The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has paid out R2.4 billion to taxpayers in refunds since the commencement of the COVID-19 enforced lockdown on 26 March.
In a statement, the revenue collector said this was in an effort to balance the safety of its staff, taxpayers and traders, while ensuring that the country’s economy is able to function.
This comes as many countries around the world continue to battle with the economic and health impact arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“SARS is fully aware of the devastating effect on the lives of our people, the risk to businesses and an already struggling economy. Consequently, we are committed to maintaining the essential services of SARS to mitigate these unfavourable conditions,” SARS said in the statement.
The refunds comprise payments to large business amounting to R1.1 billion and payments to small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) amounting to R1.3 billion.
“The payment of refunds represents a major cash injection into the economy at a very critical period. SARS can only do this if taxpayers and traders remain compliant by fulfilling their filing and payment obligations even during the lockdown,” the revenue collector said.
SARS has made available the following online channels, namely, MobiApp, eFiling, e@syFile, email and the SARS contact centre – 0800 00 7277 – to fulfil these obligations.
SARS has also urged taxpayers and traders to use the channels to make payments that are due on or before 31 March 2020 and remain compliant.