TAX BITES – SARS Vision for 2024 – A Fundamental Change to the Tax Return Process

TAX BITES – SARS Vision for 2024 – A Fundamental Change to the Tax Return Process

Tax Bite: SARS Vision 2024 

A Fundamental Change to the Tax Return Process

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has been working on a new vision for the future of tax returns in South Africa. Dubbed ‘Vision 2024’, the plan aims to fundamentally alter the process of submitting individuals’ income tax returns.
One of the key aspects of Vision 2024 is the elimination of the traditional filing season. Instead, taxpayers will have a monthly ‘individual tax account’ populated with third-party data every month. 

This data will be the same as on IT3s and IRP5s and will allow taxpayers to see how their tax assessment is progressing every month. This will enable them to make any additional tax payments when and where necessary. Provisional tax submissions will consequently be phased out.

While this new process has the potential to make tax returns much simpler and more streamlined for taxpayers, it will require significant changes to the way that SARS operates. For the above process to work, SARS would need quality data to be submitted on time every month. This means that third parties will need to submit their data in a timely and accurate manner.

To help facilitate this, SARS published the 2023 PAYE Employer Reconciliation BRS (Business Requirements Specification) in early 2023 for comment. This document regulates the type and form of data which third parties will be required to submit to SARS according to the goals of Vision 2024.

However, implementing this new process will not be without its challenges. Several robust engagements occurred during the first quarter of 2023 between SARS and several stakeholders concerning the many practical challenges of implementing the BRS in its current form. As a result of these engagements, SARS has made the sensible decision to postpone the implementation date from March 2024 to 1 March 2025.
In conclusion, SARS’ Vision 2024 represents a significant change to the tax return process in South Africa. While there may be some challenges along the way, these changes could potentially streamline and modernise the tax return process. 

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