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Impact of Coronavirus on SARS services

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SA Revenue Services (SARS) has issued the following notice outlining the impact of the Coronavirus on its services. The notice was issued by Mark Kingon, head of stakeholder relations, integrity and anti-corruption at SARS. SARS has also issued a communication to the Customs and Excise stakeholders on the impact of Covid-19 to the services and activities of the different ports of entries as per the President’s announcement. These notices will be updated as conditions change.

As you are aware, President Ramaphosa announced important and far-reaching steps to contain the spreading of the Covid-19 virus in South Africa. He has also called on us to work together as a nation and as a sars value stakeholder and a critical partner in the tax ecosystem we would like to request your assistance.

We would like to urge the Recognised Controlling Bodies (RCBs) to reach out to all their members and their respective clients in return to please limit access to the SARS branches. Sars services are available through electronic channels and we urge you to please use these as opposed to bringing clients into branches or visiting prices yourself. If necessary, SARS may also introduce its own screening procedures before access to branches is granted. To note:

  • Please ensure that if either you or your respective clients and been travelling abroad since mid-February, you do not visit a SARS branch unless you have been cleared by a health practitioner.
  • Clients or practitioners that may have been requested to self-isolate or suspect they have been in contact with a person that has tested positive for covid-19, please do not visit a branch office.

SARS staff will also not be attending meetings unnecessarily and where possible will encourage teleconferences or other methods of communication.

You are reminded of the electronic channels available to you:

Please see attached a notification for your information that has been issued to traders as to the impact on SARS customs functionalities.

It is at such times that we value the partnership we have with you and will ensure that we communicate with you regularly, and in turn will welcome your communication and feedback on matters that require attention. As you will be no doubt also considering measures to keep your workforce safe, and at the same time keep services going, we wish you well and appreciate your assistance to size in this regard.

This is a critical period for SARS in terms of revenue collections now more than ever a country requires everyone to pay their fair share. Please ensure that payments are made on time and they Covid-19 uncertainty is not used as a reason for non-payment. Should difficulties being experienced please contact SARS proactively. The stakeholder management team is on standby to assist you with any further queries you may have in this regard.