After an impressive marketing campaign by SARS prior to the opening of the 2017 tax filing season, it seems that taxpayers whom have diligently filed their tax returns in lieu of their tax refund will experience delays.
SARS distributed a media release last week including the statement that “SARS has an obligation to both taxpayers as well as to the fiscus to ensure that fraudulent and invalid claims are stopped.” They have asked South Africans to be patient this tax season and not expect tax refunds to be paid out immediately. The reason for the delay is as a result of additional risk assessment processes being implemented. They also stated that they are fully aware of the taxpayer’s expectation with regards to refunds but that processes needs to be concluded prior to the pay out of refunds.
Last year we saw the implementation of special stoppers which resulted in many delays. (Read more about special stoppers.) SARS’ reasoning behind the implementation of special stoppers was to add security screening in order to combat fraudulent claims. This year additional fields have been added to your personal income tax return which SARS will use to verify expenses against third parties. (For example travel, medical and retirement annuity contributions).
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Article published by Tracey Jones, a registered Tax Practitioner and Director of C2M Tax Assurance.
C2M Tax Assurance Director