The South African Revenue Service (SARS) will remove drop boxes for the submission of income tax returns and other paper documents, in its drive to encourage taxpayers to use eFiling for all tax transactions where possible, it says in a press release.
As of 01 July 2018, SARS will also no longer provide certain printed forms at its branches, including forms used to register as a taxpayer (IT77C for companies and IT77TR for trusts), as a VAT vendor (VAT101), as an employer (EMP101), as well as forms used to apply for tax directives (IRP3(a), (b), (c) and (d)).
These transactions, together with the filing of income tax returns, payments and the uploading of supporting documents, can all be done electronically on eFiling with the support of Help-You-eFile and the contact centre if taxpayers get stuck.
SARS has increased the size threshold of files from 2 megabytes to 5 megabytes in time for tax season.
The increase in digital transactions means a significant saving on paper, printing and courier costs for both SARS and the taxpayer. This will also reduce traffic in branches – one of SARS’ objectives for Tax Season 2018.
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. Drop boxes were, however, provided in addition to the branch and electronic channels for taxpayers who chose to submit their returns and documents manually.
SARS says it will ensure that taxpayers switching to eFiling are supported.
Taxpayers will still be able to visit a SARS branch if they need an assisted filing experience. However, they are encouraged to migrate to electronic submission. Original paper documents will be handed back to the taxpayer for safekeeping.
SARS encourages taxpayers to use eFiling (www.sarsefiling.co.za), which it says is the most convenient method for the majority of transactions with SARS, and is available 24 hours. There are also email addresses available on the SARS website for taxpayers to interact with SARS, as well as the SARS Contact Centre (0800 00 7277).