Here's what you do if you owe SARS money. Picture: Pixaby.

Here’s what you do if you owe SARS money. Picture: Pixaby.

Tax season 2023 starts TODAY. Here are all the changes to eFiling you need to know about

EFiling opens at 20h00 this evening. SARS says you’ll breeze through tax season 2023 if you’re aware of these changes.

Here's what you do if you owe SARS money. Picture: Pixaby.

Here’s what you do if you owe SARS money. Picture: Pixaby.

Tax season 2023 starts this evening (Friday July 7) at 20h00. Individual taxpayers have until October 23 2023 to submit their income tax return (ITR12). Provisional taxpayers have until January 24 2024.


First things first, SARS insists you must check if you have been auto assessed before attempting to file your tax return. The revenue service has been sending out auto-assessment notices all week, and if you received one but have not yet acted on it, you MUST NOT file an ITR12.

SARS says you can now check whether they have been auto assessed via the SARS Online Query Service functionality. To do so, click HERE.

These are the responses you’ll see when you access the SARS My Auto Assessment Status query:

tax season 2023
SARS auto assessment query, tax season 2023. Picture: SARS.


If you have not been auto assessed by SARS and you have a straightforward income tax return, we recommend submitting it to SARS eFiling as soon as possible. This way you can get a refund as soon as possible and complete your return before the system comes under strain. (Zolpidem)

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

SARS also warns that you must not under any circumstance submit your tax return BEFORE the start of tax season 2023 at 20h00 tonight. Doing so if submission of third-party data is not up to date on your return will only confuse the eFiling system, cause delays and jeapordise your refund.

tax season 2023
SARS auto assessment notifications have ended for 2023. Picture: File.

To improve its service in tax season 2023, SARS has initiated a few changes to eFiling that you should be aware of. We’ve collated what we believe are the most relevant ones below:

  • For non-provisional eFilers who owe SARS money after their assessment, the payment due is now due 30 days after a notice of assessment has been issued to you.
  • If you are auto assessed and owe SARS money, payment is due 30 days after the tax season 2023 closing date, so November 23 2023.


tax season 2023
Tax season 2023 starts Friday 7 July at 20:00. Image: iStock images

A person, or the estate of a deceased person, does NOT need to submit an income tax return in tax season 2023 if the following applies:

  • Their remuneration does not exceed R500 000 for the year from a single source.
  • If they earn interest income from a South African source not exceeding the following amounts:
  • R23 800 if you are younger than 65 years.
  • R34 500 if you are 65 years or older.
  • R23 800 for a deceased person’s estate.
  • Their income was accrued from tax-free investments.
  • Income came from a single lump sum received from a pension fund, provident fund, pension preservation fund, provident preservation fund or retirement annuity fund and tax has been deducted in terms of a tax directive.

However, the following exemptions for tax season 2023 apply if:

  • You are paid certain allowances relating to business travel, accommodation or subsistence.
  • Are granted taxable benefits relating to the use of a motor vehicle.
  • Receive income for service rendered outside South Africa.


tax season 2023
Taxpayers can visit a SARS branch only after making an appointment online. Picture: File.
  • As a reminder for tax season 2023, if you were selected to be auto assessed you would have been alerted already. The window for SARS auto assessments ended yesterday (6 July 2023).
  • If you are due a refund, you should receive it within 72 hours of notification.
  • You can submit income tax return (ITR12) via eFiling. Simply register at and complete the return accordingly. We’ve made a glossary if important terms that will help you, click on it HERE.

You can submit your income tax return on your phone via the SARS MobiApp.
Download the app from the following devices.

Apple App Store for Apple devices.
Google Play Store for Android devices.
Huawei App Gallery for Huawei devices.

Once downloaded, simply register, complete your ITR12, save and submit for evaluation.


tax season 2023
SARS MobiApp. Picture: SARS.

If you feel you need in-person assistance, an agent at SARS will be able to assist you. To make an appointment to visit a SARS branch, call the SARS Contact Centre on 0800 00 7277 and select option 0 (zero). A SARS official will book an appointment on your behalf.

Alternatively, you can make an appointment HERE. Or send an SMS to 47277 (iSARS) with this information and format: Booking (Space) ID number/Passport number. This SMS service is only available to registered taxpayers. Just be sure to bring along all your supporting documentation.

ALSO READ: TAX RELIEF is at hand for embattled taxpayers in 2023

All queries for tax season 2023, including finding your individual tax number, changing of banking details and how to reset your password can be done via the SARS Contact Centre on 0800 00 7277 (SARS). The centre is open between 08h00-17h00 (excluding weekends and public holidays).

This article is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as financial, tax or legal advice. For further details consult the SARS website or get in touch with a tax specialist.