At 0900 Tuesday, over 3.84 million South Africans had submitted their tax returns. Of those, just over 2 million returns were completed via eFiling and over 1.8 million completed electronically at a SARS branch. Just 3 929 physical paper returns have been submitted thus far.
Tax Season 2014 will end this Friday (21 November) for most South African taxpayers, and SARS urges all those who have not yet submitted a return to do so as soon as possible. It is inevitable that queues will start to build at SARS branches, and that the volume of calls handled by the SARS Contact Centre will increase as the date approaches. The sooner you submit your return, the quicker the process will be.
SARS has seen a steep increase this week in the numbers of people using eFiling, the Contact Centre and visiting branches. Yesterday (Monday 17th) saw almost double the number of returns filed (nearly 46 000) compared to last Monday (10th November). This increase is expected to continue for the rest of the week.
Taxpayers are warned to be on the lookout for fraud and phishing scams, where criminals try to gain access to banking details by sending emails which pretend to be from SARS.
In an official statement, SARS said they will never ask for personal, tax, banking or eFiling login details via phone or email. Taxpayers will also never be asked to log into the eFiling website from a link in an email.
Finally, SARS have emphasised that a tax refund is not a right. All claims that are not substantiated by the correct supporting documentation will be disallowed. Taxpayers must not claim for expenses which are not allowable, and should never claim for expenses for which there is no proper evidence.