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SARS isn't paying my refund, they want my old returns!!!!

Taxpayers this year are facing a new gripe with SARS when it comes to receiving those well-earned refunds. The current two scenarios are:

  • NO AUDIT: A taxpayer files a tax return, gets their ITA34 and does not need to submit supporting documents; or
  • AUDIT: A taxpayer files a return and in their ITA34 is requested to submit supporting documents, after which they receives a Completion Letter stating "no adjustment made".

In both these cases a refund should be paid out a few days later (if the taxpayer is due one), however thousands of taxpayers still have not been paid their refund. Here’s why!

1. Banking details:

SARS requests taxpayers to go into a branch to verify their banking details. A letter would have been sent to the taxpayer explaining this.

2. Old returns:

SARS are requesting old tax returns that were never filed before to be submitted now, before any refunds are paid. They are going back as far as 2005 in some cases. Regardless of whether in the past a taxpayer didn’t meet the filing requirements / required income threshold SARS are now requesting these old tax returns to be filed. In many cases employers and taxpayers no longer have these old documents due to the 5 year rule of holding tax documents having expired.

What to do:

If taxpayers find themselves in this situation they need to do the following: 

  1. Call 0800 00 7277 to find out if they have any tax returns outstanding and which years they are for;
  2. Gather all the documents they or their current/former employers have for those outstanding tax years;
  3. If there are no documents, go to the police station and swear an affidavit as to why no documents can be obtained; then
  4. Submit the outstanding returns, either using the information available, or if taxpayers have none, submit a nil return

Register at to let us help you complete all your old returns and remember we always advise taxpayers to file every year just to make sure they stay compliant.

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