SARS warns of upcoming May deadline – here’s how it will go after those that don’t pay up

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has asked employers to submit payroll information on or before the deadline of Sunday, 31 May 2020.

Employers who comply fully, in turn, make it easier for their own employees to fulfil their individual tax obligation, the revenue collector said.

“Known as the ‘Employer Annual Reconciliation Period’, this filing and payment window for employers will form part of a single, seamless filing season 2020 during which qualifying employees, other individual taxpayers and trusts will be able to file income tax returns, if required, later in the year,” SARS said.

“The data that must be submitted by 31 May should cover the transaction period 1 March 2019 to 29 February 2020, in respect of monthly employer declarations submitted, payments made and IRP5/IT3(a)s generated.”

SARS says that this payroll data is of vital importance as it gives a reconciled account of what amounts of tax the employer deducted from the taxable remuneration of each of its employees.

Secondly, it shows what amount of tax the employer has paid to SARS on behalf of the employee. It also records other allowances that an employer pays to an employee as part of their remuneration benefits.

“The Employer Annual Reconciliation process, allows SARS to issue an income tax return to taxpayers that already completed with payroll information.

“This, together with information from other providers of third party information, makes it easier for individuals later to fulfil their own income tax obligations.”


SARS said it is determined to ensure the compliance rate amongst the employers increases substantially during its new approach to the 2020 filing season.

Companies who fail to submit payroll data on time may become liable for late submission penalties of up to 10% of the value of their payroll, it said.

“We wish to highlight that more than ever before, during this challenging period of Covid-19, it is incumbent on every taxpayer to remain tax compliant.

“Tax contributions allows government to provide the important social goods and services to South Africans, employ those who heroically serve at the front line provided essential health, social and security services, and pay social relief to the most vulnerable in our society.

“SARS is also in a position to make refund payments to already distressed businesses and individuals, as well as providing the tax relief measures to save businesses and jobs.

“We sincerely thank the compliant employers that have already submitted the required data, and made the necessary payment. We urge all employers who have not yet fulfilled their obligations, to do so timely.”

Read: New coronavirus relief changes that every South African employee should know about

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SARS warns of upcoming May deadline – here’s how it will go after those that don’t pay up