2023 Tax season deadlines and auto-assessment processes

Beneficial ownership and the importance of filing annual returns
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September 18, 2023

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2023 Tax season deadlines

The 2023 filing season for individual taxpayers and trusts opened on 7 July 2023. The criteria and submission deadlines are indicated below:

Non-provisional taxpayers and trusts not liable for provisional tax payments 7 July 2023 to 23 October 2023
Provisional taxpayers including trusts who are liable for provisional tax payments 7 July 2023 to 24 January 2024

Auto-assessment processes and changes

Who received an auto-assessment?

  • Auto-assessments were issued to taxpayers whose tax affairs are less complicated and based on third-party data received from employers, medical schemes, banks, retirement annuity funds and other institutions.
  • Taxpayers who qualified for this year’s auto-assessment process can confirm whether they have been auto-assessed via the SARS Online Query Service functionality or by clicking here.

When were the auto-assessments issued?

  • Taxpayers were informed via SMS or email if they were selected to receive an auto-assessment between 1 July 2023 and 7 July 2023.

What must I do when I receive an auto-assessment?

  • Taxpayers who were auto-assessed are required to review their auto-assessment on eFiling. If the assessment is correct, then no further action is required.
  • Any refunds with regards to an auto-assessment would have been paid into your bank account within 72 hours from issue of the auto-assessment letter.
  • Taxpayers who were auto-assessed and who owe money to the South African Revenue Service (SARS) and who agree with the assessed amounts must make the required payment within 30 days post the closing date for the 2023 filing season.
  • Taxpayers who do not agree with their auto-assessment have until 23 October 2023 to submit an amended income tax return via eFiling.

How is this process of auto-assessments different from the previous tax year?

  • Last year, taxpayers had 40 days from the auto-assessment issue date to either accept or submit their revised tax returns if they did not agree with the assessed amounts.
  • This year, taxpayers who agree with their auto-assessments do not have to do anything.
  • For taxpayers who disagree with their assessments, the 40-day rule has fallen away, and SARS has extended the due date to 23 October 2023 in order to align the submission date with the non-provisional taxpayer’s due date.

Any queries regarding your auto-assessment or the status of your 2023 income tax return can be directed to tax@asl.co.za.

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