A total of R3.5bn in refunds has been paid out since the opening of the 2019 tax filing season for online users, the South African Revenue Service said on Monday.
The revenue service from July 1 allowed customers to submit their tax returns via the newly launched MobiApp and e-filing website.
“SARS has already paid out R3.5bn worth [of] refunds during the tax season for e-filers and users of the SARS MobiApp between 01 July to date. During the first week of July, R1.5bn in refunds were validated and released,” said a statement.
Manual returns at SARS branches will open on August 1, but SARS is encouraging customers to make use of the “faster and efficient” online platforms to submit their returns.
“Once a tax return is assessed and a refund is due, it will take an average of seven days to be paid out, provided that no debt is due, all obligations have been met, and no verification or audit is required,” said the tax agency.
Online tax return submission will close on December 4, 2019, while manual users have until October 31.
This year, SARS raised the minimum income threshold for taxpayers who do not need to submit their income tax returns, from R350 000 to R500 000. This means people who earn up to R500 000 do not need to submit tax returns.