Tax Season 2017 deadline

Tax Season for all non-provisional taxpayers closed on 24 November 2017. If you haven't submitted by the time the deadline has passed, do so as soon as possible to avoid penalties.
If you haven’t yet filed your Income Tax Return (ITR12), you can do so via eFiling or electronically at a SARS branch where a friendly agent will help you.
If you need help while eFiling, you can access Help-You-eFile, a free service available to all eFilers. Simply click on the Help-You-eFile icon on your eFiling login page or at any point during your eFiling session to be connected to a friendly SARS agent who will assist you to complete your Income Tax return. This service is available during office hours.

Penalties for non-submission of returns

If you submit your Income Tax Return (ITR12) after the deadline you are liable for an administrative penalty for non-compliance. The penalty amount imposed depends on a taxpayer’s taxable income and ranges from R250 up to R16 000 per month for each month that your return is outstanding. And if you don’t pay the penalty the law allows SARS to deduct the penalty from your salary or bank account.
To see if you have any penalties owing to SARS for outstanding returns or owe any other amounts, request a Statement of Account via eFiling or at a SARS branch.

What are the deadlines?

​Channel Deadline Type of Taxpayer​​
Manual – post or at SARS branch drop boxes​ ​22 September 2017 ​Non-provisional and provisional
eFiling or electronic filing at SARS branch ​ ​24 November 2017 ​Non-provisional
eFiling​ ​31 January 2018 ​Provisional


Tips for filing your tax return

  • Obtain your eFiling login name and reset your password now if you have forgotten it.
  • Ensure that your personal information displayed on the tax return is up-to-date.
  • All banking details must be correct.
  • Have all the supporting documents ready:

    • Proof of income such as: 
      • IRP5/IT3(a) from your employer or pension fund
      • Tax certificates for investment income IT3(b)
      • Tax Free Investments certificate(s) IT3(s)
      • Financial statements (e.g. for business income), etc.

    • Proof of deductions such as:
      • Medical scheme contributions certificates and receipts
      • Completed confirmation of diagnosis of disability form (ITR-DD) if you want to claim any disability expenses
      • Retirement annuity fund contributions certificates
      • Travel logbook (if you receive a travel allowance or use a company car), etc.

For more information on uploading supporting documents to eFiling, click here.

Top tip: Take your ID book, passport or driving licence with you if you visit a branch to submit your return.

Changes to the ITR12 Tax Return

Some of the changes introduced:
  • Medical expenditure

Check if the information on your medical scheme tax certificate is correct. If not, contact your medical scheme to correct it before you file your tax return.  If your employer paid your medical scheme contributions to your medical scheme on your behalf, the amount will appear on your IRP5/IT3 (a) certificate but SARS will not use this amount in calculating your assessment. You must complete the medical expenses section on your ITR12 using the information on your medical scheme tax certificate. For more information on medical expenditure changes, see Medical expenditureNote: If the information pre-populated on your ITR12 does not match the information reflected on your medical scheme tax certificate(s) which you received from your medical scheme, please click on the ‘Refresh Medical Data’ button to ensure that data from your latest medical scheme tax certificate(s) is populated onto your ITR12 return. If you experience any issues when completing your Medical Deductions on your ITR12, click here.

  • Retirement Annuity Fund Contributions

If you want to claim deductions for retirement annuity fund contributions you made, you must provide the individual policy number(s) and the name(s) of the insurer(s) or fund(s) of each. If you experience any issues when completing your Retirement Annuity Fund Contributions on the Income Tax Return (ITR12), click here.

  • Income distributed/vested as a beneficiary of Trusts

If you received income as a beneficiary of a trust/s, the trust details for each trust as well as details about local and foreign income derived from each of the trusts must be provided individually.   The trust income from more than one trust must not be combined, but must be declared in separate containers.

  • Disability

Additional information of each qualifying person with a disability needs to be completed on the ITR12. If you, your spouse or qualifying child(ren) have been diagnosed with a disability by a duly registered medical practitioner and you want to claim deductions, you have to provide the following information:

    • the date of birth of the qualifying person(s)
    • the severity of the disability as per the ITR-DD
    • the date when the most recent Confirmation of Diagnosis of Disability (ITR-DD) certificate was completed by a medical practitioner
    • the medical practice number of the registered medical practitioner who completed the ITR-DD.

 Where there is more than one person with a disability, detailed information per person is required.

 Top tip: Do not submit the ITR-DD. We will let you know if we need it. 

  • South African Residency status

Taxpayers will have to indicate, where applicable, on which date during the relevant year of assessment (e.g. 1 March 2016 to 28 February 2017) they ceased to be a resident of the Republic of South Africa.

  • Employment status

Taxpayers who were unemployed for the full year of assessment (e.g. 1 March 2016 to 28 February 2017), and received no form of income (including no capital gains/loss) will need to indicate this on the ITR12.  Taxpayers who were unemployed for any period during the relevant year of assessment will also have to indicate the period(s) of unemployment in the specific container provided on the ITR12.   

  • Taxpayer verification system

We have implemented additional security measures at our branches for taxpayers who need to change their banking details or applicable registered details with SARS. You will be authenticated to make sure that your information is secure. Remember, taxpayers who are registered for eFiling may change their banking details and applicable registered details on eFiling. If the validation of your banking details is unsuccessful on eFiling, you will be requested to visit a SARS branch to validate your banking details in person. Remember, most personal details can be changed on eFiling, only in certain circumstances, you may need to go to a SARS branch to change the details.

 Authentication steps:

    • Provide your ID
    • We will scan your fingerprint
    • We will take your photograph
    • We will check your ID and fingerprint with the Department of Home Affairs to make sure it
      corresponds with their records.
  • Beware of scams

Do not fall victim to tax identity fraud - protect your taxpayer information, banking details, login name and password at all times.

Be aware of people who offer to complete your tax return and promise you that they can get you a refund. Only deal with registered tax practitioners. If you make deals with people who claim that they can get you a refund, you are also guilty of breaking the law.

Top tip: SARS will never request your banking or personal details in any correspondence that you receive via post, email or SMS. SARS will also not send you correspondence with hyperlinks to other websites. 

To see a prototype of the ITR12 tax return as an example only, click here.

Please note - Omission of source code 4582
With the implementation of the Retirement Reform requirements, information code 4582 (remuneration portion of income included under income codes: 3701 Travel Allowance, 3702 Re-imbursive Travel Allowance, 3802/3816 Use of Employer provided Vehicle) and its value were omitted from the submission file created by e@syFile™ Employer. Here is what Employers should do and what Employees should do, click here.

Need help?

  • Call the SARS Contact Centre on 0800 00 7277
    • Don’t wait in the contact centre queue – Use the Call-back option and a SARS agent will call you back. The Call-Back option will be offered to you if you have been in the queue for a certain length of time. You will be prompted for specific personal information, including a number to be called back on. When the Call-Back has been successfully offered, a queue number will be reserved and you may hang up the call and wait for a friendly SARS agent to call you back. For Tax Season 2017, the Call-Back function is available during SARS Contact Centre hours, Monday to Friday between 8:00 and 18:00.
    • Let a friendly SARS Contact Centre agent guide you while you eFile using Help-You-eFile.

  • Visit your nearest SARS Branch.

  • You may also attend one of our tax workshops or visit your nearest SARS mobile unit.

  • If you have forgotten your password you can reset it by calling our SARS Contact Centre and following a simple procedure. See our simple self-service process.
Top tip: Stay informed by visiting the website regularly for more updates on 2017 Tax Season, or even better, subscribe to our RSS feeds and you will be alerted when any changes are made to the pages you subscribe to! 
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Last Updated: 27/11/2017 10:56 AM     print this page
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 Top FAQs

How is interest paid to a non-resident from a South African source taxed?
As from 1 March 2015 interest from a South African source paid to a non-resident will be taxed at a final withholding tax rate of 15%.

Where can I find information to help me fill in my ITR12 correctly?
For information to fill in your ITR12 correctly: See Completing your ITR12 ITR12 – Comprehensive Guide is available here Visit the Tax Season webpage for all the latest information.

If the populated information is incorrect on my ITR12 return, how do I correct this?
For manual completion:- If the populated information is incorrect, you can change any populated information by :-Using a black pen to write over the information printed in pink

Can I claim professional subscription fees as a chartered accountant?
A person who earns remuneration income (which is not derived mainly from commission) cannot claim professional subscription fees against the income received.

Why am I not able to change my identity number/passport number/passport country and passport issue date on my ITR12?
SARS checks your Date Of Birth, ID number and Passport number with the Department of Home Affairs (DOHA), who are the official register of all Identification information. Consequently SARS won't allow changes to this DOHA information on the return.