SARS Filing Season 2020 for Individual Taxpayers
SARS has announced that the Filing Season 2020 will be implemented in three phases, being fundamentally different from prior filing season’s. The time spend by SARS ensuring that third-party data is available and correct has substantially increased, whilst the time allowed for taxpayers and tax practitioners to submit personal income tax returns has decreased.
By pre-empting the submission of tax returns through the implementation of risk mitigation channels, revenue authorities have shifted the effort from post-filing assessment to pre-filing verification.
Tax practitioners and taxpayers will be required to shift their efforts from tax return preparation to pre-emptive confirmation ( confirming the third party data that the taxpayer has in their possession match the information on the tax return).
During Filing Season 2020, SARS is focussing on ensuring that the data that is used to prepopulate individual taxpayer’s tax returns, is verified and correct, thereby limiting the risk and time spent on Objections and corrections once returns have been submitted.
During August 2020, a significant number of Auto-assessments ( based on third party data ), will be issued. Taxpayers can then accept the auto-assessment if they are in agreement that the assessment is correct, and thereby finalising their filing obligation for 2020. Taxpayers who do not accept the outcome of the auto-assessment must file a return during Phase 3 which starts on 1 st of September 2020, with different timelines for Non-Provisional and Provisional taxpayers. Returns must be submitted online, and taxpayers who want to make use of a SARS Branch filing facility can ONLY do so by appointment before 22nd of October 2020.
Important for Individuals and Tax practitioners is Phase 2 ( Tax file updates ) from 1 st of June - 31 st of August 2020 to ensure/verify that the information on their tax returns are correct. This includes the following: - Personal Information, banking and address details as well as third party data.
Auto-assessments will be issued to individuals during this period whereby they will be given the opportunity to confirm the acceptance of the auto-assessments. Individuals who are not required to file a tax return will be notified during this period, as well as taxpayers who are required to file a tax return.
Phase 3 (Taxpayer) Filing (1 September 2020 - 31 January 2021).
1. Individuals who are required to file a return will be notified/receive a reminder.
2. Individuals who has not accepted the result of the auto-assessment must file a new return.
3. Manual submissions can be done at a SARS Branch by means of an appointment ( Branch filing facility ) - 1 st of September - 22 nd of October 2020.
4. Electronic submissions can be done via e-filing from 1 st of September - 31 st of January 2021 if the taxpayer is a Provisional taxpayer. If the taxpayer is not a Provisional Taxpayer the submission period is from 1 st of September - 16 November 2020.
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