a multi-term agreement was essential to create a level of financial certainty for the organisation based on the fiscal framework of the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF), as well as the time needed to close on the savings that the organisation will need to make to afford the 8% increase.

Furthermore a multi-term agreement would provide for stable employer/employee relations over the period which would be conducive for SARS to focus on key improvements to take the organisation forward.

Organised Labour unfortunately rejected SARS’ settlement offer without offering an alternative viable counter-proposal.

Since this was a settlement offer, the rejection by Organised Labour of a multi term agreement, left SARS with no option but to revert to its previous position of 7% across the board increase at single term, based on its affordability and not compromising the sustainability of the organisation’s operations over the next three years. However, if Organised Labour consulted their members and they accept the offer of 8% across the board, and CPI plus 1% in subsequent years, the dispute will be resolved.



While SARS recognises the constitutional right of workers to strike, it is equally cognisance of the state’s obligation to ensure that it has adequate resources to provide citizens with access to healthcare services, sufficient food and water, social support, housing and basic education.

It is therefore in the public interest that this dispute be resolved given due regard to SARS’ crucial role in revenue collection. SARS has therefore yesterday applied to the CCMA for an intervention in terms of Section 150A of the Labour Relations Act for the Director of CCMA to intervene in an attempt to mediate the dispute. 



SARS has done everything in its power and affordability level to resolve the dispute and avert strike action. However, with Organised Labour’s rejection of SARS’ final settlement offer, SARS cannot disregard that strike action may continue on Thursday, 28 March 2019.

SARS leadership and employees alike appreciate that we are at a critical juncture in our revenue collection drive and want to assure the South African public that our systems and processes are in place with several committed SARS employees available to serve taxpayer needs.

SARS has proactively put necessary contingency measures in place and have since activated those plans to endeavour having minimal disruption to taxpayer services across SARS branches and ports of entries in the event PSA and NEHAWU proceed with their industrial action.

SARS appeals to the public’s understanding as some delays could be expected and recommend that taxpayers utilise on-line services where possible while SARS is hopeful that the CCMA intervention will assist in settling the dispute.

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23 March 2019 – SARS in wage dispute with organised labour

Pretoria, 23 March 2019 – The National Education Health and Allied Workers Union (NEHAWU) and Public Servants Association (PSA) have served SARS with a 7 day notice to go on strike from 28 March 2019. This is following a dispute that organised labour lodged at the CCMA in February 2019. The CCMA issued a certificate of non-resolution on Tuesday 19 March 2019. SARS enjoys a good relationship with organised labour founded on the principle of a higher purpose that all SARS employees espouse.

The current 3 year wage agreement that SARS has with organised labour expires on 31 March 2019. Consequently, SARS and organised labour, represented by the two recognised trade unions, NEHAWU and PSA, started the current round of negotiations in November 2018. The negotiations started with a pre-bargaining conference facilitated by the CMMA in early November 2018. The pre-bargaining conference helped the parties to commit to good faith bargaining, conduct that speaks to openness, honesty, trust and a speedy resolution of the negotiations. In the first official sitting of the negotiating parties, the chairperson of the SARS National Bargaining Forum, Mr Mahmood Fadal, tabled the negotiation framework and rules of engagement for the parties to adopt.

On 20 November, organised labour jointly tabled its consolidated list of 26 demands. The demands included a 15% general salary increase on total package, plus 25 other demands. Management sought clarity on these demands with a view to understanding the cost implications and feasibility thereof. The negotiations proceeded in December, January, February and March 2019.

During the course of the negotiations, 6 demands were withdrawn, 9 were referred to task teams between management and organised labour which would investigate and have further discussions post the wage settlement; and consensus was reached on 3 of the demands. The key demands that remain subject of negotiations are the general salary increase of 11.4%, term of the wage agreement, pay progression, provisions on family responsibility leave and prenatal leave, long service awards and exit gifts.

Given the current economic conditions, SARS finds itself in a very constrained fiscal position. In the spirit of openness and transparency, SARS agreed to setup a task team to look at the SARS financials. Several meetings took place where organised labour and SARS management looked for opportunities for cost savings that will improve the financial position of SARS going forward. Some of the proposals coming out of the task team will be implemented in the coming financial year.

Due to the constrained financial position, SARS started with an offer of 4% salary increase, for a three 3 year wage agreement linked to CPI. Organised labour revised their salary demand from 15% to the current 11.4% increase across the board for a single term. SARS revised its offer from 4% to the current 7% differentiated increase.

When the parties went to the CCMA on 8 March, organised labour was sitting at 11.4% plus the remaining demands. SARS had moved to 6%. The CCMA Commissioner tabled a commissioner’s proposal for settlement of 8% increase across the board for a single term. He asked the parties to go seek mandates from their principals, and to return to the CCMA on 13 March 2019. Given the financial situation that SARS is in, SARS was able to move to 7% differentiated increase, with a concession on prenatal leave, and agreement on long service award. The family responsibility leave was deferred to a future discussion once the implications have been worked out.

Organised labour rejected the CCMA Commissioner’s proposal, and decided not to move from their 11.4% increase across the board, and insisted on all the other outstanding demands except for long service awards and exit gifts where there is agreement. After further mediation by the CCMA Commissioner, organised labour offered a 9% increase as a settlement offer. SARS was not able to accede to this, and needed more time to consult with its principals. A meeting is scheduled for Monday 25 March for the parties to try and find each other on the remaining issues.

SARS is confident that the meetings arranged for Monday and Tuesday through the chairperson of the SARS National Bargaining Forum will yield results, and a settlement will be reached. SARS is funded through a grant like all other government departments. Due to the shrinking revenues and growing debt levels, the 3 year Estimate of National Expenditure (ENE) by National Treasury has reined in government expenditure over the next three years. Whatever wage settlement SARS enters, it should be within the ENE framework over the next three years.

SARS believes that the 11.4% increase demand of organised labour is out of reach in the current economic climate where CPI is sitting at 4.1% as of February 2019. SARS’ offer of 7% is 2.9 percentage points above CPI (that is, 71% above February CPI). SARS has a great employment value proposition for its employees, and has been rated as a leading employer brand in the last few years. SARS is hopeful that an agreement will be reached, and a strike will be averted. Both SARS and its employees remain committed to the higher purpose of collecting all revenues due to the state, and facilitating legitimate trade in and across South Africa’s borders.

The 2018/19 Revenue drive ends on 31 March 2019. In the Spirit of Thuma Mina, SARS calls on all taxpayers and traders to honour their tax obligations before 31 March 2019. As we face the 6th election of the democratic South Africa, a sluggish economy and an energy crisis, South Africa’s stability and sovereignty depends on a stable fiscus. SARS thanks all the taxpayers who have already made payments for their tax obligations.

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12 March 2019 – KZN VAT vendor imprisoned for seven years for VAT fraud

Pretoria, 12 March 2019 – A KwaZulu-Natal woman who defrauded SARS of approximately R 4 million, was handed down an effective seven-year jail sentence in the Durban Regional Court last Thursday.

Ms Saraspathie Vallee (47) of Chatsworth, as sole proprietor of the closed corporation Gutterpride Trading, pleaded guilty to Value Added Tax fraud and contraventions of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act.

Using SARS’ eFiling service, she claimed a VAT refund to the value of R3 972 814 on behalf of Gutterpride for a single tax period in 2014 and SARS was supplied with falsified supporting documents to substantiate the claim. SARS reduced the refund and after outstanding taxes were liquidated an amount of R2 484 683.75 was refunded to the entity.

Within a few days of the refund being paid in the closed corporation’s account, Vallee made numerous transfers from the account.

Vallee pleaded guilty to the two charges in terms of Section 112(1)(a) of the Criminal procedures Act. The entity, Gutterpride was also sentenced to R100 000 fine, provisionally suspended for five years.

AS SARS’ risk engines continuously improves, we will continue to bring VAT fraudsters to book, to rebuild trust in our organisation, create a fair playing field for businesses, and support our mandate of collecting money that is due to the state.

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7 March 2019 – Pay outstanding debt by 29 March to avoid penalties and interest

PRETORIA, Thursday, 7 March 2019 – Taxpayers have just over 22 days left to pay outstanding debt by Friday 29 March to avoid paying penalties and interest. Outstanding returns need to be submitted immediately.
Taxpayers are advised and encouraged to do the right thing, the right way and on time by ensuring that all of their tax debts are settled before the due date, that is Friday 29 March, and all outstanding returns are filed now.

Taxpayers are warned that there will be  high traffic on the networks and are urged to make payments early by 12:00 on 29 March to avoid possible network delays, especially for the following:

  • VAT submissions and Payments
  • Excise duty payments
  • CIT Provisional tax payments
  • Your existing payment arrangements reached with SARS debt management

If in doubt about how much you owe, how to make payment, what to do if you can’t pay the full amount immediately or if you want to make payment arrangements or don’t agree with the amount owing, please contact SARS immediately on 0800 00 7277.

Remember, it is a criminal offence not to submit a tax return when it is due, and legal action can be taken if you do not pay the tax owed to SARS.

There are a number of debt collection tools available to SARS to enforce payment of the tax debt and these include:

  • Collecting the debt from an entity which holds money on your behalf via Third Party Appointments i.e. employer, bank or customer.
  • Issuing a judgement and having your name blacklisted
  • Attaching and selling your assets.
  • Obtaining a preservation order in respect of your assets
  • If you hold off-shore assets, an order can be obtained compelling the assets to be repatriated to South Africa and in the interim your right to trade or to travel can be restrained
  • Liquidating or Sequestrating your Estate.

If you are having difficulties we encourage you to contact us to avoid any of the above mentioned actions being taken against you.

Important contact details:

  • SARS Contact Centre: 0800 00 7277
  • Suspicious tax activity and corruption hotline: 0800 00 2870
  • Online suspicious report form available at:

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5 March 2019 – SARS invites public comment on excise rewrite document

Pretoria, 5 March 2019 – Following the recent announcement in Budget 2019, the South African Revenue Service (SARS) has compiled an excise rewrite discussion document to further the process of redrafting the excise legislative framework.

The discussion document outlines the internationally recognised aspects of an excise administration against which any excise review must be measured. The introduction and current practice of the duty-at-source (DAS) system of excise administration provides the context to the review of the excise legislation. Certain apparent shortcomings in the current legislation regarding DAS licensing, accounting, assessment and acquittal of excise duties have been identified for possible amendment. A comparison of various countries is also provided to demonstrate international examples of reform options. Finally, a summary conclusion reflects the proposals that SARS supports.

The discussion document aims to elicit constructive inputs and comments from all affected industries that manufacture, use, import and export excisable goods, as well as from broader excise stakeholders. Upon completion of the public comment period and once comments have been processed, SARS intends to approach representative industry bodies and applicable government departments for further engagements on those particular reform proposals that require additional inputs and refinement.

Stakeholders are invited to forward their inputs and comments by 31 May 2019 for the attention of Ms Samantha Authar, either electronically to C&, or manually to the South African Revenue Service, Private Bag X923, Pretoria, 0001.

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