A total of 5.32 million income tax returns were submitted in the 2014 tax season, the South African Revenue Service (SARS) said.
“The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has again recorded consistent growth in the levels of tax compliance in the country with 5.32 million income tax returns submitted during the 2014 tax season,” said the revenue service.
This means that 4.05 million taxpayers (94.49%) who were required to submit a tax return this year did so on time. This is 10.14% higher than the 3.69 million figure of 2013.
“Although the total number of returns submitted for 2014 (5.32 million, including outstanding returns from previous years) is marginally lower than the total for 2013 (6.09 million) the decrease is due to the introduction of higher submission threshold since the 2013 tax year,” said SARS.
The new threshold means that taxpayers earning one source of income below 250,000 for the year from one employer with no refund claims on their tax returns, did not have to submit a tax return.
The new submission threshold removes the administrative burden on such taxpayers to have to submit a return to SARS, although they still contribute to the Personal Income Tax (PIT) system through, for example, their monthly PAYE (Pay-As-You-Earn) deductions by their employers.
According to SARS, 207 525 individuals submitted tax returns but were not required to do so, compared to 792 928 in 2013 because of the new submission threshold.
Of the total number of 5.32 million returns submitted by the 21 November 2014 deadline:
- 4.26 million returns from individuals were for the 2014 tax year;
- 1.02 million returns from individuals were outstanding from previous tax years;
- 48 586 returns were submitted by trusts;
- The SARS Call Centre assisted more than 3.3 million taxpayers on the phone and
- More than 4.5 million taxpayers visited a SARS branch office for assistance.