Submitting tax returns to SARS

Submitting tax returns to SARS
Submitting tax returns to SARS. Image:
Submitting tax returns to SARS
Submitting tax returns to SARS. Image:

It is one of the most important aspects of life as an ordinary working individual, or a business person to submit tax returns. If you are a taxpayer, it is your responsibility to submit a tax return to SARS, by so doing, they will calculate your tax liability, and that will be based on the income you declare and the tax-deductible expenses you have incurred for a year of assessment.

Take notice of the annual Tax Season, and know when you are required to submit a return to SARS. It typically runs between or from July to November each year. Know what is needed, or if you should be submitting your returns.

You may use the SARS eFiling channel to submit your returns. You don’t have to struggle even if you have forgotten your tax number.

How to Submit an Income Tax Return (ITR12) for individuals

If you are a taxpayer, you have to submit your returns, for SARS to know your tax liability; you might even get a refund. Know your annual tax season where you are required to submit a return to SARS.

  • You may use eFiling or register for an account on
  • You may visit the nearest branch for assistance where a consultant will be handy if you have the supporting documents
  • You can have it mailed to you and so you can complete everything manual for branch submission

Some of the important documents to keep with you for a while, in case they are needed in the future, are:

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  • IRP5/IT3(a) certificate(s) – These documents are received from your employer
  • Medical certificates (as well as medical aid amount claimed)
  • Pension and retirement annuity certificates
  • Banking Details
  • If you receive a travel allowance, keep a Travel logbook
  • Tax certificates in terms of investments (IT3(b))
  • Completed confirmation of the diagnosis of disability (ITR-DD), if applicatory
  • Capital gain transaction information if applicatory
  • Approved Voluntary Disclosure Programme (VDP) agreement between you and SARS if applicable
  • Financial statements when necessary
  • Any other documentation that may be needed to conclude a tax return


It is important to know that, it’s all taxpayers that need to submit an income tax return.

Who shouldn’t file for a tax return?

You do not need to submit a tax return if:  (Updated for 2019)

  • Total employment income for the year before tax does not exceed R500 000
  • You receive employment income from one employer for the full tax year
  • You have no other form of income, such as rental income, car allowance, taxable interest, etc.
  • You have no additional allowance tax-related deductions to claim such as medical expenses, retirement annuity contributions, and travel expenses


  • Tax Season started in August 2019 for non-provisional individuals
  • Branch Filing closes on the 31st of October 2019
  • eFiling online closes on the 4th of December 2019
  • Provisional taxpayers have until 31st of January 2020 to submit returns via eFiling

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