SARS warns about January tax change that might see taxpayers pay penalties

The South African Income Service (SARS) is anticipating a big leap in earnings tax returns in 2021, with over 4.3 million non-provisional tax returns submitted to this point. This represents a rise of 46% over final 12 months, SARS commissioner Edward Kieswetter stated in a press briefing on Monday (13 December).

“Such voluntary compliance reinforces our perception that the majority taxpayers wish to do the appropriate factor and meet their authorized obligations. We’re working very arduous to make this essential activity simple and easy by offering readability and certainty and while increasing on-line channels by way of which taxpayers can transact with our organisation,” stated Kieswetter.

“Regardless of many challenges, together with Covid-19 restrictions, load shedding and our personal inside limitations, we’re happy that our strategic intent of selling voluntary compliance is regularly gaining momentum as could be seen within the statistics and traits for this submitting season that are very encouraging beneath the circumstances.”

Nonetheless work to do 

Regardless of the measurable progress, Kieswetter stated the organisation must work to repeatedly enhance its service tradition and requirements, broaden taxpayer schooling choices, and promote the web platforms and digital choices it has created to work together with taxpayers, amongst different issues.

Kiewswetter reminded taxpayers to take observe that, from January 2022, SARS will levy penalties the place a number of tax returns are excellent.

“Earlier than the change within the laws, SARS might solely levy penalties the place two or extra returns had been excellent. Taxpayers are inspired to submit all excellent returns together with these of earlier years.”

Kieswetter stated SARS has put in place channels to make it simple for taxpayers to conform. He additional urged all non-compliant taxpayers to conform and fulfil all excellent obligations, and in that means contribute to entrenching the tradition of voluntary compliance.

“Our progress within the rebuilding of SARS is slowly progressing. We’re inspired with the outcomes thus far, however will be taught from the taxpayer experiences of this 12 months, in addition to our personal errors, as we stay resolute in our efforts to modernise SARS.

“In pursuit of our strategic intent of voluntary compliance, it is crucial that we step up our efforts to offer certainty and readability to taxpayers while working arduous to make it simpler to conform.”

On the identical time, SARs’ potential to detect and reply to non-compliance has proven marked enchancment, however we should do extra to discourage and prosecute dishonest taxpayers and merchants, he stated.

“These strategic goals are implicit in our modernisation journey which more and more can be constructed on a platform that augments human effort with data-driven insights and enabling know-how.”

A abstract of the outcomes of this 12 months’s submitting season for people reveals that:

  • Over 2.6 million had been submitted through eFiling, a rise of seven%, with 523,659 returns submitted through the MobiApp – a 59% enhance.
  • Over 306,000 returns had been submitted through SARS branches, a 15% lower. SARS brokers assisted taxpayers by way of digital appointments or later in branches after they reopened on 16 August.
  • SARS despatched out 3.4 million auto assessments. Over 2.2 million taxpayers have accepted the auto evaluation, with greater than 1.5 million accepting with none modifications. This represents a 74% acceptance charge of a brand new service providing.
  • Greater than 630,000 taxpayers neither accepted nor edited their returns. SARS stated it should ship estimated assessments to taxpayers that haven’t taken any motion.
  • SARS dedicated to pay at the least 7 out of each 10 taxpayers their refund whether it is due, inside 72 hours. This 12 months SARS paid out refunds to 86% of taxpayers inside 72 hours. Final 12 months, 77.38% of refunds had been paid inside 72 hours. In all, SARS paid out greater than R17 billion in refunds. The common refund was R11,000

Learn: SARS boss Edward Kieswetter sends warning to tax evaders

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