One million tax returns filed in 21 days‚ Sars thanks 'patriotic' South Africans

South African taxpayers have submitted 1-million tax returns in 21 days.

This is from the launch of the 2016 tax season on 1 July to last Friday‚ 22 July.

The figure was recorded and confirmed by the South African Revenue Service.

Most submissions‚ 611‚453 (60.16%) came through via e-filing while 404‚603 (39.81%) through a SARS branch.

SARS Commissioner Tom Moyane said the trend towards eFiling marked a significant development.

“SARS made a commitment to making the filing of a tax return an easy experience... (e-filing) is available 24 hours (and) taxpayers no longer have to stand in long queues. We have also improved supporting tools such as Help-you-eFile.

“These figures show that taxpayers are responding positively to the changes and are working with SARS to collect the required revenue to meet South Africa’s development agenda‚” said Moyane.

Moyane thanked those South Africans who submitted their returns early.

“Paying tax is a cool thing to do as it is the highest form of patriotism‚” said Moyane.


The deadline for taxpayers who submit their tax returns manually by post or by dropping them off in a SARS drop box is 23 September 2016.

The deadline for all non-provisional taxpayers via efiling or at a branch is 25 November 2016. Non-provisional taxpayers are the majority of employed individuals who submit a tax return and who earn an income from one or more employer.

The deadline for Provisional taxpayers who submit returns via eFiling is 31 January 2017. Provisional taxpayers form a much smaller segment of the tax base and are those individuals with other forms of income like investment income‚ income from business activities‚ rental income‚ royalties income or directors of companies‚ Sars said.


Last year 5.94 million submissions were submitted to SARS which was 11.52% higher than in 2014. This included individuals‚ trusts and prior year submissions. Compliance for taxpayers filing on time exceeded 90% for the third consecutive year.

Of this:

- 4.2 million returns were from individuals for the 2015 tax year

- 1.69 million were outstanding returns from prior years

- 45‚390 were trust returns

- More than 95% of all returns submitted were assessed within three seconds and more than 99% within 24 hours

- SARS paid out 1.82 million refunds to the value of R15 billion – more than 95% of these refunds were paid within 72 hours.

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