The SARS new MobiApp and eFiling site are ways to file taxes online. Taxpayers no longer have to stand in queues or travel long distances to file their taxes. eFiling is a free secure online service that SARS created to let businesses, taxpayers, and tax practitioners register, submit tax returns and declarations, make payments related to duties, contributions, taxes, and levies. The MobiApp has new and more enhanced services that taxpayers can access with/out airtime or data. Taxpayers can now request an eBooking appointment, request a statement of appointment, and receive a Tax Registration Number. Taxpayers can also request to know whether or not to submit a tax return. These new additions are beneficial to taxpayers because it reduces the need to go to the physical office with the rise of COVID-19 in South Africa. Despite the coming of the eFiling system and the MobiApp, some taxpayers prefer to visit physical Sars branches. Such taxpayers have to send an SMS to or cal the Sars Contact Center to book an appointment. Those with no appointments will not be attended to.
This article discusses how to file your tax returns using eFiling and Sars’ new MobiApp.
When does tax returns season start
The tax filing season started on the 1st of July. Filing using the MobiApp or eFiling system that Sars currently has is beneficial because Sars temporarily closed its physical offices because of the third wave of coronavirus infections in South Africa. All taxpayers are therefore advised to file their taxes online.
Filing returns on eFiling and MobiApp
Taxpayers can choose to file their tax returns through the MobiApp, eFiling site, or at a physical Sars office. These are the steps to file returns using the MobiApp and the eFiling site.
How to file returns on the MobiApp
- Download the MobiApp from Google Play Store or the App Store on your smartphone or tablet.
- Tap on MobiApp and register if you don’t have an account.
- Enter your username and unique password to login if you have an account.
- Tap Tax Returns. You will see a pop-up message informing you SARS is generating your tax income returns.
- The Form Creation Wizard will appear on your screen.
- Carefully read the message and ensure the year of assessment and the tax reference number are correct. Those two are found at the top of your screen.
- Click OK if they are correct.
- Fill the various sections of the form wizard that apply to you. This will help SARS create a return that is in line with your situation.
- Fill in all the information that is required of you and check all information against your documents.
- Red sections indicate you have to provide more information, while Blue sections indicate you have provided all the necessary information.
- Collapse a completed section to move to the next section.
- You must declare additional income, such as rental income.
- Add all necessary information in the Deductions section and check that all the information is correct.
- You can tap the Tax Calc. to make a tax calculation based on your tax return before submitting the return. It will show the returns of your calculation, and it will be saved automatically.
- Your screen will display that you have successfully submitted your returns.
- Then tap View Assessments and work in line with the prompts that will be displayed on your screen.
- It will display your assessments and let you make payments if necessary.
- Then select for audit or verification.
How to file returns on the eFiling site
- Visit the SARS website at www.sarsefiling.co.za
- Click login on the right-hand side of the screen.
- Type in your username and then click Next.
- Then type in your unique password. It should be strong, composed of characters and letters. Do not share your eFiling password with anyone for security purposes.
- Then click login.
- Check if your name appears under the Taxpayer List to ensure you haven’t logged into another person’s eFile page. Also, check that the title of the page reads INCOME TAX WORK PAGE. If it doesn’t, check the bottom left-hand side and click the RETURNS ISSUED button.
- The Personal Income Tax (ITR12) will show on the menu on the left when Return Issues opens. Click Personal Income Tax (ITR12) to continue.
- The title of the page will be returned Search, and it will display the Personal Income Tax (ITR12) returns that you are working on.
- Select a tax year from the selector box to the right of the page and then click Request Return. SARS will generate your tax returns for the year. However, if you have already created your tax return for the year and it is listed, you don’t have to do the next step.
- Click Open on the right-hand side of the blue box.
- Read the information pop-up, and you’ll see your INCOME TAX WORK PAGE.
- Click ITR12 under return type, and it will take you to your tax return.
- Respond to the questions that are required to give you a specific return.
- Complete your eFiling form and submit it.
Requirements to file for tax returns
- File an IRP5/IT3(a) Employees Tax Certificate if it applies to you.
- File the certificates you received for foreign interest income, local interest income, and foreign dividend income.
- You need to submit the certificates that you (the taxpayer) and your spouse received if you are married in a community of property.
- File the certificates that you received if you are married out of community property.
- File documents that are related to your medical expenditure. Here are examples;
- File a completed ITR-DD Confirmation of Disability form if you want to claim expenses that are related to disability.
- Proof of qualifying medical expenses that you paid. Do not submit proof of medical expenses that were recovered by a medical scheme.
- If you have a medical scheme, file the income tax certificate from your medical scheme that you received from the 1st of March 2020 to the 28th of February 2021.
- File receipts and documents of expenditure that are commission-related.
- File all information that has to do with the letting of assets.
- Have a logbook to claim business and travel deductions if you received a fringe benefit for a vehicle that your employer-provided or if you received a travel allowance.
- File financial statements for farming activities and trading if applicable.
- Any other documents that are related to deductions you want to claim or documents or income that you must declare.
Tax season deadline
The tax season will end on the 23rd of November 2021 for individual taxpayers, while provisional taxpayers can file their tax returns till January 2022 using the MobiApp or eFiling.