Income tax return

Picture: File.

One major mistake to AVOID on your income tax return

Experts warn this one mistake could risk a refund on your income tax return.

Income tax return

Picture: File.

The time to file your annual income tax return is only days away. Individual taxpayers can submit their return from 20h00 on Friday 7 July 2023 until 23 October 2023. While provisional taxpayers have until 24 January 2024 to submit their income tax return.

SARS is also in the process of sending out millions of SMSes to taxpayers who are eligible for auto assessments on their income tax return. If you receive one of these automatically prepared returns; accept it and are due a refund, you will receive the funds within 72 hours of processing.

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

However, SARS has also alerted taxpayers to a number of scams in which cyber criminals are impersonating SARS, asking for ID numbers and banking details to receive a refund. The government organisation has a list of more than 300 such phishing scams on its website. We also created an article about the most prevalent ones to watch out for (click the link below).

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

You should be aware that SARS will never ask for your banking details or ID number and will never prompt you to open an outside hyperlink. That being said, in the lead-up to Friday July 7’s filing season, there is one simple mistake you must avoid to not risk your refund, according to the experts from TaxTim.


income tax return
One major mistake to avoid on your income tax return. Picture: File.

This common mistake has to do filing your income tax return on SARS eFiling before Friday July 7 2023. do not do this, warns TaxTim.

The pre-population of ITR12 data from third parties takes place between 2 June 2023 until the opening of filing season on July 7, and there is every possibility that this pre-populated information may not be comprehensive or fully updated until filing season opens.

ALSO READ: 7 things you need to know to file your tax return with ease

Therefore, under no circumstance must you attempt to file your income tax return before the tax season officially opens at 20h00 on Friday July 7. Doing so can cause major glitches and delays with a potential tax refund.


file your SARS tax return
The South African Revenue Service has confirmed that the 2023 tax season will start on Friday, 7 July at 20:00. Your FAQs answered. Picture: Pixaby.

There are only three instances where you can file your tax return (ITR12) early on SARS eFiling. They are if you:

  • Have been declared insolvent or have been sequestrated.
  • You’re filing a tax return for a deceased estate.
  • If you are emigrating and need to submit your tax compliance status to your bank.

Don’t forget, if you attempt to submit your income tax return early, you may miss the SARS auto assessment you’re actually eligible for and confuse the automated process.


SARS auto assessment
SARS auto assessment notifications have started rolling out for 2023. Picture: File.

We’ve written a comprehensive article on what to do if you receive an auto assessment from SARS, click on it HERE. However, you still need to validate the information received from third parties, before accepting the assessment.

MUST SEE: 6 things to look for on your 2023 SARS auto assessment

Check your IRP5/IT3(a) and other tax certificates like your medical certificate, retirement annuity fund and other third-party data. If there are certificates missing, contact the relevant party to get them.

TaxTim says if taxpayers have more complex returns – like home offices, travel allowance claims, etc – it may be best to reject the SARS auto assessment and submit a conventional income tax return on SARS eFiling to maximise their deductions.