SARS tax return deadline looms

2009-11-18 11:59

THERE are just three days left – until close of business on Friday

– before this year’s tax season draws to a close. And the heat is on taxpayers

who are still have to submit their income tax returns to do so or risk facing

the SA Revenue Service’s (SARS) tough penalties.

The new penalties, depending on the taxpayer’s annual earnings,

range from R250 to R16 000 per month of non-compliance.

But on the brighter side, the taxman is more than willing to

lending individual taxpayers a helping hand with their income tax filing. SARS’

service points have been setup around the main cities countrywide from this

morning until the end of business day on Friday.

These service points operate from 7am until 5pm, and the SARS

consultants are on hand to help first time taxpayers to register so that they

can submit via SARS e-filing.

People without access to internet are assisted by consultants to

make electronic tax submissions within a matter of minutes at these service

points.

The communications officer at SARS, Sicelo Mkosi, says there is an

increasing number of individual taxpayers using the e-filing system compared to

2 million last year.

“Manual submissions have dropped to under the 40% mark, while

e-filing has gone up to 70% this year,” he says. “South Africans are taking up

e-filing because it is less of a hassle and empowers taxpayers. It’s about a

cultural change, we want taxpayers to embrace tax payment as being easy and to

take responsibility for their taxes.”

Mkosi says more than 3.2 million tax returns out of the 5 million

have been submitted so far.

Bridgette Mphuthi, first time e-filer, said: “We’re here to avoid

the penalties. I’m glad SARS has these service stations because I would have had

to go to their offices in Carlton Centre (Johannesburg CBD), which would have

been a hassle.”

“The fear of paying a penalty fee forced me to make a stop here

before going to work. You don’t even have a grace period. They (SARS) should

extend submissions at service stations to weekends,” says another new e-filer

Never Tshabalala, from the Library Gardens (Johannesburg CBD) service

point.

Another first time taxpayer at the Library Gardens, Philisile

Dlamini, was all smiles because of the “super and efficient” service she had

just received from one of the SARS consultants.

For more enquiries visit sars, and sarsefiling.


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