The South African Revenue Services (SARS) is the official tax body in South Africa. The institution strives to collect tax revenue from qualifying South African citizens. It aims to make sure the taxes are collected in an efficient way.
Who has to file a tax return?
If your total annual salary before tax is R350 000 or less, there is no need to file a return, providing that:
You only have one employer.
You have no car allowance.
You have no other income (such as rent).
You are not claiming deductions
medical aid; retirement annuity; travel expenses.
You have not had dividends paid to you and were not a non-resident during the 2015 year of assessment.
How SARS refunds work
If you’re owed a refund, this amount will be electronically paid. It usually reflects in your bank account within 2-3 days. If this amount has not been paid, it could be due to a number of reasons, such as
- An audit being conducted on your account
- Your banking details being incorrect
- You may have outstanding returns
- You may have an outstanding amount due to SARS
The question on many peoples’ minds this year is likely to be
How long does SARS take to pay refunds in 2017?
There is no simple answer to this question. It’s important to however keep in mind that there is no provision that compels SARS to pay a refund to a taxpayer within a specified time frame.
The Tax Administration Act (TAA) does not prescribe a period in which SARS must be finished with the verification of supporting documents (or an audit.)
Section 103 of the Tax Administration Act contains time periods SARS must stick to regarding things like providing reasons for an assessment, informing the taxpayer of the outcome of an objection/appeal.
In the past, where individuals weren’t marked for verification or audit, refunds were typically paid within 24 to 48 hours.
The audit process could take 3 to 4 weeks.
Tax Legislation doesn’t stipulate a maximum time frame in which refunds have to be paid. So how long SARS takes to pay refunds in 2017 will be dependent on a range of factors.