Tax season: Revenue Services gives an update on filing season 2019

South African’s have been efficient and effective in filing for tax returns, with over 6 million logins, 1.3 million returns requested, and over 1 million returns submitted, of which 900 000 are for the current 2019 tax year.

On Monday, 29 July 2019, SARS was able to pay R5.5 billion in tax returns, with an average turn-around of 7 days for taxpayers that had not been selected for audits, and 21 days for those selected for audits.

How to file for taxes using SARS app

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has encouraged taxpayers to submit income tax returns via the SARS eFiling or the SARS MobiApp when the tax season commences on 1 July 2019. The tax returns were predominantly for electronic filing via SARS eFiling and Mobile Application platforms, in attempts to make things easier for taxpayers.

To ensure a smooth service here is how to file your tax returns using the app while maintaining cybersecurity protocols and staying updated on technology.

bb2c018f sars tax returns - Tax season: Revenue Services gives an update on filing season 2019
Photo: pixabay.com

Safety measures introduced for cybersecurity

New security protocols:

  • Use of one time pins to ensure secure login.
  • User profile and portfolio clean-up.
  • Structured security questions with client known data.
  • Use of supported internet browsers, like Google Chrome and the phasing out of non-supported browsers such as Internet Explorer.

Introduction of HTML5 technology:

  • To replace the outdated ADOBE forms technology, which most browsers are closing down.
  • Cater for visually impaired clients via software compatibility.
  • Ease of use using browser and keyboard controls.

An all-new MobiApp:

  • Caters for the full submission cycle, including audit and payments.
  • Uploading supporting documents.
  • Includes a chatbot, Lwazi, that can be interacted with to provide answers to Filing Season and Tax related questions.
  • Call Centre interaction with call back capability.
  • Self Service Username and Password functionality.
  • eFiling registration capability.

Newly refreshed eFiling site:

  • New navigation functionality that puts more power in the hands of the user, for example, requirements like ‘forgotten username’ and ‘password reset’.
  • Portfolio management and profile clean-up.
  • Redesigned and dynamic Tax Risk Engine that drives specific supporting document requests.
  • An efficient Case Selection Engine that matches and pre-populates third party data on tax returns.
  • Legal changes, as introduced on an annual basis

SARS says technical glitches are to be expected

With the new safety protocols and enhanced co-browsing, SARS can enable call centre agents, to assist and guide taxpayers with return completion.

“SARS has noted the dissatisfaction expressed by a few taxpayers over technical glitches encountered while trying to submit their tax returns. SARS acknowledges that while many taxpayers have experienced a smooth service, some have experienced difficulties with logging in, not receiving one-time pins, the inability to upload supporting documents, data issues impacting filing, including assessments and tax calculator results.”

South African Revenue Service

The revenue services announced to take these issues very seriously, and all efforts have been made to resolve them so consumers can fulfil their filing obligations.

“SARS would like to apologise for the inconvenience to the affected taxpayer, but wishes to emphasise that this is not the general rule. The process for taxpayers below the income threshold, which was increased to R500 000, with income from one employer and no other deductions, who still want to submit returns, was further enhanced to allow seamless submission, by presenting a simulated tax calculation based on pre-populated third party which could simply be accepted.”

South African Revenue Service

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