Pretoria — The South African Revenue Service (SARS) on Wednesday reminded taxpayers of the looming deadline for income tax returns while also announcing that some of its branches had extended its hours.
The deadline for individual taxpayers and trusts to submit their annual income tax returns is on 23 November.
SARS spokesperson Adrian Lackay said that its Randburg, Rissik Street, Vereeniging, Edenvale, Alberton and Roodepoort as well the Pretoria CBD and Ashlea Gardens branches would be open on Saturday from 8 am to 1pm.
The same would apply for the revenue's Durban, Pietermaritzburg and Mthatha offices in KwaZulu-Natal as well as the Cape Town, Bellville and Port Elizabeth branches in the Eastern and Western Cape.
The revenue service's contact centre will also extend its hours to assist taxpayers. On weekdays until Friday (16 November) the centre will operate from 8am to 7pm while on Saturday (19 November) the centre will operate from 9am to 2pm. For the new week ending on 23 November, the centre will operate from 8am to 8pm.
To date almost 3.7 million income tax returns have been submitted to SARS for the 2012 tax season - an increase of 20% over the same period last year.
SARS said that, including outstanding returns from previous years, the total number of returns submitted since the tax season started on 1 July 2012 exceeds 4.5 million.
Of the 3 718 675 returns submitted for 2012, only 5 422 returns have been submitted in a manual format, a 75% decrease in manual filing compared to the 2011 tax season.
SARS urged taxpayers to submit their returns while also thanking those who have already done so.
"With the deadline of Friday 23 November approaching, SARS wants to urge all taxpayers who have not yet submitted their tax returns to do so as soon as possible, to avoid being caught in the final rush and to avoid penalties for late submission which start at R250 per month for each return which is outstanding," said SARS.
On Tuesday, a total of 27 213 returns were submitted and it is expected this number will increase significantly over the course of the next nine days leading to the deadline.
Provisional taxpayers who file their returns via eFiling have until Thursday 31 January 2013 to submit returns.
For assistance with filing a tax return, taxpayers can use the Help-You-eFile function on eFiling, call the SARS Contact Centre on 0800 00 7277, or visit a SARS branch.