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SARS Auto-Assessments: South African taxpayers have 40 days from 1 July 2022 to accept or reject so don’t delay!

By August 3, 2022November 24th, 2022FinGlobal

SARS Auto-Assessments: South African taxpayers have 40 days from 1 July 2022 to accept or reject so don’t delay!

August 3, 2022

The latest tax season has seen some major changes from the South African Revenue Service, all aimed at streamlining tax processes and maximising collection. More than 3 million taxpayers have been autoassessed by SARS via eFiling this year, and if they are satisfied with the outcome, they will not be required to file a tax return this year as SARS has in fact done all of the legwork already. It’s important to point out that this change can also impact South Africans earning abroad, who may not be aware of this new SARS automated assessment process

Yes. Auto-assessments are happening this year. SARS opened their 2022 Filing Season during the first week of July for individual taxpayers (both provisional and non-provisional) as well as trusts. To make collection easier, a significant portion of taxpayers were issued auto-assessments via eFiling.

This group consisted of individuals typically in formal employment, receiving a salaried income with regular deductions for things like retirement annuities and medical aid contributions. By leveraging third party data provided by employers, pension fund administrators and medical aid schemes, SARS was able to complete the tax declaration on behalf of this segment and issue them with an auto assessment on eFiling for their review.

If taxpayers accept the auto-assessment on eFiling and there is a refund due to them, it will now be paid out within 72 hours of acceptance.

SARS opened their 2022 Filing Season during the first week of July for individual taxpayers (both provisional and non-provisional) as well as trusts. To make collection easier, a significant portion of taxpayers were issued auto-assessments via eFiling.

This group consisted of individuals typically in formal employment, receiving a salaried income with regular deductions for things like retirement annuities and medical aid contributions. By leveraging third party data provided by employers, pension fund administrators and medical aid schemes, SARS was able to complete the tax declaration on behalf of this segment and issue them with an auto assessment on eFiling for their review.

If taxpayers accept the auto-assessment on eFiling and there is a refund due to them, it will now be paid out within 72 hours of acceptance.

SARS Auto-Assessments

How do I check my SARS auto-assessment?

  • Notification: On the 1st of July 2022, SARS communicated directly with affected taxpayers by SMS and/or email to notify individuals of their auto-assessments.
  • Assess + review: Taxpayers must access their auto-assessment through any of the SARS channels – such as the SARS MobiApp or eFiling –  to review and verify the completeness and accuracy of the information gathered in the process of the auto-assessment by SARS.
  • Accept or reject:
    • If the taxpayer is satisfied with the auto-assessment presented on SARS eFiling or SARS MobiApp, no further action is required from the individual and their obligation to file a tax return is satisfied.
    • If the taxpayer finds that there is missing and/or inaccurate information relating to their income or expenses which may have affected the outcome of their return, this must be declared  to SARS within 40 business daysof the auto-assessment notification by submitting their tax return to SARS.
  • Revised assessment: Where taxpayers submit a return to indicate they disagree with the SARS auto-assessment, SARS will then process their return and issue a revised assessment, which may change the individual’s outcome – i.e.: reduced refund, increased refund or payment due to SARS.
  • Agree or object: If the taxpayer is still not in agreement with the revised assessment, they are able to launch an objection through the usual SARS objections process.
  • Pay or get paid: If there is a refund due to the taxpayer, it will be paid directly to the taxpayer’s bank account within 72 business hours after the notification. If there is money owing to SARS, it must be paid to SARS through one of their accepted payment avenues by the stipulated date.

How long do you have to accept SARS auto assessment?

You have 40 business days from the date on which the auto-assessment notification on eFiling was issued to decide whether to accept the SARS auto-assessment.

The clock started ticking on 1 July 2022. If there is anything you disagree with, or something missing from your SARS auto-assessment tax return on eFiling, you should take action without delay.

Fair warning for taxpayers: don’t delay!

SARS is going to great lengths to remind taxpayers that it is a criminal offense not to file a tax return or to make a declaration that is inaccurate or incomplete. SARS has reiterated that they will impose penalties for late submissions as well as inaccurate/incomplete declarations.

Penalties for non-compliance

  • An understatement penalty (USP) of up to 200% can be charged where SARS suffered prejudice because of the failure to submit a return, an omission from a return, or an incorrect statement in a return.
  • An administrative non-compliance penalty of R16,000 per month can be charged for every month that a tax return remains outstanding.

Toward a culture of seamless voluntary compliance

Taxpayers must keep in mind that in this digital age, SARS has access to various sources of data, which enables them to track individual economic activity and verify the completeness and accuracy of tax declarations.

What should you do now? Your next steps:

How do I check my auto assessment on eFiling?

Check your SARS MobiApp or your SARS eFiling to ascertain whether you have been selected for auto-assessment by SARS. Should you not have access to any SARS channel, contact your tax service provider or call on FinGlobal for assistance.

  • Non-provisional taxpayers who were not auto-assessed will be required to file a return can do so from 1 July 2022 up until 24 Oct 2022.
  • Provisional taxpayers as well as trusts can file their return from 1 July 2022 until 23 January 2023.

Need a hand ensuring that you’re tax compliant from overseas? Let FinGlobal handle it for you. Drop your contact details below and we’ll be in touch to discuss your expat tax requirements.

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