Sars receives record number of tax returns

A record number of 4.86-million income tax returns were received this year, the South African Revenue Service (Sars) said on Wednesday.

“The total number of returns received between 1 July and 25 November 2011 is 23% higher than the previous year,” Sars said in a statement.

Of the 4.86-million income tax returns, 3.688-million were from individuals.

This was an increase of 15.5% compared to last year when 3.193-million individuals submitted their 2010 returns by the deadline.

Sars received 1.09-million outstanding tax returns from previous tax years.

Electronic submissions reach 99%
This was over 60% more than the 679 544 outstanding tax returns received in 2010.

“After just five years, the migration from paper or manual returns to electronic submission—via eFiling or at a Sars branch—is almost absolute with 99.15% of all returns submitted electronically this year,” Sars said.

Only 32 071 returns were submitted on paper compared to 123 674 last year.

Just over 98% of returns were assessed within 24 hours.

Some R12.67-billion in income tax refunds were issued.

Sars issued 5.2-million penalty notices—up from 1.7-million in 2010—to 637 965 taxpayers with outstanding returns.

“Despite the improvements in compliance, there are approximately 750 000 returns still outstanding for the 2011 tax year.”

Taxpayers face administrative penalties of at least R250 for each month that their return is not submitted.—Sapa

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