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I submitted all my documents to SARS, They've asked again. Why?

We are seeing many cases where taxpayers submit their documents to SARS, wait 21 working days (sometimes longer) only to receive a second letter on eFiling which requests the exact same documents again.

The letter we are referring to here is the generic SARS document request which looks like the below:

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) thanks you for submitting the revised income tax return for the 2018 tax period.

The revised information still does not match the information in the possession of the SARS and/or the income tax return has been identified for verification in terms of the Tax Administration Act.

You are therefore kindly requested to urgently submit to SARS copies of the following relevant material:
- IRP5/IT3(a) employee income tax certificates in respect of remuneration income and lump sums from your employer/pension fund
- IT3 certificates (for example IT3(b) and (c)'s from financial institutions in respect of interest and capital gains)
- Medical scheme certificates and receipts
- Income Protection and retirement annuity certificates
- Your travel logbook and/or invoices or detailed calculation in respect of travel claims
- Any other documents relevant to your declaration.

When submitting the relevant material, enclose this original letter as it contains a unique bar-coded reference which links it to the income tax account with SARS. A photocopy of this letter will not be accepted by SARS. You may however make a copy of this letter for your records.

Please note that SARS only accepts relevant material in A4 format and no other formats will be accepted. Electronically stored data can be submitted by arrangement with the SARS official.

You can submit the relevant material through the following channels:
- Electronically via eFiling if you are a registered eFiler
- At your nearest SARS branch
- By post to the address above

Note you have 21 days from the date of this letter to comply in order to enable SARS to finalise the verification.

Should you have any queries please call the SARS Contact Centre on 0800 00 SARS (7277). Remember to have your ID number and the relevant income tax number at hand when you call to enable us to assist you promptly.

Along with issuing this standard letter on eFiling, SARS also opens a link on eFiling for the new documents to be submitted. Understandably, this causes a lot of confusion for taxpayers who have already submitted these documents just a month or so earlier!

What to do next?  Check your email! That’s right search your email for one sent by SARS directly to you! 

What we have learnt through dealing with thousands of taxpayers’ cases this tax season, is that at the same time that SARS issues the standard letter on eFiling requesting your documents, they also email the taxpayer directly with a specific request for a particular document/s. This could be a bank statement proving payment of medical expenditure or the proof of ownership of the car used to claim a travel allowance.

Unfortunately, because this letter is not issued in eFiling, we (i.e TaxTim) have no way of knowing about it unless you tell us.

If you used TaxTim to submit your return, you can upload the new documents required via our website in the same way that you uploaded your previous documents. Alternatively, you can upload via the link directly on SARS eFiling.  

Hopefully this clears up the confusion for you. If however, you are still unsure about what documents to submit to SARS, please contact our Helpdesk and one of our tax experts will gladly assist you.

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