R2.7-billion in fraudulent tax claims prevented by SARS

SARS. Image: File Photo
SARS. Image: File Photo

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) prevented R2.7-billion in fraudulent personal income tax claims during the 2017 tax season for non-provisional taxpayers‚ saving the fiscus a potential revenue loss‚ it said on Sunday.

It said this was a R900-million or 50% improvement on the R1.8-billion fraudulent claims prevented during the previous tax season for non-provisional taxpayers.

At the close of the season on Friday‚ it had paid out R18.5-billion to 2.22 million taxpayers - a 26% increase from last year.

“In total‚ R19.8-billion in refunds has been paid to individuals for this financial year to date‚ inclusive of prior year returns‚ directly contributing to household incomes and the domestic economy‚” SARS said in a statement. It added that a total of 88.47% of tax returns were assessed within 3 seconds‚ and 93.63% within 24 hours.

“A total of 91.98% of taxpayers due for a refund that was not routed for audit or risk verification received their refund in less than 72 hours.” SARS received 5.67 million returns‚ inclusive of returns filed for prior years‚ by Friday‚ which marked the close of tax season for non-provisional taxpayers. 

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