The South African Revenue Service (SARS) this week launched its annual Filing Season campaign to encourage taxpayers to fill in their tax returns before the July 9 deadline.
SARS ads were flighted in the media this week to remind taxpayers of their obligations to the fiscus and the kind of documentation that they need to submit their returns.
The campaign this year focuses on educating taxpayers and simplifying complex tax returns for salaried individuals.
The documentation that taxpayers need to get ready is:
SARS spokesperson Sechaba Nkosi says it is in the best interest of the taxpayer for the submissions to be made in time so that the processing of the returns can be done sooner.
Every tax contribution adds more money to the fiscus, which enables government to build a better life for all South Africans.
The increasing tax compliance has resulted in income tax relief of over R72 billion over the past ten years, reducing the tax burden significantly for individuals.
While the campaign will focus on giving taxpayers advice on how to complete their tax returns, SARS will also embark on community outreach initiatives to help make compliance with the law as easy as possible.
The Filing Season campaign was first launched last year to demystify taxation in South Africa and promote open communication channels between SARS and the taxpayer. The response was overwhelming, resulting in the receipt of 964 000 returns in June 2003, which was 417 000 more than during the corresponding period in 2002 (547 000).
Lessons learnt have been encapsulated in this year's campaign through an intensive taxpayer education drive which aims at building on the improved tax compliance rate reported in 2003.
This year the campaign started early with greater emphasis on service and education. Taxpayers were reminded for example to record things such as odometer reading in order to be able to claim for travel.
Nkosi says SARS was confident of reaching out to more people in 2004.
Income tax returns to registered taxpayers have already been posted. Where a registered individual has not received an income tax return by the end of May, he/she must request for one from his/her branch office.
ISSUED BY THE COMMISSIONER FOR THE SOUTH AFRICAN REVENUE SERVICE