E-filing season – Timelines for consideration

For clarity around the submission of tax returns, SARS re-emphasised the various submission dates last week:

1 August – 31 August 2020

Filing of returns commence through any of the SARS eChannels, namely the eFiling website & MobiAPP.

1 September 2020 – 16 November 2020

Taxpayers who require assistance may call our contact centre for completing their tax returns with the assistance of an agent.

22 October 2020

This is the closing date for taxpayers who elect to file at a SARS office – we remind you to please make an appointment should you need assistance.

16 November 2020

This is the closing date for taxpayers who file online using the eFiling website or MobiApp.

29 January 2021

This is the final date for provisional taxpayers to fulfil all their outstanding filing obligations.

According to Carrie Norden, tax specialist at Allan Gray, COVID-19 has changed the tax process and landscape for taxpayers dramatically. “The tax filing season will now be split over four phases, and SARS will be automatically assessing a significant number of individual taxpayers in August 2020,” Norden shares. Auto-assessment will see SARS basically doing the filing for the taxpayer if he or she accepts the pre-populated return.

Norden shares three tips for filing your tax return this season:

1. Carefully check your tax certificate versus your tax return information and do not accept the auto-assessment if there are discrepancies or if you have additional information to add.
2. Ensure all your deductions are captured as you may be eligible for a tax refund. This includes your retirement fund contributions – the full amount contributed during the tax year should be captured so that SARS has record of it, for this tax year and future years, as excess contributions not deductible in the current tax year will carry over.
3. If you have outstanding tax returns, you should file promptly. Ensure you settle any outstanding tax debt.

“Remember, while you may be able to claim tax for COVID-19 related measures, such as working at home through lockdown, this will only apply in the new tax year, not for the current year.”

Click here to read the SARS media release.

Click here to download the Allan Gray media release.

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