SARS auto-assessment: New tax return initiative to be launched in August

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA – 1 November 2009: SARS offices in Sandton, Johannesburg. (Photo by Gallo Images/Charles Gallo)

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) auto-assessment programme is set to launch in August 2020, with many taxpayers receiving an SMS linked to the eFiling and SARS MobiApp systems.

As the filing season approaches, SARS Commissioner Edward Kieswetter recently announced the launch of a new automatic assessment strategy based on third-party information. Statements provided to SARS by employers, insurers and financial institutions will inform the auto-assessment process.

SARS’ auto-assessment programme offers taxpayers the option to “Accept” or “Edit” returns, thereby limiting the need to visit a branch or lodge telephonic queries. SARS explained:

“If you are auto-assessed, you will be notified per SMS in August – so there will be no need for you to call us or visit a branch. The SMS will direct you to eFiling or the SARS MobiApp to either “Accept” or “Edit” the return.

Some taxpayers may receive communication prior to 1 August 2020 indicating why they will not be auto-assessed, or alerting them to their 2019 return submission findings. This will assist them to submit the outstanding returns.

We auto-assess based on the data we receive from employers, financial institutions, medical schemes, retirement annuity fund administrators and other 3rd party data providers.”

SARS has further explained that the any refunds owed — that are detected via the auto-assessment process — will be paid into the appropriate account. Furthermore, any outstanding amounts owed to SARS will be accompanied by a due date within the Notice of Assessment. Money owed to SARS can be paid via eFiling, EFT or the SARS MobiApp.

Taxpayers who do not receive an auto-assessment request will need to process returns manually, as follows:

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Source: https://www.thesouthafrican.com/news/finance/sars-auto-assessment-sms-how-to-file-tax-returns-august-2020/

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