SARS has paid R18.5bn to more than 2 million taxpayers at the close of the tax season last Friday for non-provisional taxpayers – a 26% increase from last year.
These refunds apply to returns filed for the 2016-17 tax year which have been submitted during July 1 to November 24 tax season for this year.
In total, R19.8bn in refunds were paid to individuals this financial year to date, inclusive of prior year returns, directly contributing to household incomes and the domestic economy. SARS said 88.47% of tax returns were assessed within three seconds, and 93.63% within 24 hours. A total of 91.98% of taxpayers due for a refund that was not routed for audit or risk verification received their refund in less than 72 hours.
SARS said it prevented R2.7bn in fraudulent claims in the personal income tax environment, saving the fiscus of potential revenue loss. This was a R900m (50%) improvement from last year where R1.8bn in fraudulent claims was prevented during the same period. SARS received 5.67 million returns.