tax return scams

Beware of these latest tax return scams, warns SARS. Image: SARS

DON’T be caught by these latest tax return scams, warns SARS

With millions of SARS auto assessments being sent this week, these are the latest tax return scams to look out for.

tax return scams

Beware of these latest tax return scams, warns SARS. Image: SARS

The start for income tax submissions is this Friday, 7 July 2023 at 20h00, but millions of SARS auto assessments have already been sent to taxpayers since last Friday the 30th.

Now SARS is warning against the latest tax return scams and has published a helpful webpage. Click on it HERE if you’ve received a suspicious email, text or SMS and want to confirm its validity.

ALSO READ: WHAT TO DO if you receive a SARS auto assessment in 2023


1. Beware this PayFast SMS scam that requests unsuspecting taxpayers to click on a link to receive their refund. SARS says it will not prompt you to click on any hyperlinks and you should not click on this one. If you receive this SMS or anything similar, you must email immediately.

tax return scams
PayFast SMS scam. Picture: SARS website.

Alternatively, if you suspect you’ve received a phishing/scam message, you can call the SARS Contact Centre on 0800 00 7277 (SARS). The centre is open between 08h00-17h00 (excluding weekends and public holidays).

2. This email titled INTERNAL COMMUNICATION from is a scam.

tax return scams scam alert. Picture: SARS website.

3. This message prompting taxpayers to view their account in arrears is a scam.

Picture: SARS website.

4. This SMS asking taxpayers to login into eFiling to view their Income Tax Work Page is a scam.

Picture: SARS website.

5. This email from claiming to be a Letter of Demand from SARS is a scam.

income tax scam
Beware this income tax scam. Picture: SARS website.


Most importantly, SARS will never request your banking details in any communication you receive. SARS will not send you any hyperlinks to other websites – even those of banks. For more clarification, read HERE.

FAQ: Tips to submit your 2023 SARS tax return

SARS says taxpayers can take note of the following when dealing with potential phishing/scam emails/SMSes.

  • Do not open or respond to emails from unknown sources.
  • Beware of emails that ask for personal, tax, banking and eFiling details (login credentials, passwords, pins, credit / debit card information, etc.).
  • SARS does not send *.htm or *.html attachments.
  • SARS will never ask for your credit card details.

Fraudsters are developing new scams all the time. If you receive any suspicious emails/SMSes, report them immediately to SARS at so they can help warm other taxpayers.