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 – it was then expanded on last 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 in July 2022.
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.
Check our Auto-Assessment decision tree for futher assistance.
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. If I accept it, and my auto-assessment is incorrect, am I exempt from penalties/legal action?
No - it is your responsibility to ensure you report all of your income and expenses accurately to SARS. If you accepted your auto-assessment and it is not an accurate reflection of your income, you will be subject to penalties/legal action should SARS audit you later on and discover their mistake.
7. SARS sent me an SMS about an auto-assessment but I already submitted my 2021 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. Please advise on what to do next. Thanks.
SMS received below:
Tax Ref: ******4174. Your 2021 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. As soon as filing season opens, TaxTim will submit your tax return to SARS.