Filing your tax returns

13 June 2003

The SA Revenue Service (Sars) has urged South Africans earning over R60 000 per annum to submit their income tax returns before July 11 – and has simplified the process for individuals by issuing a new, user-friendly form called the IT 12S.

Sars will be running kiosks at shopping centres around the country, staffed by officials and consultants to help customers complete the new returns.

If you’re looking for online help with filling in your form, carries a link to the PSIberASSESS personal tax assessment assistant. You can also check out Sars’ guide for completing your IT 12S.

Note, though, that electronic filing for individuals is not yet available – though it is for certain other categories of taxpayers: see the Sars e-filing page.

Employees earning R60 000 per annum or more are required to complete and submit their income tax forms. Employees first need to obtain an IRP5 certificate from their employer that reflects how much they earn per annum and deductions pertaining to medical aid, pension and housing. The IRP5 certificates should be attached to the income tax forms.

Sars spokesperson Christo Henning said those who could not meet the July 11 deadline should ask their local revenue offices for an extension – or apply for an extension online. Failure to do so could result in penalties.

“We will do our best to cater for everyone, especially those who will be needing assistance in as far as filling in the forms is concerned”, Henning said.

Sars’ publicity drive seeks to reduce the number of requests from taxpayers for extensions and help customers complete their tax returns correctly. Roughly 30%of tax returns received by Sars are either incorrectly completed, partially completed or without the necessary substantiating documentation.

There are 3 856 498 individuals and trusts, 1 209 665 companies, 503 905 Value-Added Tax (VAT) vendors, and 251 775 Pay-As-You-Earn cases registered with Sars.

Sars had issued 3.8 million returns by the end of May – a 6.84% growth in the total tax base since the last financial year.

For fiscal year 2002/2003, Sars electronically paid out R7.3-billion in refunds to 911 416 taxpayers, and about R6.028-billion in refunds issued via secure mail and the post to about 961 674 taxpayers. The recipients included trusts, individuals and companies. reporter