1.5m taxpayers have yet to file returns

Tax time
Tax time

With just three days left to submit tax returns, 1.5 million South Africans liable to pay tax have not yet done so.

Non-provisional taxpayers who submit their returns via eFiling or the MobiApp digital platform have until Wednesday to do so.

Provisional taxpayers have until January 31 to submit their returns via eFiling, but the tax season for individual taxpayers who intend to submit their returns at SA Revenue Service (Sars) branches has passed. The expiry date was on October 31.

By mid-November, 3.88 million personal tax returns had been submitted at branches and via eFiling.

This includes returns for this year and the previous year, said Sars.

Read: Why is there a culture of fear around paying tax?

In the interim, the number has risen to about 4 million, said Fareed Khan executive head of compliance at Sars.

Khan said many people mistakenly believe that this means that only 4 million people in the country pay tax. However, many people who earn less than R500 000 a year, and who have a single employer, no other form of income and no additional allowable deductions, do not have to submit tax returns.

On the basis of historical data and projections, Sars estimates that there are about 1.5 million people who should submit tax returns but have not yet done so.

Sars warned that taxpayers who miss the deadline for submission of their returns, which is a criminal offence, might be fined between R250 and R16 000 every month.


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