SARS has implemented changes to its auto-assessment rules that will make filing tax returns easier for taxpayers. Image via Twitter/@sarstax
The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has made significant changes to the 2022 Tax Filing Season. This year, over 3 million individual non-provisional taxpayers have been auto-assessed by SARS and will not have to file a tax return if they are satisfied with the outcome.
The Tax Filing Season officially starts on Friday, 1 July and SARS has conceptualised the Auto Assessment initiative which will make it easier for taxpayers to comply.
STEPS IN THE SARS AUTO ASSESSMENT PROCESS
SARS said it has identified a large segment of non-provisional taxpayers who are typically taxpayers in formal employment who receive salaried income and have deductions like retirement annuity- as well as medical aid contributions.
“By using 3rd party data received from employers, pension fund administrators and medical aid schemes, SARS was able to complete the tax declaration on behalf of this segment of taxpayers and issue them with an Auto Assessment,” the revenue collector said.
The steps in the Auto Assessment process will work as follows:
From the 1st of July, SARS will communicate directly with affected taxpayers by SMS and/or email, notifying taxpayers of their auto-assessments;
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 its bank account, e-filing or through the MobiApp by the stipulated date;
Taxpayers can access the auto assessment through any of the revenue collector’s channels, such as the MobiApp or e-filing, to review and verify the completeness and accuracy of the information that resulted in the auto assessment;
If a taxpayer is satisfied with the auto assessment, they don’t have to do anything further and the process terminates at this point;
If the taxpayer finds that there is missing and/or inaccurate information, pertaining to either income or expenses, which may have affected the outcome, it must be declared to SARS within 40 business days of the auto assessment notification by submitting a tax return.
For all auto assessments issued, SARS has performed the necessary risk screening and unless a taxpayer submits a return, no verification, audit or recall process will be initiated by SARS. In exceptional cases, banks may flag risks to the revenue collector, which will be communicated to the taxpayer.
For all returns submitted by taxpayers, the normal SARS risk-screening process will apply. This may initiate a verification, upon which SARS will request taxpayers to submit supporting documents to substantiate the information declared on the tax return.
Revised Assessments for returns submitted: Where taxpayers submitted a return, thus indicating that they are not in agreement with the auto assessment, SARS will process the return and issue a revised assessment, which may result in a different financial obligation e.g. reduced refund, increased refund or payment due to SARS.
Objections and appeals: If not in agreement with the revised assessment, a taxpayer can initiate an objection, through the normal SARS objections process.