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As tax season kicks off, here’s what you need to know

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Tax season 2019 officially started on Monday July 1 for South African taxpayers who use Filing and the SARS MobiApp, the SA Revenue Service said on Monday morning. 

The revenue collection agency also announced it had implemented enhancements and changes for the season. 


“In a major departure from previous years, to improve service to taxpayers and encourage conversion to online filing, Tax Season 2019 is staggered,” it announced.

This allows taxpayers who use SARS eFiling and the SARS MobiApp for smartphones and tablets to file their income tax returns from July 1 until December 4, 2019. Taxpayers who wish to use online filing for the first time may also register as from July 1. 

Taxpayers who want to file their income tax returns at a SARS branch, meanwhile, may do so from August 1 until October 31. This is a much shorter period than that allowed for users of eFiling and the the tax agency’s app. 


According to SARS, it has introduced several innovations to its digital channels. New services have been added on the SARS MobiApp for smartphones and tablets, including registering for eFiling, the retrieval of usernames and password reset function, submitting a return and using a camera to upload documents, as well as making a tax calculation. SARS has also given eFiling a refresh to make navigation much easier, it said. 

 Income threshold

The income amount above which individuals must pay tax has also been amended. For the period March 1, 2018 to February 28, 2019, the amount was R78 150 for income earners younger than 65 years of age.

However, this does not mean that all taxpayers who pay tax are required to submit an income tax return. 

Submission criteria

Taxpayers do not need to submit an income tax return if they meet all of the following criteria: 

  • They only receive employment income from one employer for the full tax year;
  • They have no other form of income – for instance a car allowance, business income, and rental income, taxable interest or income from another job;
  • They don’t have any additional allowable tax-related deductions to claim – like medical expenses, retirement annuity contributions and travel expenses.
  • Taxpayers who are not required to file will receive a simulated calculation from SARS via SMS based on information given to SARS by employers and other sources.

The tax agency said that taxpayers who are not required to file will receive a simulated calculation from SARS via SMS based on information given to SARS by employers and other sources.

“The outcome will show the taxpayer what they could expect as though they had filed a return themselves. Taxpayers can accept the outcome of the calculation or resubmit the return with changes they would like to make.”

Quick links 

Visit the SARS eFiling website here :

The SARS MobiApp is available on GooglePlay and the App Store

For July, the SARS Contact Centre will operate from 08:00 to 18:00 on weekdays, which amounts to an extra hour. You can contact the contact centre at 0800 00 7277.

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