SARS wants taxpayers to file online



The South African Revenue Service has urged taxpayers to file their tax returns online.

This decision was made as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The revenue collector wants few people at their branches in order to curb the spread.

SARS has come up with a new auto-assessment process which allows for most of the required paperwork to be done online.

62,000 taxpayers were able to file their tax returns on the first day of the new auto-assessment system implemented by SARS.

It’s estimated 3.1-million automated returns will be processed on the new system.

“To allow more functionalist online and to shift a lot of our work online. We were able to do that by increasing our data online. You may not know that from the employers and third-party data 120 million data records. We suck that into our machine, imposed algorithms. That allows us to be ahead of you submitting your return,” said SARS commissioner, Edward Kieswetter.

Kieswetter said revenue collection is down by 23 percent.

This is estimated to amount to about R82-billion since the start of the lockdown and with borders closed and customs duties drying up, additional collections are being lost.

Sin tax amounting to approximately R15 -billion has also not been collected, due to the ban on the sale of tobacco and alcohol.

SARS says it’s working with the Hawks and SAPS to clamp down on the booming trade in illicit products.

It has managed to recover R80-million just on tobacco alone.

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