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SARS calms fears over auto-assessment notifications

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has reminded those taxpayers who haven’t received an auto-assessment notification that the process will take two weeks.

As reported by The South African website, auto-assessments started on Monday, 1 July and will continue until the opening of the 2024 tax season on Monday, 15 July.

While some tax payers have already received auto-assessment notifications – and in some instances already received a refund – others may be stressing that they haven’t heard a word from SARS.

SARS has confirmed that auto-assessments will be rolled out over the full two-week period (1-14 July) and that not all taxpayers will be notified at once.

Those taxpayers who haven’t received a notification can check to see if they are due to receive one – or not – by checking their status on the SARS Online Query System (SOQS).

“Even though SOQS may indicate that you are part of the auto-assessment population, the auto-assessment (ITA34) will only be available on eFiling when it’s rolled out according to the schedule,” SARS said.

“Please wait for your auto-assessment notice before you log in to eFiling or call the Contact Centre, as it will not be available on eFiling before the notice is sent.”

How does auto-assessment work?

SARS receives data from employers, medical schemes, banks, retirement-annuity funds, and other third parties.

It then uses that data to calculate your tax assessment.

If it is satisfied that the data and tax calculation are correct, the taxpayer in question will be issued the assessment via eFiling or the SARS MobiApp.

This process is referred to as an auto-assessment.

At the same time, a message will bee sent via your preferred channel of communication (such as SMS or email) to let you know that your assessment on eFiling or the SARS MobiApp is ready for you to review.

What must I do when I receive my auto-assessment notice?

The first thing to do is to log into eFiling or the SARS MobiApp and view your assessment. You will see all the data used to calculate your assessment.

If you agree with the assessment, check if a refund is due to you or if you owe SARS.

If a refund is due, then there is nothing more you have to do – you can log out and wait for the refund, which you can expect within approximately 72 hours, provided your banking details with SARS are correct.

If you owe SARS, then make the payment via eFiling or SARS MobiApp on or before the payment due date. The payment due date of the amount owed to SARS is displayed on the “Notice of Assessment” (ITA34).

Important note: If a refund or debt is less than R100, the refund or debt is rolled over to the next tax year. This means that a refund or debt is not payable, but remains as a balance on your account until it exceeds R100. You can view your account on SARS eFiling or the SARS MobiApp.

If you do not agree with the assessment, you can access your tax return via eFiling or SARS MobiApp, complete the return, and file it on or before the normal due date for non-provisional taxpayers of 21 October 2024. If your auto-assessment was issued after 21 October 2024, file within 40 business days after the notice of assessment.

Reminder

This year’s tax season will run until Monday, 21 October 2024 for individual taxpayers and until Monday, 20 January 2025 for provisional taxpayers.

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