Tax Filing Season

Tax Filing Season: SARS Cuts Deadline For Tax Returns

Tax Filing Season

On Monday, 04 June 2018, the South African Revenue Service (SARS) announced some changes to the tax filing season. In an attempt to improve efficiency, the tax filing season will now be shortened by three weeks.

Shorter Tax Filing Season

A shorter filing season allows additional time for SARS, taxpayers and the tax fraternity to deal with returns verifications before most taxpayers go on the December holiday break,” said Acting Commissioner Mark Kingon.

The new tax filing season, themed ‘No Sweat’, is due to start on 01 July 2018 and will end on 31 October 2018. All taxpayers have been encouraged to submit their returns electronically.

The deadline for manual submissions is September 21, while provisional taxpayers will have until 31 January 2019 to file their returns. For provisional and non-provisional taxpayers, the deadline for online tax filing is 31 October 2018.


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The tax collection service said it had identified numerous time consuming practices by taxpayers which clogged up the system during the previous filing periods, including submission by people who are not supposed to file tax returns.

The agency also revealed that it was also dealing with an influx of outstanding returns, with a total of 1 million old returns submitted during the 2016 tax season. In 2017, the number of dated returns stood at 733 000.

We would like to move towards clearing the backlog and encourage taxpayers to be informed about their tax obligations and file their returns on time,” said Kingon.

However, SARS said returns for the current year of assessment will take priority over outstanding returns, as experienced had shown that late submissions were susceptible to fraud.


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