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South Africa Drops Paper Forms To Encourage E-Filiing

Monday, July 16, 2018

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has removed certain paper forms from its branches in an attempt to encourage more taxpayers to file tax returns electronically.

Since July 1, 2018, SARS's branch offices no longer provide forms used to register as a taxpayer (including for companies and trusts), as a VAT vendor, or as an employer.

SARS is also removing drop boxes used for the manual submission of paper returns from its brances, the agency has announced.

"These transactions, together with the filing of income tax returns, payments, and the uploading of supporting documents, can all be done electronically," SARS said, adding that it has increased the size limit for files submitted electronically from two megabytes to five megabytes.

"A digital and paperless approach was initiated more than a decade ago when the internet-based eFiling system was made available for the electronic submission of personal income tax returns," SARS said. "SARS will ensure that taxpayers switching to eFiling are supported."

The 2018 tax season will be three weeks shorter than normal, running from July 1 to October 31. However, the deadline for provisional taxpayers who e-file is January 31, 2019, with the deadline for paper submissions set at September 21, 2018.