PRETORIA – The South African Revenue Service (SARS) is temporarily closing all its branches for physical visits from next month. As the covid 19 numbers continue to climb, more and more places of work are being impacted.
And now the receiver of revenue, SARS has decided to close its tax offices for a short period to minimise contact while we ride out the storm. But they say it will still be business as usual online.
This as COVID-19 cases continue to spike but it says it will still be business as usual for services online.
Acting SARS commissioner, Johnstone Makhubu speaking to eNCA this morning, said this will help avoid the peak witnessed during the first and last weeks of the filing season.
The temporary closure of the tax branches will not affect the start of Filing Season for individuals who file on eFiling or SARS MobiApp. These taxpayers can continue filing digitally 1 July 2021.
Branch filing will NOT commence on 1 July 2021. https://t.co/aCwU38fk4V
— SA Revenue Service (@sarstax) June 25, 2021
The seven-day moving average of positive Covid-19 infections has now surpassed 12 000 cases. On one single day – 23 June 2021 – there were 17 493 positive cases reported and 166 deaths.
“We express our deepest sympathies to those who are bereaved. Many of our own loved ones, friends and colleagues have been affected,” said SARS on the statement yesterday.
In terms of the Disaster Management Act, the South African Revenue Service (SARS) remains an essential service.
— eNCA (@eNCA) June 26, 2021
“We have always stressed the importance of balancing the continuity of this service with the risk of transmission,” it said.
With the rising case numbers and the onset of the third wave peak of the pandemic, we have decided to close our tax branches temporarily for physical visits as from Thursday 01 July 2021.
“We are able to do so because the SARS digital platforms, as demonstrated during the peak of the second wave, allows taxpayers to continue to fulfil their obligations online”.
Importantly, the temporary closure of the tax branches will not affect the start of the Filing Season for individuals who traditionally file via eFiling or the SARS MobiApp. These taxpayers are encouraged to continue doing so digitally, starting from 1 July 2021.
Branch filing will not commence on 01 July 2021. At this stage, they plan to commence physical branch visits on 16 August 2021, but will review this continuously. Taxpayers are advised not to come to a SARS branch. The branches will be closed until an announcement is made confirming the reopening date.