Pretoria - E-filing of tax returns to the SA Revenue Service (Sars) is becoming "easier" each year, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said on Wednesday. He was speaking at a briefing in Pretoria where Sars announced the preliminary outcome of the 2011 tax season. "SA has embraced e-filing as a culture of interaction between itself and Sars," the minister said. "Some five million South Africans submitted returns and this is a fantastic achievement for our young democracy." In 2011, 4.857 million returns were submitted compared with 3.945 million returns in 2010, an increase of 23.1%. Sars also said that the on-time filing percentage rose to 83.16% in 2011 from 80.72% in 2010. Returns assessed within 24 hours rose to 98.36% in 2011 from 93.60% in 2010.