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South Africa Sees Significant Rise In Tax Returns

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

The South African Revenue Service received 5.94m tax returns by the end of the 2015 filing season for non-provisional taxpayers on November 27, which was 11.52 percent more than in 2014.

This number includes returns for individuals and trusts, and prior year submissions. The level of compliance for taxpayers filing on time exceeded 90 percent for the third consecutive year.

Announcing the preliminary results, Acting Commissioner Jonas Makwakwa said: "No doubt this is a significant achievement. We encourage taxpayers who have not yet submitted their returns to do so and join the majority of taxpayers who did so."

By the November 27 deadline, a total of 4.2m tax returns had been submitted by individuals. In addition, 1.69m outstanding returns from prior years had been received – an increase of almost 680,000 returns over the previous year.

99.96 percent of returns were filed electronically, either via e-filing (almost 52 percent) or through electronically assisted filing at a SARS branch or mobile tax unit. There were fewer than 2,000 manual returns filed.

SARS paid out 1.82m refunds worth ZAR15bn (USD1bn). More than 95 percent of these refunds were paid within 72 hours.