The South African Revenue Service (Sars) has made the decision to temporarily close their tax branches for physical visits from Thursday, July 1. This comes after the alarming Covid-19 case numbers and the third wave peak, IOL reports.
In a statement on Thursday evening, Sars said: “In terms of the Disaster Management Act, the South African Revenue Service remains an essential service. We have always stressed the importance of balancing the continuity of this service with the risk of transmission.”
Even though the revenue service is hoping to resume branch visits from August 16, it still reminded the public that its digital platforms, like what was seen 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,’’ Sars said.
“Branch filing will NOT commence on 01 July, 2021. At this stage, we 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.
“During the branch closures, taxpayers who require assistance to file online will be assisted telephonically with the support of dedicated SARS staff.
’’All Customs Ports of Entry will be open for frontline customs operations, but not for face-to-face client engagement other than for clearance and inspection purposes.
“In line with our stated commitment to modernise our systems and make it easy for taxpayers to meet their tax obligations, we continue our commitment to use technology to ensure continued service to taxpayers in a manner that ensures both the safety of our employees as well as taxpayers,” it said.
Sars reminded members of the public of the following:
- Bookings for virtual appointments may be made via the SARS website
- Taxpayers can still use their digital platforms
- The Sars Contact Centre (0800 00 7277) will continue to service any queries from members of the public