In response to COVID-19, SARS has re-designed the 2020 tax filing requirements for individuals.  Some material changes have been made to simplify the process and remove the need to visit SARS branches in an aim to become more efficient and observe social distancing.

Through the increased use of third-party data, SARS will be completing your tax return for you. Where SARS has the required information they will provide you with a proposed auto-assessment without the need for you to file a tax return. This enables you to view, accept, or edit your proposed assessment online using eFiling or SARS MobiApp.

The 2020 tax season (period 1 March 2019 to 29 February 2020) for individuals will open 1 June 2020 and it will be staggered as follows:

Auto-Assessments
1 June 2020 – 31 August 2020 SARS will issue auto-assessments based on third party data (e.g. employers, medical aid, pension funds, etc) and provided claims are not anticipated (e.g. travel allowance). Taxpayers have the opportunity to accept auto-assessments or not as per below:

  • During August auto-assessments will be issued and taxpayers will be notified by SMS
  • Taxpayers have the opportunity to confirm acceptance of the auto-assessment afterverifying the accuracy OR if you do not agree with the results or anticipate claims you can edit the information and resubmit your income tax return from 1 Sept
  • If you accept the auto-assessment under or overpayments will be processed as normal
  • Taxpayers who are NOT required to file will be informed – details to be advised
  • Taxpayers who are required to file from 1 Sept will also be informed – details to be advised
Filing 
1 Sept 2020 – 16 November 2020 Non-provisional taxpayer eFiling
1 Sept 2020 – 22 October 2020 Non-provisional taxpayer Branch filing by appointment
1 Sept 2020 – 29 January 2021 Provisional taxpayer eFiling

It is important to note that SARS will be relying on data collection from both local and international third parties.

Creative CFO welcomes this trend towards automation if it saves you time and money, and we see this as the first step towards future digital submissions. We are here to assist you in navigating these changes and make the most of the new technology.

If you have any questions please contact our Tax Team here.

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