SARS announces medical aid tax changes for 2024

 ·10 Jun 2024

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) says it is implementing tax changes relating to medical aids, which it says should make it easier to submit data and reduce audits for taxpayers with more complex medical claims.

SARS said that many taxpayers face issues submitting medical aid data accurately and on time, so it will be making changes to simplify the process and reduce the burden on taxpayers.

The changes relate mainly to the data that is required from medical aid schemes.

This includes:

  • Provision of data on disabled Principal members and their dependents
  • Data of persons making payments on behalf of principal members.
  • Separate non-allowable from the allowable expenses, currently reported as claims not paid or covered by medical schemes on the IT3(f) certificate.
  • Field 4, File Layout Version must be 3.

For inclusivity of disabled taxpayers with multiple disabilities, the Principal Member and Dependent Disability Information containers in the Medical Scheme Contributions external BRS (Version 1.07) have been expanded to allow the selection of multiple disabilities.

For ease of reference, the changes in the latest BRS (Version 1.08) are as follows:

  • Under the Principal Member Disability Information record, fields 261 to 265 have been added and field 191 has been amended
  • Additionally, the Dependent Disability Information record has additional fields from 266 to 270 and field 216 has been amended.

SARS said that these changes will also allow it to reduce audit interventions, enable speedy assessment of tax returns, and assist in allocating medical tax credits to the correct taxpayers.

Effective September 2024, medical aids are expected to provide the requested data in line with the conditions outlined in the external Medical Scheme Contributions Business Requirement Specification (BRS).

The Medical Aid updated solution will be availed via Connect: Direct and Secured File Gateway [HTTPS] for Trade Testing from 12 August to 6 September 2024, refer trade testing queries to [email protected] with the subject Medical Trade Testing.

To allow for a smooth transition, SARS will grant a grace period of 6 months for partial submission of the requested data while stakeholders attain resources that consent to full compliance.

“Where such cases of partial compliance occur, reasons and a commitment date for full compliance will be required,” SARS said.

The implementation dates for the changes fall just within the 2024 tax season, which opens in July and closes near the end of October; however, it falls outside the third-party data collection which has already taken place.

Tax Season 2024 dates

  • Individual taxpayers (non-provisional): 15 July 2024 to 21 October 2024
    • Auto-assessment notices: 1 – 14 July 2024
  • Provisional taxpayers: 15 July 2024 to 20 January 2025
  • Trusts: 16 September 2024 to 20 January 2025

Read: SARS announces tax season 2024 dates – when to expect auto assessments

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