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What to do if your tax return was rejected by SARS

Reasons your assessment may be delayed

If you've received a letter from SARS saying that your tax return has been rejected and you're not sure why, there could be a few reasons why this has happened. Here are some of the most common reasons, along with the corrective steps you need to take:

Reason 1: You were auto-assessed by SARS for the 2020, 2021 or 2022 tax year, but you submitted your tax return after the 40-day period SARS gave you, and you failed to request an extension in time. Please click here to read more about auto-assessments. 

If you believe that your auto-assessment missed some of your income or deductions/expenses, you can file a dispute with SARS.

Reason 2: Your tax return was submitted on time, but SARS says there's a missing IRP5 or tax directive number.

If you have a missing IRP5 or tax directive number, you can click here to see which directives or IRP5s you missed and then contact the company who issued the tax directive to ask them to send you the IRP5.

Reason 3: You submitted your tax return and immediately received an error message saying that there's something wrong with your IRP5, with no other details.

If you see this error, you can click on the button  "Refresh IRP5 data" on eFiling, which should fix the IRP5 error. This error usually occurs when the company you worked for resubmitted their IRP5 reconciliations to SARS and changed something, such as your income, certificate number, or tax paid. If the IRP5 on SARS' side is different from what's on your tax return, your tax return may get rejected. Once you click on "Refresh IRP5 Data” in eFiling, everything should be fine, but remember to reopen, review, and then submit your tax return.

Reason 4: SARS accepts your tax return but delays issuing you an assessment, with the error message saying your tax return was routed for manual assessment. Then, a few months later, you are told that your tax return was rejected by SARS.

This error can be caused by many problems, including:

• Your income might be different from what's on SARS' side.
• You might have changed your tax residency in a previous tax year and did not inform  SARS that you were back in South  Africa.
• You claimed a new deduction, such as the foreign employment income exemption or Section 8A or B expenses, but did not  complete the section in your tax return correctly.
• You declared extra income, such as rental, freelance or sole proprietor income, but you entered the wrong Unique Identifier Code.
For most of these issues, you will need to reopen your tax return, correct the errors, and then resubmit your tax return. If it's a tax residency error, you will need to set up a telephonic or in-person appointment with SARS to get them to update their records so that you can submit your tax returns again.

If you are still unsure about what to do, please contact our helpdesk for assistance.

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