Legal and Policy
2023 Legal and Policy

Legal and Policy - 2 November 2023



  • 1 November 2023– The South African Revenue Service (SARS) welcomes the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) tabled in Parliament today by the Minister of Finance, Mr Enoch Godongwana, which revised the 2023 February Budget net tax revenue estimate from R1 787.5 billion to R1 730.4 billion.

SARS has continued with its core functions of collecting all that is due to the fiscus. During the first half of the current fiscal year, we have collected gross revenue totalling R1 016.3 billion, growing by 4.5% and recording a surplus of R1.0 billion against the Budget 2023 estimate. This performance is on the back of strong gross collections from VAT, Fuel Levy and PIT- partially offset by lower gross collections from CIT as company profits remain under pressure. Without our assistance, the fiscal framework would have been under greater pressure.

See the full media statement here.

  • 1 November 2023 – Guides
    • 31 October 2023 – Income Tax Act, 1962

    Guide to Section 18A Approval of a Department in the National, Provincial and Local Sphere of Government

    • 31 October 2023 – Income Tax Act, 1962

    Interpretation Note 112 (Issue 2) – Section 18A: Audit certificate

    • 31 October 2023 – Income Tax Act, 1962

    Interpretation Note 24 (Issue 5) – Public benefit organisations: Partial taxation

    Interpretation Note 112 – Section 18A: Audit certificate

    Interpretation Note 24 (Issue 4) – Public benefit organisations: Trading rules – Partial taxation of trading receipts

    • 31 October 2023 – South Africa recorded a preliminary trade balance surplus of R13.1 billion attributable to exports of R174.65 billion and imports of R161.51 billion.

    See the full media statement here – Media Release – September 2023

    Visit the Trade Statistics webpage.

    • 31 October 2023 – The deadline for employers to submit their Interim Reconciliation Declarations (EMP501) was 31 October 2023. Employers must use e@syFile™ or eFiling for their submissions before the deadline to avoid penalties.

    Employers can only use SARS eFiling for one to 50 reconciliations of IRP5/IT3(a) (tax) certificates. Employers must use e@syFile™ Employer if they have more than 50 IRP5/IT3(a) certificates to submit for their employees.

    • 30 October 2023 – If a taxpayer incurred interest and penalty on provisional tax, a taxpayer is allowed to submit a Request for Remission prior to submission of the annual return.

    In this scenario, the user must click on the ‘Add Dispute Item’ button and select the applicable source code from the list:

    • 9995 – Interest (section 89bis) on provisional tax
    • 9996 – Penalty (paragraph 27(1)) on provisional tax

    The Guide to submit a dispute via eFiling was updated to align to the above.

    • 30 October 2023 – To mitigate the risks associated with compromised passwords, an additional security layer has been integrated to access the SARS MobiApp. The two-factor authentication (2FA) security system method consists of two distinct forms of identification requirements.
    • SARS MobiApp users or taxpayers can now enable the 2FA method on their eFiling profile. This implies that once implemented, they will be prompted to provide a one-time-pin (OTP) after they have successfully entered their username and password on the SARS MobiApp. Access to their SARS MobiApp profile will only be granted once they have completed the OTP successfully on their smart device.
    • The following external guide has been updated with this new development:

    IT-AE-47-G01 – How to register for the use of the SARS MobiApp – External Guide

    • 30 October 2023 – The deadline for employers to submit their Interim Reconciliation Declarations (EMP501) is tomorrow 31 October 2023. Employers must use e@syFile™ or eFiling for their submissions before the deadline to avoid penalties.

    Employers can only use SARS eFiling for one to 50 reconciliations of IRP5/IT3(a) (tax) certificates. Employers must use e@syFile™ Employer if they have more than 50 IRP5/IT3(a) certificates to submit for their employees.

    • 30 October 2023 – The Tax Compliance Status (TCS) process relating to the approval of international transfer (AIT) applications have been adjusted to address feedback from stakeholders. Below is a summary of the key revisions:

    TCS Application Form (TCR01):

    • All the fields under the “Foreign Assets and Liabilities Details” container have been made optional based on the date the TCS applicant ceased to be a South African tax resident.
    • The “Net Worth” field under the “Assets and Liabilities Details” container has been amended to “Net Amount (At cost)”.
    • The “Trust No.” and “Passport No. of Main Trustee/Representative Taxpayer of the Trust” under the “Local and Foreign Trust Details” container, and the “Local and Foreign Loan to a Trust Details” container have been made optional when “Foreign Trust” is selected.
    • The “Trust No.” under the “Distribution from Trust Additional Details” container has been made optional when the “Foreign Trust” is selected.
    • The “Share code” field and “Number of shares sold” field under the “Sale of Shares and Other Securities Details” container have been disabled when the “Listed Shares” is selected.

    TCS Verification Letter (TCR006):

    The TCR006 letter has been amended to display the residency status under which the application was approved.

    TCS Dashboard:

    • An “Amount” column has been added to the TCS dashboard to enable the AIT Reviewers and Approvers to view the total value of the international transfer per the TCR01 application (where the application has not yet been approved) or the approved amount per the AIT case.

    See the updated Guide to the Tax Compliance Status functionality on eFiling here.

    • 27 October 2023 – If you suspect that your tax profile has been compromised, you can now report it electronically. As part of our ongoing efforts to enhance taxpayer confidence, we are introducing a new feature today. Simply click here to report the incident and follow the prompts to register your case. This will assist SARS to manage and prioritise your case while making it easier for you to interact with SARS when it comes to digital fraud.
    • 27 October 2023 – National Legislation

    Publication of Explanatory Summary of the Tax Administration Laws Amendment Bill, 2023

    The Minister of Finance intends to introduce the Bill in the National Assembly in the near future.

    • 27 October 2023 – The mobile tax unit schedule for Limpopo province during November is now available.
    • 27 October 2023 – Customs and Excise Act, 1964: Publication details for tariff amendment notice R4008, as published in Government Gazette 49557 of 27 October 2023, are now available.
    • 26 October 2023 – The South African Revenue Service (SARS), strives to always clarify and remind taxpayers of their obligation in law, as well as the potential consequences should they not comply. Notwithstanding the legal mandate of SARS to act against taxpayers who fail to comply, it is generally expected that we first remind, and give the taxpayers the opportunity to comply, ahead of SARS commencing legal action. The SMS message that was sent out earlier this week, in relation to outstanding returns, fell short of the high professional standard we seek to uphold. SARS therefore sincerely apologises for the manner in which this matter was handled, the frustration it may have caused honest taxpayers, and any inconvenience caused.

    See full statement here.

    • 26 October 2023 – Customs and Excise Act, 1964: The tariff amendment notice, scheduled for publication in the Government Gazette, relates to the amendments to –
    • Part 1 of Schedule No. 1, by the substitution of Additional Note 6(a) to Chapter 22, to clarify that the products classifiable in tariff subheading 2206.00.19 is limited to beverages that are the end product of fermentation of a liquor (wort) of non-malted milled cereals listed in the table in Chapter Note 2 to Chapter 11, whether or not flavoured but not mixed with any other beverages, provided the fermentable sugars are derived solely from the liquor (wort) without the addition of any other sugars during or prior to fermentation.

    Publication details will be made available later

    • 26 October 2023 – Please note that the submissions platforms for both Secure File Gateway and Connect:Direct will be temporarily offline for planned maintenance between 16:00 and 19:00 on Friday 27 October 2023.

    Please do not submit any files in the Production or Test environments during this time, as they will not be received or processed. Files already in the system will be paused and will continue processing upon conclusion of the maintenance.

    • 26 October 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. To provide clarity & certainty, make it easy for taxpayers & traders to comply with their obligations and building public trust and confidence, our technology assets must demonstrate the highest levels of availability, robustness, and security.

    In accordance with 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.

    Considering the above, SARS Digital platform upgrades are scheduled for Friday, 27 October 2023 from 18:00 to 21:00.

    During this time, you may experience intermittent service interruption on our eFiling Platform.

    Customs Digital Platform will not be available during this time.

    Responses (CUSRES messages) to transactions submitted during this time will be delayed.

    Stakeholders are therefore urged to submit priority Goods Declarations (bills of entry) and Road Manifest by Friday, 27 October 2023 @ 17:00.





    Legal and Policy
    Date2 November 2023