Based on the preliminary outcome of figures for the 2006 Filing Season campaign, the South African Revenue Service (SARS) today must thank all taxpayers for the magnanimity of the response to this year?s campaign.
South Africa's National budget of R472.7bn is largely funded by our tax system. High levels of compliance are therefore central to the funding of government's delivery programme. South Africans have responded by meeting their tax obligations and have helped to make South Africa great!
The preliminary figures indicate that 2.3 million returns were submitted by this year's deadline. This represents an increase of 19,1% of returns submitted if compared to the same period last year.
In addition, just over 2 million taxpayers applied for extension before Friday, 14 July. Of this 1.2 million taxpayers (10,5% increase from last year) was granted an extension. Essentially this represents a commitment by the taxpayer to submit their return on or before 31 October 2006, and thus to be or become compliant.
More than 941 000 taxpayers who visited SARS offices or outreach points were assisted by SARS officials to register, seek assistance in completing their returns, or related enquiries to clarify their obligations.
Effectively these figures indicate that more than 4.3 million taxpayers either submitted returns on time or made contact in order to become or remain tax compliant citizens. This represents over 80% of the taxpayers to whom returns were posted, and is an extremely positive indicator of the growing awareness and desire by taxpayers to comply. The figures released today exclude a large number of returns still to reach us via post.Of the total number of returns submitted by the deadline, 23 000 were completed through the electronic submission facility (eFiling). To date more than 45 000 individual taxpayers have registered as eFiling users.
Since its inception in 2003, the SARS Filing Season has become our single largest public campaign and is a key determinant of the level of compliance among individual taxpayers and indicative of the public commitment to South Africa.
During recent weeks 14 600 SARS employees were very inspired by the positive and encouraging comments from taxpayers about services rendered during a very busy and demanding time for SARS branch offices.
The SARS filing season also created employment opportunities for 300 seasonal workers during the peak of the filing season (lasting up to 5 months for some).
The South African media played a huge role in keeping the taxpayers informed and updated about the filing season and we appreciate the role played by them.
ISSUED BY THE COMMISSIONER FOR THE SOUTH AFRICAN REVENUE SERVICE