SARS is making changes following Adobe Flash issues

 ·19 Jan 2021

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has issued an ‘unreserved apology’ after its services were disrupted by the termination of support of the Adobe Flash platform.

The revenue collector said it had planned the migration of all online forms from Flash as a priority.

However, it said that it administers many taxes and compliance mechanisms, which spawn many submission requirements and interactions that necessitate the capturing and submitting of data through many different forms.

“In addition to the high number of forms that are required to be migrated from Adobe Flash to the chosen HTML5 platform, the migration itself is very complex and requires the development, testing and deployment of new forms,” it said.

“These contain many data fields, which are underpinned by thousands of technical, administrative and complex business rules to ensure integrity of data, efficient processing and accurate assessment results.

“It is due to this complexity and the need to deliver properly tested and working forms that SARS prioritized the major tax types with the highest volumes with the rest planned for 2021.”

In light of these ongoing challenges, SARS said it will implement the following actions to assist taxpayers still experiencing issues:

  • SARS has set up an eBooking system, which is accessible immediately, to assist taxpayers facing challenges on how to navigate its system and where to find the necessary documents.
  • By next week, SARS will establish a dedicated toll-free number specifically to provide further assistance to taxpayers. This number is only to be used to resolve the Flash Adobe challenges. For other enquiries, taxpayers are encouraged to use the SARS Contact Centre.
  • SARS has been actively engaging the Recognised Controlling Bodies (RCBs). SARS and the RCBs are working together to find workable solutions for the tax practitioner segment. SARS has commissioned a virtual support hub to provide technical support to this cohort of taxpayers in the interim. The virtual support hub will be effective next week.

SARS also provided the following table which shows the forms which have and have not yet been migrated from Flash:

Read: Warning over new expat tax changes for South Africa

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