Auto-Assessments and Changes for the 2023 Tax Season: What You Need to Know

Auto-Assessments and Changes for the 2023 Tax Season: What You Need to Know

…By Judah Olanisebee for TDPel Media. The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has announced that the 2023 tax season will commence on Friday, 7 July at 20:00.


This year’s tax season will extend until Monday, 23 October 2023 for individual taxpayers and until Wednesday, 24 January 2024 for provisional taxpayers.

In case you have misplaced your tax number, there’s no need to worry.

The solution is straightforward. Simply click HERE for instructions on what to do if you have forgotten your 10-digit tax number.


SARS will continue to utilize auto-assessments in 2023, a system that has proven successful for handling less complex tax returns.

However, there is one significant change to note.

In the previous year, taxpayers were given 40 days to file a return if they disagreed with their auto-assessment.

This year, taxpayers who are unsatisfied with their assessment have until the due date of 23 October 2023 to make any necessary adjustments.

Auto-assessments will begin from Saturday, 1 July, and taxpayers selected for auto-assessment will receive notifications via SMS or email.


Those who do not receive a notification must submit their Personal Income Tax Return (ITR12).

To make the tax season less stressful, here are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) and their answers:

When will SARS issue Auto-Assessments? Auto-assessments will be issued by SARS starting from 1 July 2023 to taxpayers with less complicated tax affairs.

If you agree with the auto-assessment, there is no need to take any further action.

How is Auto-Assessment different this year (2023) from last year (2022)? Last year, taxpayers had 40 days to file a return if they were not satisfied with their auto-assessment.


However, this year, SARS has extended the deadline until 23 October 2023.

If an auto-assessment is issued after this date, the 40-day period starts from the notice of assessment.

How does the Auto-Assessment work? SARS receives data from various institutions, including employers, medical schemes, banks, and retirement annuity funds, to calculate taxpayers’ assessments.

If SARS is satisfied with the accuracy of the data and tax calculation, it will issue the assessment via eFiling or the SARS MobiApp.

Taxpayers will receive a message through their preferred communication channel to notify them that their assessment is available for viewing.


What should I do when I receive my auto-assessment? Log into eFiling or the SARS MobiApp to view your assessment and review the data used for the calculation.

If you agree with the assessment, check if a refund is due to you or if you owe SARS.

If a refund is due, no further action is required, and you can expect the refund within approximately 72 hours.

If you owe SARS, make the payment via eFiling or the SARS MobiApp before the payment due date.

How do I know if the data used in my assessment is correct? You can view your data in detail by logging into eFiling and selecting the “Third Party Data Certificate” search button on the menu bar.


This allows you to verify specific certificate types and ensure the accuracy of the data.

What if I owe tax to SARS? If your assessment shows that you owe tax, it is important to make the payment as soon as possible to avoid interest charges.

The payment due date is displayed on the “Notice of Assessment” (ITA34).

You can schedule the payment through eFiling or the SARS MobiApp, or make the payment at designated bank branches or via electronic funds transfer (EFT).

When should I file a tax return? If your return has been auto-assessed and you agree with the assessment, you are not required to file a tax return.


However, if you are not in agreement with the auto-assessment, you can file your tax return from 7 July 2023 at 20:00 onwards until 23 October 2023.

What happens if I don’t file my return by the due date? Filing a return after the due date of 23 October 2023 will result in penalties, so it is essential to comply with the filing deadline.

If you encounter any issues or have further questions, you can seek assistance by contacting SARS through their digital channels, including the SARS Online Query System (SOQS) on the SARS website, SARS MobiApp, or SARS eFiling.

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