Comprehensive Guide to SARS eFiling and Online Tax Submission in South Africa


Filing taxes can seem daunting, but with the right knowledge and tools, it can be a straightforward process. This guide covers everything you need to know about SARS eFiling, tax returns, and online tax submission for both individuals and companies in South Africa.

Understanding SARS eFiling

What is SARS eFiling?

SARS eFiling is an online platform provided by the South African Revenue Service (SARS) that allows taxpayers to submit their tax returns, make payments, and interact with SARS electronically. It’s designed to simplify the tax filing process and improve compliance.

Benefits of SARS eFiling

  • Convenience: File taxes from anywhere with an internet connection.
  • Efficiency: Faster processing of tax returns and refunds.
  • Security: Safe and secure method of submitting sensitive tax information.
  • Access: Easy access to historical tax records and submissions.
  • Cost-effective: Reduces the need for physical paperwork and postage.

Registering for SARS eFiling

To use SARS eFiling, you need to register on the SARS eFiling website. Here are the steps:

  1. Visit the SARS eFiling website.
  2. Click on “Register” and complete the registration form with your personal details, including your tax number and banking information.
  3. Verify your identity through the provided methods.
  4. Once registered, log in to your eFiling account.

Filing a Tax Return

Types of Tax Returns

  1. Personal Income Tax (ITR12): For individuals earning an income.
  2. Company Income Tax (ITR14): For businesses and corporations.
  3. Provisional Tax (IRP6): For individuals and companies with non-salary income.
  4. Value-Added Tax (VAT201): For businesses registered for VAT.
  5. EMP201: For employers to declare PAYE, UIF, and SDL contributions.

Steps to File a Tax Return via SARS eFiling

  1. Log In: Access your account on the SARS eFiling website.
  2. Select Tax Type: Navigate to the “Returns Issued” section and select the relevant tax return (e.g., ITR12 for individuals).
  3. Complete the Form: Fill in the required fields with accurate information. Ensure you have all necessary documents, such as IRP5/IT3(a) certificates, medical aid certificates, and proof of other income and deductions.
  4. Attach Supporting Documents: Upload any required supporting documents.
  5. Review and Submit: Double-check all information for accuracy and completeness before submitting the return electronically.
  6. Confirmation: Save a copy of the confirmation of submission for your records.

Making Payments

  1. Access Payment Section: Log in to your eFiling account and go to the “Payments” section.
  2. Select Payment Type: Choose the relevant tax type and period for the payment.
  3. Enter Payment Details: Fill in the payment amount and details.
  4. Choose Payment Method: Select your preferred payment method (e.g., EFT, credit card).
  5. Complete Payment: Follow the prompts to finalize the payment. Keep the proof of payment.

Sites to File Taxes Online

While SARS eFiling is the primary platform for South African taxpayers, other tools and services can assist with tax submission:

  1. TaxTim: A user-friendly platform that guides you through the tax filing process and submits your return to SARS.
  2. EasyFile: A SARS-provided tool for employers to manage payroll tax submissions.
  3. Accounting Software: Platforms like Sage, Xero, and QuickBooks offer integrated tax filing features for businesses.

Tips for Efficient Online Tax Submission

  • Organize Your Documents: Keep all relevant documents organized and accessible.
  • Understand Deductions: Familiarize yourself with allowable deductions to reduce your taxable income.
  • Stay Updated: Keep abreast of any changes in tax laws or filing requirements.
  • Seek Professional Help: If your tax situation is complex, consider consulting a tax professional.
  • File Early: Avoid last-minute rushes by starting the tax filing process early.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Who needs to file a tax return in South Africa?

Individuals earning above the tax threshold, companies, and other entities are required to file tax returns. For the 2023/2024 tax year, the thresholds are:

  • Below age 65: R95,750
  • Age 65 to below 75: R148,217
  • Age 75 and older: R165,689

2. How do I know if I am a tax resident?

You are a tax resident if you are ordinarily resident in South Africa or meet the physical presence test.

3. What documents do I need to file my tax return?

Common documents include IRP5/IT3(a) certificates, medical aid certificates, retirement annuity certificates, and proof of other income and deductions.

4. How do I reset my eFiling password?

Visit the eFiling login page, click on “Forgot Password,” and follow the instructions to reset your password.

5. What should I do if I made a mistake on my tax return?

You can request a correction through your eFiling account by navigating to the submitted return and selecting “Request Correction.”

6. How long does it take to receive a tax refund?

Refunds are typically processed within 21 business days, provided there are no issues or audits required.

7. What is provisional tax, and who must pay it?

Provisional tax is a prepayment of income tax for individuals and companies with non-salary income, such as freelancers and business owners.

8. Can I file a tax return after the deadline?

Yes, but late submissions may incur penalties and interest. It’s advisable to file as soon as possible if you miss the deadline.

9. How do I contact SARS for assistance?

You can contact SARS through their call center at 0800 00 7277, visit a SARS branch, or use the online query system on the eFiling platform.

10. How do I file a company tax return?

Companies file tax returns using the ITR14 form. This can be done via SARS eFiling by logging in, selecting the ITR14 form, completing the required information, attaching supporting documents, and submitting the return.


Navigating the tax filing process in South Africa is manageable with the right tools and knowledge. SARS eFiling provides a convenient and efficient way to submit tax returns and make payments. By staying informed and organized, you can ensure compliance and potentially maximize your tax benefits.