New record for taxman

2012-07-23 14:26

Cape Town - More than 1 million taxpayers have filed their tax returns just 22 days after the South African Revenue Service (Sars) launched its tax filing season. Last year it took five weeks to reach the 1 million mark.

By 07:30 on Monday Sars had received 1 001 162 income tax returns for the 2012 tax season.

“This is a phenomenal response by the South African taxpaying public. The levels of early filing have exceeded even Sars’ own expectations,” said spokesperson Adrian Lackay.

During the corresponding period last year Sars had received 681 497 tax returns; by 07:30 on Monday morning 319 665 more returns had been submitted. This represents a rise of 62% for returns submitted during the first three weeks of the tax season.

The highest rate of submissions was on Monday July 2 2012 when the Minister of Finance officially launched the tax season; 82 225 tax returns were received on that day.

The higher rate of submissions and much faster turnaround times in processing tax returns has enabled Sars to pay R3.07bn in refunds to 501 096 taxpayers over the past 22 days.

“This is a significant, direct injection into the domestic economy and household incomes,” said Lackay in a media release.

For the corresponding period last year, Sars refunded 323 197 taxpayers a total R2bn.

This year there is again a strong migration to electronic filing via Sars branches or e-filing, as only 3 796 returns were submitted manually (a decrease of 32% from last year).
A total of 620 564 returns have been submitted via e-filing, 32% higher than for the same period last year. At branch offices Sars has assisted taxpayers across the country to submit 376 802 returns electronically.

Returns submitted with assistance from Sars at branch offices are 82% higher than for the same period last year.

Because a far higher number of taxpayers approached Sars branch offices for assistance much earlier this year, waiting periods and queues at the biggest Sars offices have been longer over the past three weeks.

The situation at branch offices is being monitored daily and Sars will make additional resources available to assist taxpayers over the coming weeks.

Sars thanked all taxpayers for submitting their income tax returns, and encouraged them to continue to submit returns early to avoid the last-minute rush.

 - Fin24

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  • lynn.alcock.9 - 2012-07-23 14:55

    Just completed my e-filing and the whole process was done and dusted in 15 minutes! Well done SARS!

      zambezi.river - 2012-07-24 14:10

      What is this thing called TAX !

  • FirstSeed - 2012-07-23 15:08

    For the past two years I NEVER received any single cent from SARS.Due to me ranges from R-0.25 to R-0.99. I used to get the average of R5 000. Just wondering what is going on?

      lacrimose.wolf - 2012-07-23 20:41

      a) (Most likely) Your employer's ability to deduct the correct taxes is improving b) you do not have or have forgotten to fill in the bit for your private Retirement Annuity which is tax-deductible c) You no longer have a company car or have one and the rules have changed d) Many things have happened to alter your tax-able income. If you feel you've been over-taxed, call SARS or try

  • jim.binnie.1 - 2012-07-23 16:27

    Sure - the people who anticipate a refund file early (I did because I stuffed up my provisional tax). The others who anticipate paying will hold out to file at the last minute.

  • anette.smith.16 - 2012-07-23 16:53

    I filed my return on Sunday 1 July 2012. My refund was in my Bank account Tuesday morning. Thank goodness I do not have to face those people at the branch offices.

  • afrikeni - 2012-07-23 17:08

    This stuff of REFUNDING someone then you celebrate as if you are actually giving someone free money is not on. Basically SARS have been sitting on over R6 000 per taxpayer with no interest - nice free funding. And with this new medical aid tax credit it will get worse - free money all around.

  • lacrimose.wolf - 2012-07-23 20:49

    Dear SARS, I've been divorced for *17* years. I would really like it if you would stop demanding my presence because my married name keeps popping up on your system as "not having filed a return". My ID number has not changed married, divorced or single, it's the same ID number that was given to me in 1980. It would be nice if you could figure that out instead of making me stand in a queue around the block (in the rain), then sit for hours and hours in Bellville (which is an hour's drive away from where I live and work). I have to take a day's unpaid leave because you guys cannot see the two ID numbers are the same. EVERY YEAR. After 17 years, someone now needs to be shot. Really, it is TOO MUCH!

  • wo0two0t - 2012-07-24 11:18

    What is the point in doing your Tax return I never have?

  • stiaanavenant - 2012-07-25 11:34

    SARS is busy with a live audit on our bank account. This is the 5th week they are busy, and all they do is put a block on your account, you cant access a single cent in your account. I would like to know how government can allow this, and how the HELL does SARS expect a person to live for 5 weeks with not a single cent. Further more, they dont remove the block, unless you pay fees outstanding to them, with the money that you cant access in the account that they have blocked. They are incensitive, stupid, selfish!!!!! Then when all is payed ( we had to borrow money) it takes 7 working days to remove the block. So now we sit with a bond payment that is due, accounts that are in the rear all thanks to SARS.\r\n\r\nDont do your tax, and dont bank your money, keep it under your matress like the old people did. sArS gives a flying ... For the people, as long as they get there money.

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