The South African Revenue Service (SARS) paid R18.5 billion to 2.22 million taxpayers at the close of tax season for non-provisional taxpayers- a 26% increase from last year, on Friday, 24 November.
These refunds apply to returns filed for the 2016/2017 tax year which have been submitted during Tax Season 2017 (01 July – 24 November).
In total, R19.8 billion in refunds has been paid to individuals for this financial year to date, inclusive of prior year returns, directly contributing to household incomes and the domestic economy.
SARS said that a total of 88.47% of tax returns were assessed within 3 seconds, and 93.63% within 24 hours. A total of 91.98% of taxpayers due for a refund that was not routed for audit or risk verification received their refund in less than 72 hours.
During Tax Season 2017, SARS said it prevented R2.7 billion in fraudulent claims in the Personal Income Tax environment, saving the fiscus of potential revenue loss. This was a R900 million (50%) improvement from last year where R1.8 billion in fraudulent claims was prevented during the same period (Tax Season).
The revenue service received 5.67 million returns, inclusive of returns filed for prior years, by Friday, 24 November 2017, which marked the close of tax season for non-provisional taxpayers.
Provisional taxpayers have until 31 January 2017 to file their tax returns via eFiling.
The submissions received comprise the following:
- 4.289 million returns filed for the relevant tax year, 2016/2017, which sees an increase of 3.1% from last year’s figure of 4.16 million.
- 1.28 million returns filed for prior years – 1.19% less than last year’s figure of 1.48 million.
- 44 782 submissions by trusts for the 2016/17 tax year.
- 53 054 submissions by trusts for prior years.
A total 94% of expected returns from individuals were submitted on time, exceeding last year’s rate of 91%. The returns expected are informed by last year’s submissions and IRP5 information from employers, excluding provisional taxpayers.
The introduction of e-DNA ensured the biometric authentication of taxpayers and the increased security of personal information. This has significantly reduced the payment of refunds into fraudulent accounts.