SARS asked for my documents 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:

Dear Taxpayer

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) thanks you for submitting your income tax return for the 2019 tax period.
Please note that your income tax return has been identified for verification in terms of the Tax Administration Act. Any refund due to you may be withheld, pending finalisation of this process.
In the accompanying Notice of Assessment you will find all the information which SARS captured from your return. Please review this information against your relevant material. If you find any errors, correct these by submitting a revised income tax return at your nearest SARS branch, eFilers can correct their returns online. Alternatively, if you cannot find any error or are unsure as to what to do, please submit A4 copies of the relevant material to SARS for

- IRP5/IT3(a) employee income tax certificates in respect of remuneration income and lump sums from your employer/pension
fund or provident fund or retirement fund
- IT3 certificates (for example IT3(b) and (c)'s from financial institutions in respect of local and/or foreign (interest/ investment
and/or capital gains)
- Note: Supply reason if there was a decrease in investment income compared to the previous years.
- Medical scheme tax certificates.
- Schedule and Receipts for ALL qualifying medical expenses paid by you and claimed on the return
Note: Receipts must be in respect of all qualifying medical expenses and/or expense prescribed by the Commissioner on the List of Qualifying Physical Impairment or Disability Expenditure
- Any claims for disability expenses must be supported by Confirmation of Diagnosis of Disability form (ITRDD). (Refer to
SARS website for more information.)
- The ITR-DD needs to be completed and endorsed by a duly registered medical practitioner registered with Health
Professionals Council of South Africa and specially trained to deal with the applicable disability.
- Where applicable Bank statements showing medical contributions made on behalf of a family member where you are not a principal
member. Also confirmation of the relationship to the person claimed for. Supply the reason why this person is financially dependent on
- Income Protection certificate(s). Only valid certificates issued by approved financial institutions will be accepted.
- Retirement Annuity Certificate(s). Only valid certificates issued by approved financial institutions will be accepted.
- Detailed financial Schedule/statement of other expenses incurred in the tax period including the relevant invoices and
receipts relating to the deductions claimed.
- Your detailed travel logbook containing the following:
Note: Minimum information required
- Opening Kilometres for the year
- Closing Kilometres for the year
- Details of daily business trips indicating the date, place travelled from and to, reasons for the trip and distances.
- If actual travel costs claimed, all invoices and detailed calculation of expenses must be provided.
- If not previously provided to SARS, then proof of value of the vehicle (for example purchase or lease agreement)
or where there is no purchase or lease agreement the market value of the vehicle at the time of acquisition or right of use of the vehicle.
- Rental/Lease agreement
- Schedule of detailed rental expenses
- Bond statement reflecting interest on bond where claimed on the return

When submitting the relevant material, enclose this original letter as it contains a unique bar-coded reference which links it to your
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

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

It is a criminal offence to wilfully and without just cause fail to provide the relevant material. Please note that failure to provide the
supporting documents or information for your return in respect of the 2019 tax period as and when requested by SARS under this letter
may result in SARS adjusting the income declared or disallowing the expenditure in respect of which the supporting documents or
information are required and the issue of an assessment in line with such adjustment or disallowance. In addition, understatement
penalties under the Tax Administration Act may be imposable and criminal prosecution may be instituted for the failure or negligence
without just cause to submit a return or document to SARS as required.

Should you have any queries please call the SARS Contact Centre on 0800 00 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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