Tax returns via the internet

6 June 2006

The South African Revenue Service (Sars) is giving 2.7-million taxpayers the opportunity to file their tax returns over the internet from this year.

Sars has made an electronic submission facility available to 2.7-million individuals who earn a basic salary and allowances such as medical aid and travel.

The facility offers a range of benefits to taxpayers, including convenience and accuracy with the submission and capturing of personal information.

Initially open to some 2.7-million individual taxpayers, the facility is the first phase of eventually extending electronic submission to all individuals and businesses.

The initiative improves on the free “e-filing” service Sars already offers, which is used by increasing numbers of businesses to submit their value-added tax, pay-as-you-earn, unemployment insurance fund and provisional tax returns and payments.

Taxpayers who want to make use of the electronic submission facility must:

  • Have access to the internet (employers are encouraged to make internet facilities available to employees for the purpose).
  • Register for the service on the website
  • Agree to the terms and conditions of use.
  • Be in receipt of an IT 12S or IT 12SS income tax return.
  • Receive an income that consists of a basic salary plus allowances.

Sars is supporting the service with online instructions and a dedicated call centre at 0860 709 709.

In 2005, Sars recorded 4.5-million returns, and exceeded all expectations by collecting R418-billion in tax revenue – beating the revised estimate by R1-billion. The overrun has given South Africa its smallest deficit in over 25 years. reporter

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