Cape Town - More than six million South Africans are filing their tax returns electronically, 12 times more than five years ago, says the SA Revenue Service (SARS).
In its annual report presentation to Parliament on Wednesday, SARS said that during the 2010/11 financial year only 4.2%, or 186 000, of the country's taxpayers submitted their returns on paper compared with 345 000 returns, or 8% that were submitted in the previous financial year.
Another 1.7 million of the returns, or 38% of the total, were submitted through SARS' branch offices.
Other SARS performance indicators were that 81% of taxpayers filed their tax returns on time during the 20101/11 financial year and there was an 11% reduction in outstanding returns compared with the previous financial year and this resulted in R17.7bn being recovered from the debt book.
SARS officials conducted more than 80 000 audits and 6 500 investigative audits. This resulted in 83% of those audits being successful and resulted in R3.9bn cash collected on raised assessments and reduced refunds.
More than 125 000 taxpayers were issued with penalties for outstanding returns and this resulted in an additional R191m. million collected. SARS officials completed 23 580 seizures of counterfeit goods with an estimated value of R994m.