Sars opens 2013 tax season

The 2013 tax season for submission of tax returns has officially opened, the SA Revenue Service (Sars) said on Monday.

By 6.30am on Monday, 260 Sars officials were already on the streets raising awareness about the start of the tax season, Sars spokesman Adrian Lackay said.

“By the start of business this morning, more than 11,238 income tax returns have already been submitted though the internet on eFiling,” Lackay said.

Lackay said that by the deadline of the end of November 2012, 5.66 million tax returns had been submitted, a 16.4 percent increase from 2011.

Refunds of R14.55 billion were paid to taxpayers, which was 14.8 percent more than the previous year.

Lackay said the annual tax season represented one of the biggest, direct engagements between a public institution of the South African government and taxpayers.

“It also serves as a key determinant of the levels of compliance amongst ordinary citizens with the laws of the country,” he said.

The key focus for 2013 was to encourage taxpayers to electronic channels to file their tax returns, to avoid queues in Sars offices.

If the taxpayer was not able or confident to complete and submit the tax return themselves on eFiling, it could be done electronically by a Sars consultant at a branch office.

The deadline to submit returns by post, or drop them off at a Sars drop box, was September 27.

Non-provisional taxpayers had until November 22, and provisional taxpayers until January 31 next year.

Provisional taxpayers had income from investments, business activities, rent, and royalties.

Lackay said from this year any taxpayer whose gross income for the year was below R250,000 need not file a tax return if they met the following requirements:

  • only earned one salary from one employer;
  • did not have any other form of income such as interest or rental income; and
  • did not need to claim deductions such as medical expenses, retirement annuities, or travel expenses.

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Sars opens 2013 tax season