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I have received a SARS admin penalty - what do I do now?

SARS have recently become a lot stricter about levying administrative penalties. These are penalties for missing the deadline to submit your tax return. You can read about these recent changes in the law here.

2022 tax season:

Non-Provisional Taxpayers: your deadline to submit your 2022 tax return was 24 October 2022. If you missed this deadline, it is very likely that SARS would have issued you an administrative penalty for every month that you are late. (Note, Provisional Taxpayers have until 23 January 2023 to file their 2022 tax return).

Prior year tax seasons:

If you have outstanding/un-filed tax returns from prior years, chances are high that SARS will have slapped on administrative penalties.

You may have recently received an email or SMS from SARS informing you of these recurring administrative penalties.  We strongly suggest you check these out and rectify the situation ASAP.  

Run a Penalty Statement of Account 

1. Log into your SARS eFiling profile.

2. Click on the "SARS Correspondence" tab.

3. Then click on "Request Admin Penalty SOA".

4. Select the tax year e.g., 2022 and click continue. 

5. On the next screen click submit.

6. Then click on "Click here to view your Statement of Account" to see the penalties which have been levied by SARS. 

Submit the outstanding tax return ASAP

SARS will continue to issue you monthly administrative penalties until you submit the outstanding tax return. These add up pretty quickly, so best you don't procrastinate any longer.

Pay the Penalty 

Guilty as charged? We suggest you pay the penalty to avoid interest accruing. You can find the payment details on the Penalty Statement of Account. Make sure you use the correct payment reference number so that SARS can allocate it accordingly. 

How to Dispute the Penalty 

Please note you must have valid reasons to dispute a penalty. For example:

  • Serious illness, sequestration, liquidation or death
  • Not liable to file a tax return (e.g you earn less than the tax threshold)
  • SARS error (e.g system error which prevented you from submitting your tax return)

You should supply as much details as possible in the text block provided. SARS are very strict with their requirements and won't grant any leniency unless the reasons are valid. 

Steps to follow to dispute:

1. Make sure you have submitted the outstanding tax return before attempting to file a dispute. If you have not brought your compliance up to date, SARS will reject your dispute outright.

2. Once you have run the Penalty Statement of Account, click the Dispute button at the top of your screen. 

3. Select "I would like to file a Request for Remission" and click Continue.

4. The next screen will take you to the list of penalties. Select the penalty you want to dispute.

5. Select your reason for the dispute e.g. "Not liable to File" and type further details in the Grounds field e.g 'I earned below the tax threshold of R87 300 for 2022".

6. Review the information displayed, then click “File” to send your Request for Remission to SARS.

Request for Remission is disallowed

If the “Request for Remission” is disallowed completely, or only partially allowed, you can dispute this outcome by filing an objection.

Objection is disallowed

Where your objection is disallowed completely or only partially allowed, you'll be able to appeal by filing a ‘Notice of Appeal’. You can access this form via the Dispute menu again, and select “Notice of Appeal” as the dispute type. You'll be given the option to resolve the Appeal via an “Alternative Dispute Resolution Process” or “Litigation” process. Select one option, fill in the reason and then continue to the summary page and to submit.

Remember, it can take up to 60 days for SARS to review your dispute and issue an outcome.

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