The South African Revenue Service (SARS) today made available its income tax eFiling facility to a targeted group of taxpayers to receive feedback on their experience of the electronic submission facility.
We then opened the facility to a larger pool of taxpayers in order to test the robustness the system. It was planned that the facility would be opened to all taxpayers who wanted to file electronically.
This phased approach was adopted to ensure an acceptable quality of service to SARS e-filers.
We are pleased that the eFiling system for income tax worked in the limited testing environment and that taxpayers had a good experience. However, when we opened the facility to a wider pool of taxpayers, we received feedback of performance problems with the system.
SARS is now doing further work and more tests to the internet system to eradicate the problems experienced by our early income tax eFilers. We prefer to attend to these issues before opening the eFiling facility for wider use and to ensure the best possible product for taxpayers.
SARS therefore regrets to announce that the eFiling channel for individual tax returns will now only be available next week.
The normal eFiling facility for companies including VAT and PAYE is unaffected and these services continue as normal. The option to download and complete the new IT12S and IT12C income tax returns via the SARS eFiling website in Adobe format also continues to be available to taxpayers in the same way as when it was launched on 1 August 2007.
Meanwhile it is important to note that all the other channels of filing returns are available to taxpayers. These include:
SARS has a track record for setting high and efficient service standards in its operations. We are therefore not prepared to offer any service where we are not happy with the quality and cannot guarantee a pleasant experience for all taxpayers. We expect the eFiling facility to be functional next week.
ISSUED BY THE COMMISSIONER FOR THE SOUTH AFRICAN REVENUE SERVICE