The South African Revenue Services (Sars) on Monday said that it intended unveiling new mobile technology and improved services to enable easier and more convenient ways of submitting tax returns.
In line with South Africa’s uptake of mobile technology, Sars has developed an e-filing application for smartphones and the mobi sites for other cellphones users, which are expected to be launched within the next six to seven weeks.
The e-filing application and new e-filing mobi site would allow a taxpayer to complete and submit their ITR12 tax returns and receive their assessments on mobile devices such as cell phones, iPads, Smartphones and tablets.
E-filing has experienced a dramatic uptake from 2006, when just 1% of taxpayers filed their taxes electronically, compared with 99% of those who filed manually. However, last year 99% of all returns were completed and submitted electronically – either with assistance at a Sars branch or by taxpayers using e-filing.
The revenue services group also aimed to offer taxpayers assessments within minutes of submission, compared with the average of three months in 2006, three days in 2009 and 24 hours in 2010 and 2011.
Further, Sars' new ‘Help-you-file’ service, a real-time, co-browsing call centre assistance, would allow, with the taxpayers permission, a Sars agent to access the taxpayer’s browsing session and view exactly what the taxpayer is doing on their screen, enabling them to guide and help the taxpayer step-by-step in completing and submitting their ITR12 return on e-filing.
Also, in efforts to educate consumers, Sars had also uploaded a number of educational training videos on how to e-file on YouTube.