Why is there a Delay in Getting My SARS Refund?

Taxpayers eagerly await their refunds as soon as they file their Income Tax returns. SARS used to be quick to reimburse taxpayers due for a refund, usually within a few days. Since 2014, however, refund delays have been caused by changes made to the process by tax advisors and auditors. It is important to ask why the SARS process is now extended and why taxpayers are still waiting longer for refunds.

Invalid banking details

Your refund could be delayed if your bank details are incorrect according to SARS records. SARS checks the banking details of many taxpayers to prevent fraud. Before you file your Income Tax return, verify that your banking details are correct as per your RAV01 form. This form is available on SARS efiling. You can update your RAV01 form to reflect any changes in your banking information since the last tax return submission. Then, file your return. SARS may ask you to visit the nearest SARS branch to confirm that your bank details have changed. Notification will be sent to you in writing. Notifications will be sent by mail.

SARS Stopper

Only a SARS branch can lift the special ban on refunds. They will require proof of your residence address and a certified copy or your bank statement, not older than three months. The bank stamps the document.

Verification of your tax return

In South Africa there has been a marked increase in the number of taxpayers who are selected to be reviewed or verified. SARS may request supporting documentation. Make sure you attach all documentation used to compile your income and expenses. A schedule that summarizes (for example, all medical expenses) is recommended. You must attach the logbook detailing the purchase and the proof of purchase if you receive a travel allowance.

The deadlines for Income Tax returns submissions have been published by the South African Revenue Service. The method of filing the tax return will determine the deadlines. Companies that are required to submit tax returns via eFiling within 12 months of the end of their financial year are exempt from these deadlines.

Administrative penalties have been added to the Income Tax Act. These penalties can range from R250 to R16 000 each month. If you are selected to be reviewed by SARS, please ensure you have all supporting documentation. They may need to access your supporting documentation in the future.