SARS urges taxpayers to file online

Johannesburg – The South African Revenue Service has urged taxpayers to file their tax returns online.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the revenue collector wants as few people as possible at branches.

SARS has come up with a new auto-assessment process which allows for most of the required paperwork to be done online.

62,000 taxpayers filed their tax returns on day one of the new auto-assessment system implemented by the revenue collector.

It is estimated 3.1-million automated returns will be processes on the new system.

“To allow more functionalist online and to shift a lot of our work online. We were able to do that by increasing our data online. You may not know that from the employers and third-party data 120 million data records. We suck that into our machine, imposed algorithms. That allows us to be ahead of you submitting your return,” said SARS commissioner Edward Kieswetter.

Kieswetter said revenue collection is down by 23%.

It is estimated to amount to about R82-billion since the start of the lockdown and with borders closed and customs duties drying up, additional collections are being lost.

Sin tax amounting to approximately R15-billion has also not been collected, due to the ban on the sale of tobacco and alcohol.

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