SARS on tax deadline: It was a crazy day but our systems worked well

accreditation

The eFiling system worked "exceptionally well", on Wednesday, the deadline for individual taxpayers to submit their tax returns, the South African Revenue Services (SARS) has said – amid reports that the Information Technology (IT) infrastructure was on the verge of collapse.

"It was a crazy day, but very successful in terms of our system… we didn’t even have one minute of downtime," said SARS executive for compliance, Fareed Kahn.

SARS acting group executive for IT strategy and architecture, Andre Rabie, testified at the Nugent Commission of Inquiry into tax administration in October that the digital infrastructure at the revenue agency was on the brink of collapse due to the halting of the modernisation programme four years ago.

SARS later denied this, and said that reports of an imminent breakdown were creating unnecessary alarm and uncertainty.

Three deadlines

Kahn said 300 000 returns were submitted using the eFiling system on Wednesday, and some SARS branches worked until 22:00 as they had committed to serving everyone in the queue who held a ticket.

SARS had a triple submission deadline on Wednesday: the personal income tax returns, PAYE Employer interim reconciliations, and many value added tax (VAT) vendors. This showed the systems "worked very well", Kahn said.

He urged taxpayers to submit their returns, even if they missed the Wednesday deadline, as every month of delay will incur recurring penalties, which range between R250 and R15 000.

The state of the SARS digital & IT system attracted further controversy in October, when the head of the division, Mmamathe Makhekhe-Mokhuane, told the Nugent Commission that the cost of fixing the system would be R2.16bn.

She later apologised for her testimony and an earlier television interview where she appeared uncertain and vague.

Provisional tax payers (businesses, and people earning income from rentals and investments) have until January 31 to submit their returns via eFiling.

* Sign up to Fin24's top news in your inbox: SUBSCRIBE TO FIN24 NEWSLETTER

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Rand - Dollar
14.85
-1.2%
Rand - Pound
20.49
-0.4%
Rand - Euro
17.30
-0.2%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.09
-0.2%
Rand - Yen
0.13
-0.1%
Gold
1,793.05
0.0%
Silver
24.33
0.0%
Palladium
2,023.00
0.0%
Platinum
1,043.50
0.0%
Brent Crude
85.53
+1.1%
Top 40
60,525
+1.7%
All Share
67,051
+1.5%
Resource 10
62,969
+2.5%
Industrial 25
86,659
+1.4%
Financial 15
13,849
+0.2%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Company Snapshot
Voting Booth
Facebook is facing a fresh crisis after a former employee turned whistle-blower leaked internal company research . Do you still use Facebook?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, the benefits outweigh the risk for me
25% - 222 votes
No, I have deleted it
46% - 417 votes
Yes, but I am considering deleting it
29% - 260 votes
Vote