SARS step by step guide

Image credit: AdobeStock

SARS tax season open – Step-by-step guide on how to do your e-filing

Taxpayers who cannot file online can do so physically at a SARS – but only by appointment due to the closure of physical branches.

SARS step by step guide

Image credit: AdobeStock

South Africa’s tax season is now open for individual taxpayers. 

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) said that the filing season will run from July 1 to November 23.


SARS said that taxpayers who cannot file online can do so physically at a SARS branch by appointment only, as it has temporarily closed its physical branches due to concerns around the third wave of Covid-19 infections currently impacting the country.

It said that the temporary closure of the tax branches will not affect the start of the filing season for individuals who traditionally file via eFiling or the SARS MobiApp.

These taxpayers are encouraged to continue doing so digitally, starting from 1 July 2021, it said. 

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to do your e-filing:

Step 1. Log in

Visit On the right hand side of the screen, click the ’Log in’ option.

Type in your unique username, click next and type in your password. Note that you have decided these details when you registered for eFiling. Once done, press login.

Step 2. Generate your ITR12 tax return

Make sure that your name appears at the top under Taxpayer List in case you are logged onto someone else’s Sars eFile page by mistake.

Also make sure that the title of the page is INCOME TAX WORK PAGE. Click the RETURNS ISSUED button in the menu on the left hand side.

In the menu on the left hand side, Returns Issued will open, showing Personal Income Tax (ITR12). Click the ’Personal Income Tax (ITR12)’ option.

If you have done the above properly, the page title will now be, Return Search, and should show your ITR12 returns.

Select a tax year from the drop down selector box on the right hand side of the page and click on Request Return.

Step 3. Your income tax return

In the long blue box, you will see the requested return showing details and information such as your name, reference number, return type, status and due date. Click Open on the right hand side.

We know no-one is a big fan of pop-ups but read the information pop-up as this has crucial information. You should now be on the INCOME TAX WORK PAGE of Sars eFiling.

Under return type, click ITR12. Take note the Tax Period matches the tax season you are filing for.

Step 4. Set up the sections of your return

The very first page of your return on eFiling will ask you a couple of questions to build a return that is specific to you personally.

Once you start filling it out by checking boxes and entering information and numbers, it will change and thus, prompt you for more information.

Step 5. Complete your return in eFiling

Any items that have not been completed will need to be filled in.

In some instances, Sars will block you from entering values into some blocks. This is due to your answers to previous questions.

If you are unable to enter something important into eFiling, contact 0800 00 7277 (0800 00 SARS) for technical assistance.

Once you’re happy that you have copied all the amounts, checked all the boxes and went through the descriptions into your eFiling return, click Save Return.

You will then see a confirmation message, click Continue to return to the INCOME TAX WORK PAGE.

Step 6. Submit

Click on your ITR12, make changes and save. If you’re 100% satisfied with your return, click File Return and it’s done. Also pay attention to any pop-ups as you might have missed something important.

Individual taxpayers have been advised by the South African Revenue Service (SARS) to carefully consider any claim for home office expenses before filing their income tax returns.


“Understandably, due to the impact of Covid-19, a number of individuals spent more time than usual working from home.”

In considering whether to claim for any related expenses, it is important to note the following:

There have been no changes to the legislation in relation to a “home office”. The legal requirements remain the same as before the Covid-19 pandemic.

READ MORE: Working from home – carefully consider any claim for home office expense