Johannesburg - Over three million tax returns have been
submitted ahead of the November 25 deadline, the SA Revenue Service (Sars) said
"Currently the number of income tax returns submitted
stands at 3 038 502 which is an improvement of about 15% on the figure for the
same time last year (2 591 043)," Sars said in a statement.
It said that during last year's tax season it took taxpayers
22 weeks to reach the three million mark, compared to the 19 weeks this year.
Sars reminded taxpayers who needed help filling out their
returns to visit their nearest Sars branch before the deadline.
"Taxpayers who do this will avoid the congestion that occurs
at our branches in the last week of tax season."
Over the last two weeks of tax season 2010, branches
countrywide helped more than 318 700 taxpayers, which in the major centres
translated to an average of 2 000 people a day.
In addition, more than 230 000 calls were received by the
Sars contact Centre (0800-00-7277) in the last week of tax season and 54 193 on
the last day.
Sars said that in order to address the anticipated increase
in the number of taxpayers wanting to file returns, the working hours of
branches and the contact centre had been extended.
Branches would be open from 7.30am to 6pm from Monday to
The contact centre would operate from 7.30am to 7pm from
November 14 to 18 and from 7.30am to 8pm from November 21 to 25.
Taxpayers were also encouraged to use the more convenient
option of filing returns via eFiling (www.sarsefiling.co.za).
"Sars wishes to remind taxpayers who file their returns
late that they may face tough administrative penalties for every month that a
return is late."
Provisional taxpayers who file their returns via eFiling
have until January 31 to submit returns.