How does auto-assessments work?
It is an automatic assessment issued by SARS to taxpayers whose tax affairs are less complicated. SARS will use data received from employers, medical schemes, banks, retirement annuity funds and others. That data will be used to calculate and generate your income tax assessment, with no input form the taxpayer. The taxpayer will also be notified via the preferred channel of communication that the assessment is ready to be viewed.
What action to take once you receive your auto-assessments?
- Log onto SARS efiling or the SARS MobiApp to view your assessment.
- To view third-party data certificates submitted by third party data providers on your behalf, click on Third Party Data Certificate Search menu option displayed as part of the left menu option
- Once the Third Party Data Certificate Search menu option has been selected, the Request Third Party Certificates screen will be displayed.
- On the Request Third Party Certificate form, select the Certificate Type and Tax Year
- Click on the Certificate Type drop down list and select the appropriate certificate type
- Click on the Tax Year drop down list and select the appropriate tax year.
- Once you have made the applicable selection, click on the Submit Query button displayed at the bottom of the page.
- The Certificate Type selected will be displayed and you will be able to click on Download Certificate to view your Certificate.
- Should you notice an error on the certificates or if the date is incomplete, you need to ask the institution which provided the data to SARS to correct it by sending updated data to SARS and yourself.
- Once the updated data has been received, 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.
- If you’re not in agreement with the auto-assessment and want to file a return, you have 40 working days (from the date of the assessment) to do so.
- If you take no action, the auto-assessment will become your FINAL assessment after 40 working days
If you are unable to submit your return within the 40 working day timeframe, you will need to provide SARS with ‘reasonable grounds’ as to why an extension is required
- If you miss the deadline, you will have an additional 21 working days to submit a Request for Extension on the same terms
- If you have done nothing and 61 working days has passed, you won’t be able to file a tax return unless you can provide ‘exceptional circumstances’ to justify a delayed request for extension.
Should SARS owe you a refund, then the refund will follow automatically. This takes approximately seventy-two (72) hours from the date on which your assessment were issued to you, but in some cases it may take 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.
Should 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).
This article was written in collaboration with our partners at Exceed. At Exceed, they integrate specialised professional services with a modern, innovative and dynamic approach. Their services include auditing, accounting, tax, business, financial advisory, recruitment and human resource services facilitated through solid and accessible relationships.