What you need to know about SARS auto-assessments

Make sure you know the risks and how it will affect your tax refund

1. What is an auto-assessment?
This is an automatic assessment issued by SARS to certain taxpayers. SARS will use data collected from employers, financial institutions, medical schemes, retirement annuity fund administrators and other 3rd party data providers to generate the assessment automatically, without any input from the taxpayer.

2. Why has SARS introduced this process?

This process was started in 2019 – however, it has been expanded on this year in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and the need for physical distancing. It is intended to remove the need for taxpayers to travel to branches to file returns there.
3. How will I know if I have been auto-assessed?
You should receive a SMS from SARS informing you that you have been selected for auto-assessment. SARS have indicated that the process will start from 1 August 2020.
4. Should I accept the auto-assessment?
No, we think there are risks involved. Your auto-assessment may be inaccurate and accepting it, could result in you paying more tax than necessary.
"Why is this the case?"
SARS may not have received all of your tax certificates
SARS may not have your most up-to-date tax certificates
You may miss out on claiming certain deductions, which won’t appear on your auto-assessment e.g. wear and tear, home office, donations to charities and travel expenses.
5. If I reject it, what happens next?
You can file your tax return as normal with TaxTim. 
Filing a tax return means that you can include all of your possible deductions so as to pay less tax and maximize your chance of a refund.

6. SARS sent me an SMS about an auto-assessment but I already submitted my 2020 tax return on TaxTim. What do I do now?

Sars has sent me an SMS saying they have calculated my assessment tax and I can accept or edit this. I have done an early return with TaxTim and I’m not sure what to do now as I cannot submit that return until 1 September. Please advise on what to do next. Thanks. 

SMS received below:
Tax Ref: ******4174. Your 2020 Year of Assessment tax calculated results is -R300. 28, based on the information at SARS disposal. You can accept or edit your return through the SARS digital channels. Failure to do so may result in SARS raising an estimate assessment. For more info, visit the SARS website on www. Sars. Gov. Za/TaxTypes/PIT/Tax-Season/Pages/How-does-the-Tax-Calculation-work. Aspx

Please log in to your SARS eFiling profile and reject the auto-assessment. You can do this by following these instructions in our handy guide.

SARS had originally announced the opening of the tax season to be 1 Sep 2020. 
They opened unexpectedly early on eFiling  for 2020 tax return submissions on 30 July 2020.
We are working round the clock to finalise our testing for the 2020 tax season and are also seeking clarity from SARS with regards to early submissions. 

Please rest assured that we will submit your return as soon as possible. We will keep you updated by email of the status of your 2020 tax return. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

This entry was posted in TaxTim's Blog and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

10 most popular Q&A in this category

Do your Tax Return in 20 minutes or less!

TaxTim will help you:

 Do Your Tax Return Easily
 Avoid penalties
 Maximise your refund

Tim uses your answers to complete your income tax return instantly and professionally, with everything filled in in the right place.

Let Tim submit your tax return direct to SARS in just a few clicks!

Get started

Blog Categories

Ask TaxTim

Got a question you want answered about tax?

Visit our helpdesk →

Get SARS Tax Deadlines in your Inbox
We'll tell you when you need to file, along with tax tips and updates.