Legal and Policy
2023 Legal and Policy

Legal and Policy - 29 June 2023



  • 28 June 2023 – The PayFast SMS scam is requesting unsuspecting taxpayers to click on a link to receive their refund. Please do not click on any links, if in doubt email phishing@sars.gov.za.

Keep an eye on our Scams examples webpage.

27 June 2023 – Income Tax Act, 1962: Guides

The following easy steps may be followed:

  • Tax Compliance Status Request
  • Enter Valid ID Number and Valid Tax Reference Number
  • Select Generate Form
  • Captcha screen displayed
  • Enter Captcha Details
  • Select Validate
  • Taxpayer presented with the TCR01 Form
  • Complete TCR01 Form
  • Select Submit
  • Your request is being processed progress bar displayed
  • Pop-up message – correspondence will be sent shortly
  • SMS with TC PIN sent to Cell phone number of the registered taxpayer requesting status
  • SMS to be forwarded to requesting user

We trust you will find this as a helpful alternative to obtaining your TCS from eFiling.

  • 27 June 2023 – Achieving our Vision 2024 of a smart, modern SARS with unquestionable integrity that is trusted and admired is of paramount importance. Pivotal to the delivery of our vision are our digital platforms & technology infrastructure. In order to provide clarity & certainty, make it easy for taxpayers & traders to comply with their obligations and building public trust and confidence, our technology assets have to demonstrate the highest levels of availability, robustness and security.

Pursuant to our Vision and Strategic Objectives, which include modernising our systems to provide Digital and Streamlined online services, we are hard at work ensuring that our digital platforms & technology infrastructure are available, robust & secure, by performing regular upgrades, enhancements, and maintenance.

In light of the above, SARS Systems upgrades are scheduled for Tuesday, 27 June from 22h00 to 24h00. During this time, you may experience intermittent service interruption on our Tax and Customs Digital Platform.

Stakeholders are therefore urged to submit priority Goods Declarations (bills of entry) and Road Manifests by Tuesday 27 June 2023 @ 21h00.

  • 27 June 2023 – We are aware of the system issue experienced within our SARS branches, impacting on our service. The technical team is investigating this. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.
  • 27 June 2023 – Please note the below interim process for Customs EDI Gateway processing:

All submitted Local Reference Numbers (LRN’s) which have not received an EDI CUSRES message within 24 hours, must be reviewed and those prioritised LRN’s submitted to the Technical Service Provider for escalation in the backlog pool;

Please also indicate such to the respective Branch Office, for escalation;

The Modality HUB will review the LRN and if processed advise the Port to issue a CN1 release as interim release notification – this is a system generated document, issued by a SARS branch;

This applies to declarations in the Sea Modality only, at this time;

It may not always indicate a release, but will indicate status and actions to be conducted in order to finalise for release; and

Traders will still have to engage Other Government Agencies (OGA) where a release is required from an OGA.

This is an interim process and will be in place in the sea modality ONLY until the EDI Gateway has been stabilised and normal electronic processing resumes.

  • 26 June 2023 – A new scam is doing the rounds where an email titled ‘Internal Communication’ from a fake DIRCO email domain is sent, asking the email recipient to click on a fraudulent link to verify their identity. Please don’t click on any links and delete the email. If in doubt, always visit our Scams & Phishing webpage, where an example of this latest scam is published.
  • 26 June 2023 – The South African Revenue Service (SARS) welcomes the election of its Commissioner Mr. Edward Kieswetter as Chairperson of the World Customs Organisation (WCO). The election took place on 24 June 2023 at the organisation’s Council session at the WCO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium.

The WCO has 185 members, three-quarters of which are developing countries and the Council is its highest decision-making body. It was established in 1952 as the Customs Cooperation Council (CCC), is the only intergovernmental organisation exclusively focused on Customs matters and is recognised as the voice of the global Customs community. In 1994, the CCC adopted the working name of the World Customs Organization (WCO).

In accepting the challenge to lead the WCO for a year, Mr. Kieswetter expressed appreciation to his colleagues, who found him appropriately suitable to lead such a prestigious body. He said that “leadership is an inordinate responsibility and a rare privilege to assist international efforts to bring matters of Customs to the centre of international trade facilitation. This election is ample evidence that the leadership of SARS in matters of Customs is acknowledged after many years of State Capture”.

The elections were preceded by the Policy Commission. The discussions at the Policy Commission ranged from progress on WCO Customs technical programmes, emerging and new challenges plaguing the Customs world, and organisational development issues around governance and modernisation of the WCO as a members-driven organisation.

Given the foregoing topical issues on the agenda currently, Commissioner Kieswetter sits at the pinnacle of a global stage to provide appropriate stewardship that will ensure that the WCO is fit for purpose and stays relevant in providing leadership and support to the global Customs community.

Commissioner Kieswetter outlined the agenda that will inform his chairmanship as:

  1. Working with his colleagues and peers from member countries to listen actively and ensure that WCO’s strategic intent finds practical expression through:
  • an effective, well managed Secretariat,
  • a transformational modernisation plan,
  • an appropriate set of priorities,
  • a clear sense of what winning means.
    1. Build resilient and effective partnerships with all stakeholders.
    1. Strive towards an enhanced profile of the important role of Customs in the service of Society and ensuring the well-being especially of the most vulnerable.

    The previous and only other time the country chaired the WCO Council was between 2001 to 2006 under the leadership of the then Commissioner, Mr. Pravin Gordhan.

    Commissioner Kieswetter thanked the outgoing Secretary General, Dr Kunio Mikuriya and Chairman Mr. Ahmed Al-Khalifa for their abled stewardship that drove so successfully the agenda of the organization.

    The Policy Commission also elected Mr. Ian Sanders of the United State as the new Secretary-General of the WCO. Mr. Sanders will start his term on 01 January 2024.

    Finally, Commissioner thanked his colleagues from the African continent especially the East and Southern Africa, our BRICS partners and other regions for bestowing this honour to South Africa.

    For more information contact SarsMedia@sars.gov.za

    • 23 June 2023 – The following guides were updated for Filing Season 2023 starting on 7 July 2023 @ 8pm:

    For more information, keep an eye on the Filing Season 2023 webpage.

    • 23 June 2023 – We are currently experiencing technical issues on the Customs Processing Platform where submitted transactions may not get responses (CUSRES messages), however arrival and exit management functions are available at land border posts for all released declarations and manifests.

    Traders are requested not to resubmit declarations which are awaiting responses, especially large declarations because this impacts on processing. We further request your assistance in processing large declarations after business hours.

    Our teams are working around the clock to bring the Customs Processing Platform back to the robustness that renders responses within seconds.

    We apologise for the inconvenience and request your patience and co-operation in bringing back service to optimal levels.

    • 23 June 2023 – In line with the strategic objective of the South African Revenue Service (SARS) of making it easy and simple for taxpayers to meet their legal obligations, individuals (provisional and non-provisional taxpayers) as well as trusts may start filing their income tax returns on Friday 7 July 2023 after 8pm.

    SARS Commissioner Mr. Edward Kieswetter said, “The submission of accurate personal income tax returns on time is important for a seamless filing season. This year, taxpayers must take control of their own tax affairs to ensure they are aware of their obligations and remain compliant.”

    “SARS continues to provide enabling technology, the expanded use of data, enhanced by machine learning, algorithms and artificial intelligence. We also continue to make progress in various aspects of online and in-person taxpayer services through an investment in our people. These enabling and service improvements are intended to ensure that there is no need for walk-in tax consultations and long queues at SARS offices,” Mr. Kieswetter said.

    As a result of these enabling service improvements:


    1. From Friday 30 June 2023, SARS will communicate directly with selected taxpayers by SMS notifying taxpayers of their auto-assessments.
    1. Taxpayers can access the auto-assessment through any of SARS’s channels, such as the SARS MobiApp or SARS eFiling, to review and verify the completeness and accuracy of the information that resulted in the auto-assessment.
    1. A taxpayer who has been selected for auto-assessment, may choose to accept the assessment outcome without edits, or if there is justification, may choose to edit their declaration, and resubmit it along with the necessary supporting documents.
    • Taxpayers who accept the assessment outcome without any edits, and who qualify for a refund, will receive it directly into their bank account within 72 hours after the notification;
    • Taxpayers who submit an edited declaration will be assessed on the basis of their resubmission. A revised assessment may be issued as set out below. If there is money owing to SARS, it must be paid to SARS’ Bank Account, eFiling or through the MobiApp by the stipulated date.
      1. SARS wishes to implore taxpayers who have been selected for an auto-assessment to exercise patience and not visit any of our branches or call the Contact Centre to enquire about the progress. SARS will pro-actively and continuously communicate with such taxpayers.


      All taxpayers who submit an edited declaration, or file a declaration in the normal way, may submit such a declaration, along with any supporting or additional information through the SARS eFiling platform. For taxpayers from the auto-assessment group, SARS will process the return and issue a revised assessment, which may result in a different financial obligation e.g. reduced refund, increased refund or payment due to SARS. All other taxpayers will receive an assessment.

      In the event that taxpayers experience any difficulty with filing their returns through e-Filing or the SARS Mobi-App, they must first book an appointment to visit a branch.

      Further clarity is also provided in a number of aspects:

      Objections and appeals: If not in agreement with the revised assessment, a taxpayer can initiate an objection, through the normal SARS objections process.

      Non-provisional taxpayers: Non-provisional taxpayers who did not get an auto-assessment and who are required to file a return can do so from 7 July 2023 after 8 pm until 23 Oct 2023.

      If all the information contained in a return is for the current year and accurate, the transaction will take no more than 10 seconds. SARS welcomes efforts by taxpayers to bring their tax affairs into compliance status. SARS will endeavour to expeditiously attend to these taxpayers who will be filing the previous years’ outstanding returns and requests their patience and understanding.

      Provisional taxpayers as well as Trust submissions can start with filing a return from 7 July 2023 after 8 pm until 23 January 2024.

      Taxpayers, not selected for auto-assessment are urged to wait for the email and SMS and not to visit SARS branches during the first week before 7 July 2023.

      Mr. Kieswetter said the introduction of auto-assessments, was one of many filing improvements that bears testimony to SARS’ commitment to build a smart, modern organization with unquestionable integrity, trusted and admired by all. In delivering such an important service, SARS is helping to build a capable state for the social and economic development of our country and its people – the Higher Purpose of SARS.

      Importantly, the use of technology and data has enhanced the ability of SARS to refine and improve its resources to detect instances of non-compliance. Taxpayers must not inflate their expenses and under-declare their income to obtain impermissible refunds as this will make the taxpayer potentially guilty of fraud.

      SARS will make it hard and costly for taxpayers who intentionally attempt to claim impermissible expenses or understate their income, by imposing harsh penalties. In addition, there will be administrative non-compliance penalties for those taxpayers who do not adhere to the deadlines of this year’s Filing Season.

      This year SARS will allow taxpayers, who did not agree with the auto-assessment outcome, to file an amended return until the normal filing season deadline, 23 October 2023. This is a change from the 40 days allowed last year.

      SARS has had engagements with various associations, including Recognised Controlling Bodies to refine the system. This is done in recognition that SARS works with and through partnerships to ensure that taxpayers are enabled to meet their legal obligation in the most efficient manner.

      SARS wishes to thank employers and third-party data providers who have met their 31 May 2023 submission deadline. This step will enable employees to have a seamless and easy transaction with SARS. The employers and third parties who are non-compliant are making transacting with SARS challenging for their employees and will be pursued for transgressing the law.


      Taxpayers who wish to visit a SARS branch must first make an appointment. They can do this by:

      • Sending an SMS to 47277 (iSARS) with the word Booking (Space) ID number/Passport number.
      • Dialling *134*7277# free of charge on their cellphone and choosing the eBooking option.
      • Going to the SARS website and clicking on the “Book an Appointment” icon. Complete the online form.

      For further information please contact SARSMedia@sars.gov.za

      #FilingSeason2023 #YourTaxMatters – www.sars.gov.za

      amendment to rules under sections 49 and 120 – Economic Partnership Agreement between the SADC EPA states, of the one part, and the European Union and its member states, of the other part (DAR247)

        • Appendix A (List of countries with which cumulation may be applied)
        • Appendix B (Exclusion list of materials where cumulation would not apply – SADC)
        • Appendix C (Exclusion list of materials where cumulation would not apply – MFN)
      • 23 June 2023 – Income Tax Act, 1962 (Retirement Funds)

      The following are the highlights of a non-exhaustive list of Legal Changes impacting the Income Tax Return for Companies (ITR14), Notice of Assessment for Companies (ITA34C), core systems and source codes:

      • An update to the core systems to accommodate the assessed loss calculations in terms of section 20.
      • An update to the ITR14 to identify paragraph 13(1)(a) and 13(1)(b) deductions for purposes of extending the prescription period on disputes.
      • Removal of the Solidarity Fund Donations (excl. any other Donations) container on the ITR14 to align with the new Section 18A requirements.
      • The Public Benefit Organisations (PBO) number(s) declared on the return when claiming donations will be validated against the SARS’s PBO register for validity.
      • A Share Register will be added to the ITR14 return which will enable the capturing of the classes of shares, and the details of the holders of shares per class of share.
      • The “Taxable Distribution(s) from all Trusts(s)” container will be enhanced to enable the taxpayer to declare the details of each distribution received from a Trust.
      • An update to source code descriptions where applicable.

      SARS gratefully acknowledges compliant taxpayers for filing their tax returns and paying their taxes on time. The support from tax practitioners is appreciated and we would like to remind you of the critical role that practitioners play in bridging the gap between taxpayers and SARS. As legislation, regulations and tax law are continuously changing and evolving, it is of utmost importance for companies and tax practitioners to keep abreast of such changes in so that companies continue to meet their tax obligations.

      • 22 June 2023 – RFP07/2023: Provision of Armed Response Security and Alarm Monitoring Services

      You can now view the briefing presentation.

      • 22 June 2023 – The latest Tax Practitioner Connect Newsletter Issue 43 is available. This issue includes information on the updated BRS for the PAYE Employer Reconciliation for 2023/2024, backdating of PAYE and SDL liability dates, consequences of failing to de-register for tax types, misrepresentation of taxpayers’ information and RCB list updated on SARS systems.
      • Jun 22, 2023

      Transfer Duty scenarios’ sequence of events

      22 June 2023 – With Transfer Duty, there is a sequence of events that must be followed. However, there are four scenarios where the sequence of events is not always followed:

      1. Divorce and then later inheritance;
      1. Massed estate;
      1. Divorce and re-marriage;
      1. Inheritance where the surviving spouse is also donating her share to the children – not mentioned in the will as a massed estate, but clear from the contents that such occurred.

      See the sequence of events in relation to the Transfer Duty scenarios.


      TAX OMBUD:


      AuthorLegal and Policy
      Legal and Policy
      Date29 June 2023