Get ready to wait a while for your 2017 tax return

SARS has asked that South Africans who have submitted their tax returns for the 2017 tax season be patient, as it has implemented additional assessment processes which could delay their refund being paid out.

In a statement out on Thursday (6 July), SARS said that it has received 341,356 returns from taxpayers so far – 243,388 of which were through the group’s eFiling system.

However, SARS said that it is important for taxpayers expecting a speedy payment to note that it has implemented additional risk processes in 2017, to ensure that both the legitimacy and accuracy of the refunds paid.

“SARS has an obligation to both taxpayers as well as to the fiscus to ensure that fraudulent and invalid claims are stopped,” it said.

“We are aware that taxpayers have an expectation that once they submit a return, which results in a refund, that this would be paid to them shortly thereafter. It must be noted that such refunds can only be paid once all SARS processes have been concluded.”

SARS said it would ensure that legitimate refunds are paid as soon as possible.

Many South Africans were left waiting for extended periods of time for tax returns during the last tax season, which resulted in the the tax ombudsman launching investigations into the group’s systems.

SARS blamed the delays on added security screening to combat an increase in fraudulent claims.

Read: SA tax season is open: here is what you need to know

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Get ready to wait a while for your 2017 tax return