Sars filing steams ahead despite Covid-19 pandemic

The South African Revenue Service (Sars) says it is steaming ahead despite the pandemic, with many innovations that will make it easier for taxpayers to submit their tax returns from home.

The tax man’s offices all over the country were closed last week and will remain closed for six weeks. However it says even people without smart phones will be helped virtually.

“We are launching a completely virtual tax filing season today,” Sars commissioner Edward Kieswetter said at the launch of the tax filing season for individuals and trusts on Thursday.

The shift towards a virtual tax filing season is directionally aligned to our vision of a smart modern Sars, but it is also an accelerated response triggered by the pandemic.”

A virtual tax filing season
With its commitment to its strategic intent of voluntary compliance, Sars has started working to transfer all taxpayers to virtual filing using continuous messaging, social media, the Sars website, educational videos and webinars on YouTube, simplified letters, external guides and its chatbot, Lwazi.

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