Bloemfontein - A record 5.66 million income tax returns were submitted during this year's tax season, the SA Revenue Service (Sars) said on Tuesday.
Spokesman Adrian Lackay said the total number of returns received by 23 November was 16.4% higher than the previous year.
The total includes 4.214 million returns from individuals for the 2012 tax year.
This was an increase of 14.3% compared to 3.688 million in 2011.
The payments from taxpayers was 6.9% more than 2011.
Lackey said SARS also received 1.4 million outstanding returns from previous years, which was 25% higher than outstanding returns submitted by the 2011 deadline.
Sars said overall there was a remarkable response to the 2012 tax season with 86.05% of returns filed on-time.
Lackey said electronic submissions via eFiling also appeared to be a huge success and was increasing.
eFiling by taxpayers themselves totalled 3.08 million, which was 11.2% higher than in 2011.
Sars said refunds of R14.55bn were paid in 2012, which was R1.87bn higher than the 2011 figure of R12.68bn.
Lackey said this year Sars paid 94.5% of all refunds within 72 hours.
Nearly 400 000 individuals received refunds this year.