On the 4th June 2018, a statement was released by Acting Commissioner, Mark Kingon, around the upcoming 2018 tax season.

Using data from the last two years, and with the main objective to make the filing of tax returns simpler and more efficient, the decision was made to make the Tax Season 2018 shorter: running from 1 July to 31 October 2018.

The rationale behind this shorter filing season will allow additional time for SARS, taxpayers and the tax fraternity to deal with return verifications before most taxpayers go on their December holiday break. The quiet period after the first three months of tax season has now been removed, resulting in efficient use of SARS resources.

Impacts of the decision

  • This decision will impact all individual non-provisional taxpayers, and provisional taxpayers who opt to file at a branch.
  • Provisional taxpayers who use eFiling have until 31 January 2019 to file.
  • The deadline for manual submissions is 21 September 2018.
  • A taxpayer does not need to submit a return if ALL the following criteria apply:
    • The taxpayer’s total employment income/salary for the year of assessment (March 2017 to February 2018) before tax was no more than R350 000
    • Employment income/salary for the year of assessment was received from one employer
    • The taxpayer has no other form of income (e.g. car allowance, company car fringe benefit, business income, taxable interest or rental income or income from another job)
    • The taxpayer does not want to claim for any additional allowable tax related deductions or rebates (e.g. medical expenses, retirement annuity contributions, travel expenses, etc.)
  • Taxpayers will be encouraged to file via eFiling on their own.
  • Support with the Help-You-eFile service, will be provided. This service connects the taxpayer to one of our tax agents in real time via the contact centre while both are online. The taxpayer is then assisted each step of the way.
  • Tax returns for the current year of assessment will take priority over outstanding returns filed for prior years.
  • Where an assessment on one return may reflect a refund due, there may be instances where prior returns may reflect that the taxpayer needs to make a payment. These amounts will be offset against each other and the taxpayer will be notified of the outcome.
  • Tax practitioners will be requested to strictly use eFiling for submitting taxpayer returns and avoid doing so at a branch.
  • Administrative penalties for late submissions will be imposed, as per previous years.

1 July is around the corner, so if you need any help getting your tax returns filed, contact us on +27 43 050 0991. You can read the full statement here.