How To

SARS Tax season: How to submit an income tax return on eFiling

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) tax season opens on 1 July 2019 and they are encouraging all taxpayers to submit their income tax returns via the recently upgraded SARS eFiling or the SARS MobiApp.

The deadline for non-provisional taxpayers who file their returns electronically is 4 December 2019.

Any taxpayers who require assistance from SARS staff or prefer to complete their returns manually will only be able to do so from 1 August 2019 until 31 October 2019.

Digital tax return filing may be done at your leisure 24/7 by means of a smartphone application which may be downloaded from the Play Store or App Store.

Through the app you will be able to register for SARS eFiling, submit a return, upload supporting documentation, retrieve your username and password and view Notice of Assessment (ITA34) along with other services.

What do I need to file a tax return?

  • SARS announced this year that not all taxpayers are required to submit an income tax return provided they meet the following criteria:
  • Their total employment income for the year, before tax, in no more than R500.000
  • Income is only received from one employer during the full tax year.
  • They have no additional form of income, such as car allowance, business income, rental income or taxable interest.
  • They do not received tax deductible allowances such as medical expenses, retirement annuity contributions and travel expenses.

Taxpayers who are not required to file a return and who have done so repeatedly in the past will receive a notifications from SARS stating they are not required to submit.

Based on information received from employers and other sources, SARS will provide a simulated return notification.

How do I complete my income tax return on eFiling?

You will need to be registered with SARS and then you may either use their online service at or download the SARS eFiling app or Mobiapp to complete your return.

In the event that you are using the online website this is how you get started:

  1. If you have not yet registered for eFiling, ensure you have your SARS Tax number on hand and click on the ‘reister’ button on the top left corner of the screen.
  2. Once you are registered you can log into the eFiling webite by clicking on the green ‘login’ key at the top right hand side of the screen.
  3. A screen will open requesting your Login Name and Password.
  4. You will now need to generate your ITR12 tax return.  To do this, click on the “Taxpayer List” menu which appears along the top of the screen, under the SARS logo.  Ensure your name is displayed in the block and then click on the ‘Returns Issued” option on the left menu.
  5. A drop down menu will appear and you can select “Personal Income Tax” and “open” the return for the period which requires submission.
  6. When the return opens you will be asked a series of question which need to be completed in order to ensure certain criteria and at the end click on the grey “Create Form” button.
  7. Scroll down and check or amend any information in the blue blocks and accept or decline where necessary..
  8. Your IRP5 which was submitted by your employer will automatically reflect on the return.  Simply check the figures are correctly captured and correspond with your physical document.
  9. Any sections marked in red by SARS need to be completed before the return is considered complete.
  10. You may then Save the return and submit.
  11. SARS will notify you if you are required to submit any documentation.

If you are unsure, there are help options or you may contact SARS offices for assistance.  Alternatively employ the services of a tax practitioner who will guide you to ensure you are not paying too much tax and submit on your behalf.