What you need to know about SARS auto assessment

Written by:

Pierre Scheepers

Pierre Scheepers

Payroll Product Manager - GreatSoft Pty (Ltd)
What you need to know about SARS auto-assessment
News Article – SARS Notice: Auto Assessment rules for 2022

Payroll system functionality traditionally ends with the creation of tax certificate files for submissions and reconciliation and does not extend into income tax assessments and related processes.

However, the notice from SARS outlining the latest auto-assessment rules is of direct importance for employees (taxpayers), and indirectly of importance for employers because in some cases, the auto assessment might require tax certificates to be amended and re-submitted.

What you need to know about SARS auto-assessment

The SARS notice follows:

Dear valued stakeholder,

FILING season 2022 – important Information: Auto assessment

This year SARS celebrates its 25-year anniversary.

Since our inception we, together with valued contributors to the economy such as yourself, have an continue to make a positive impact in the lives of South Africans. The tax we collect enables South Africans to access essential services and further provides government with the means to improve all our lives. We are not only celebrating our organization’s anniversary but also your individual contribution to building a better South Africa through your continued tax compliance

Our goal remains to make it easy for all taxpayers to meet their personal tax obligations. In doing so, we have issued auto-assessments to certain taxpayers, which can be accessed on eFiling or the SARS Mobiapp.

Attached to this letter is an information sheet that explains everything one needs to know about the auto-assessment process, You can also visit our website at www.sars.gov.za for more information.

Frequently asked questions

How is Auto-Assessment different this year (2022) from last year (2021)?

This year we will again issue auto-assessments to taxpayers whose tax affairs are less complicated. However, we have made it much easier this year – if you are in agreement with your auto-assessment then there is no need to “accept” the assessment.

If SARS did not get your assessment right, you can still let us know by filing a tax return in the normal way, with the additional information, within 40 business days of the date of your assessment.

How does the Auto-Assessment work?

SARS receives data from employers, medical schemes, banks, retirement annuity funds and others. We then use that data to calculate your tax assessment. If we are satisfied that the data and tax calculation is correct, we issue the assessment to you via eFiling or the SARS MobiApp.

At the same time, we also send you a message via your preferred channel of communication (like SMS or email) to let you know that your assessment on eFiling or SARS MobiApp is ready for you to view.

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

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

If you are in agreement with the assessment, then 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 of eFiling or MobiApp and wait for the refund, which you can expect within approximately seventy-two (72) hours, provided your banking details with SARS are correct. If you owe SARS, then make the payment via eFiling or SARS MobiApp.

If you are not in agreement with the assessment, you can access your tax return via eFiling or SARS MobiApp, complete the return, and file it within 40 business days from the date that SARS issued your assessment to you.

How do I know the data is correct?

This year, for the first time, you can view your data in detail, as follows:

Login onto eFiling

  • Select the “Third Party Data Certificate” search button on the menu bar
  • Submit / search any certificate that you wish to verify
  • Select the certificate type in question.

If there is an error on your data or the data is incomplete, you can correct it by doing two things:

  • Ask the institution that provided the data to SARS to correct it by sending updated data to SARS and yourself.
  • When you receive the updated data, access your tax return on eFiling or MobiApp, update the data on the tax return, and file your tax return via eFiling or the SARS MobiApp.

What if a tax refund is due to me?

If a refund is due to you, then the refund will follow automatically – you do not have to ask for it. This takes approximately seventy-two (72) hours from the date on which we issued your assessment to you on eFiling or SARS MobiApp, but in some cases a little bit longer. It is important to ensure that your banking details with SARS are correct in order for SARS to pay the refund successfully.

What if tax is due to SARS (I’m owing SARS)?

If your assessment shows that you owe tax to SARS, it is important to make payment as soon as possible to avoid interest. The payment due date of the amount owed to SARS is displayed on the “Notice of Assessment” (ITA34).

The easiest way to make payment is to log into eFiling or SARS MobiApp and schedule the payment there.

However, you can also make payment at any branch of Absa, FNB, Nedbank, Standard Bank and Capitec, or make an electronic funds transfer (EFT) using the standard drop-down listing of pre-loaded beneficiary IDs provided by the bank. The beneficiary reference is the Payment Reference Number (PRN) listed on your notice of assessment (ITA34).

Will SARS select me for verification or audit?

No, we have already quality checked your assessment and if you agree with the assessment, you will not be selected for verification or audit.

However, you must please make sure that your assessment is complete. For example, if you received rental income or other income or have deductions in addition to what we reflected in your assessment, you must file a tax return with the information in addition to what we have already pre-populated on your tax return, within 40 business days of the date of your assessment. In such a case, you may possibly be selected for verification or, where appropriate, for audit. It is therefore very important that you have supporting documents for any changes you want us to make to your auto-assessment.

What must I do if I do not agree with my auto-assessment?

There is no need to file an objection to the assessment. Simply access your tax return via eFiling or MobiApp, complete the return, and file it via eFiling or MobiApp within 40 business days from the date on which SARS issued your assessment to you.

If you cannot file the tax return within 40 business days, you can request extension via eFiling or MobiApp. We explain this in more detail below.

If we accept the updates in your tax return, we will issue a reduced or additional assessment to you. If we do not accept the updates in your tax return, we will let you know why not. If you disagree with the reason(s) why we did not accept the updates in your tax return, the normal objection and appeal facility will be available to you

Can I ask for extension to file a tax return if I cannot file it within 40 days?

Yes, you can apply for extension via eFiling or the SARS MobiApp.

SARS can extend the 40 business days if we receive the request for extension before the expiry of the 40 business days, together with reasonable grounds. SARS can also extend the 40 business days after the expiry of the 40 business days if the taxpayer’s request is submitted to SARS within 21 business days after the expiry of the 40 business days, and if accompanied by reasonable grounds. SARS can also extend the 40 business days after the expiry of the 40 business days if a taxpayer’s request is submitted to SARS within 3 years after the expiry of the 40 business days, and if accompanied by exceptional circumstances.

Is the official Filing Season due date of 24 October 2022 for filing tax returns applicable to me?

You are part of the auto-assessment process, which means that the due date of 24 October 2022 does not apply to you if you are in agreement with your assessment.

However, if you are not in agreement with your auto-assessment, and you file a tax return after 24 October 2022, your return will be considered late like any other 2022 tax return received after that date.

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