Each year the South African Revenue Service (SARS) undertakes an extensive taxpayer education and awareness campaign to encourage registered taxpayers to fill in and submit their tax returns by a specific deadline and to encourage new taxpayers to register with SARS.
By submitting a tax return, the taxpayer declares all his/her income streams, thereby giving tax authorities the opportunity to asses income declared in order to determine an appropriate annual tax contribution. This annual campaign is generally known as Filing Season. This year, the campaign reminds registered taxpayers to file their tax returns by the deadline of 14 July 2006.
The Filing Season campaign was first launched in 2003 to demystify taxation in South Africa and promote open communication between SARS and the taxpayer. This has to a large extend also contributed towards a developing a positive culture of tax compliance judging by the significant increase in the number of registered taxpayers. The national tax register has grown between 8% and 12% year-on-year in the number of returns submitted to SARS. At the same time new registrations of first time filers have also increased steadily.
Through a variety of communication channels - including television, radio, print and billboard advertisements, newspaper and magazine editorials, community and workplace outreach programmes - taxpayers are reminded of their annual obligations to pay tax and the kind of documentation required to successfully submit their returns.
The campaign, this year, focuses specifically on educating taxpayers about the value paying tax (the campaign theme being you and your tax Make South Africa great) as well as the positive benefits South Africa has already accrued as a result of sustained revenue generated through tax collection. Taxpayers are reminded to prepare the following documentation when submitting:
This Filing Season SARS also will extend an electronic submission facility to individuals for the first time. Effectively electronic filing will enable taxpayers to submit their income tax returns electronically without physically having to visit a SARS branch office.
The campaign also encourages taxpayers to submit their signed returns as early as possible so that the assessment process could be completed sooner. Last minute submission usually falls within peak periods, which could delay the processing period and delay the usual turn around times. It is therefore in the interest of every taxpaying South African to act swiftly, in order to avoid undue delays!
ISSUED BY THE COMMISSIONER FOR THE SOUTH AFRICAN REVENUE SERVICE