The SA Revenue Service (Sars) has so far paid out R5.5bn in tax refunds, with an average turn-around time of seven days for taxpayers who had not been selected for audits, since tax filing season opened at the beginning of July.

This is despite some taxpayers experiencing technical glitches on Sars’s eFiling and mobile application platforms, Sars said in a statement released today.

The turn-around for tax refunds for those selected for audits has been 21 days, according to the tax authority.

Sars acknowledged that while many taxpayers have experienced a smooth service, some may have experienced difficulties with logging in, not receiving one-time pins, an inability to upload supporting documents and data issues affecting filing, including with assessments and tax calculator results.

“[We] take these issues very seriously, and all efforts have been made to resolve them expeditiously and minimise the impact on compliant taxpayers who want to fulfil their filing obligations,” Sars says. 

Sars says the whole purpose of electronic filing is to make things easier for taxpayers.

Among the changes it introduced is the use of supported internet browsers, like Google Chrome, and the phasing out of non-supported browsers such as Internet Explorer.

New security protocols include the use of one-time pins to ensure secure login.

Sars says to date its system received six-million logins, with more than one-million taxpayers already filing returns. Of these 900,000 are for the 2019 tax year.

Taxpayers who earn below the income threshold of R500,000 from one employer and no other deductions, and still want to submit returns, can simply accept the simulated tax calculation on a pre-populated return.

Taxpayers experiencing glitches can phone the Sars contact centre on 0800-00-7277 or email to webmaster@sars.gov.za.