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Having problems with Adobe Flash Player forms on SARS e-Filing?

Here’s what to do about it

As early as July 2017, Adobe announced that Flash Player would be discontinued by 31 December 2020 and that Flash Player would block its Flash content by 12 January 2021. But, SARS is yet to update their system and secure a solution that caters to the needs of all South African taxpayers.

In a time of Covid-19, where social distancing is the name of the game - a time when South Africans need a functional online tax filing service the most - SARS is still in the process of migrating a number of necessary forms. The tax collector states that this process of migration is complex with thousands of technical, and administrative business rules that require the developing, testing and rolling out of new forms. “It is due to this complexity and the need to deliver properly tested and working forms that SARS prioritised the major tax types with the highest volumes, with the rest planned for 2021,” says SARS.

While SARS is aware of the issues that have arisen as a result of the outdated system, which includes forms not loading on the tax collectors website, SARS announced that they are currently working on the problem by updating the Adobe Flash Player-enabled forms to HTML5.


SARS’ interim solutions:

  1. Firstly, SARS has introduced an e-Booking system. This system includes a special dropdown box labelled, 'Adobe Flash Workaround Assistance'. SARS recommends the use of Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Firefox or Safari to access the booking form and not Internet Explorer.
  2. By the last week of January 2021, a new toll-free line specifically dedicated to Adobe issues will go live.
  3. A virtual support hub will be launched in the last week of January 2021. This collaborative interim solution is the brainchild of SARS and Recognised Controlling Bodies (RCB) and is aimed at tax practitioners.


What to do if you are having trouble accessing SARS’ Adobe Flash Player forms:

  1. Make sure that you have the latest updated version of Microsoft Edge installed.
  2. Clear your cache often and make sure that you have a stable internet connection;
  3. Open Microsoft Edge, open the SARS eFiling website and click on the padlock icon right next to the URL. Click on “site permissions”. Select “Adobe Flash” in the settings tab that will open automatically and click “Allow” from the dropdown. Refresh the SARS eFiling page.
  4. If you are having trouble accessing forms using the older Adobe Flash Player, two options will be provided: “Update plugin” and “run this time”.
  5. If a “run Flash” pop-up appears, click “allow”.

According to SARS, this will allow you to successfully access the necessary forms available through eFiling, but be aware that these steps wont work for everyone as SARS’ is yet to complete migrating forms from Adobe Flash Player to HTML5.


Still not working? 

If you still have no luck with view the Adobe Flash forms then you can make use of the SARS Browser. Yes, SARS created their own mini browser so that enables access to ALL eFiling forms, including those that require Adobe Flash allowing you to maintain compliance with your filing. Click here to download the SARS Browser. If you need help downloading and using the SARS Browser, click here for the how to guide. 

List of forms successfully migrated, and those that are currently unsupported

Forms with the greatest volumes migrated to the alternative platform Forms still to be migrated to alternative platforms (currently unsupported)

All returns required for the submission of:

  • Income Tax for individuals
  • Company Income Tax
  • Trusts
  • Registration, Amendments and Verification Form- RAV01
  • ​PAYE Declarations and related employment tax forms
  • ​Tax Compliance Status Request- TCR01
  • ​VAT Declarations and related forms
  • ​Dividends Tax Transactions Information DTR01
  • Transfer Duty Declarations TDC01
  • Excise Duties & Levies EXD01​
  • ​Manual Declaration of financial Certificates IT3-01 and IT3-02



The revenue service has urged taxpayers to ensure that they have the latest security software available on their devices, to avoid any security issues.

SARS has also emphasised that forms required to file income tax, VAT and PAYE are fully available through the eFiling system. Provisional taxpayers are able to use the HTML5 forms eFiling on or before the deadline of 15 February 2021. For more information on browser compatibility, follow the guidelines provided by SARS.

Image by LEANDRO AGUILAR from Pixabay

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