How do I claim tax back from SARS?

To claim a tax refund from the South African Revenue Service (SARS), you need to follow a specific process. Keep in mind that the process might change, so it’s recommended to visit the official SARS website or contact them directly for the most up-to-date information. As of my last update in September 2021, here are the general steps you would typically follow to claim a tax refund from SARS:

  1. Gather Necessary Documents: Collect all the relevant documents, such as your IRP5 (employee tax certificate) from your employer, proof of any deductions or expenses, and any other supporting documentation required for your claim.
  2. Register on eFiling: If you haven’t already, register for an eFiling account on the SARS eFiling website ( This online platform allows you to submit your tax returns, claim refunds, and communicate with SARS electronically.
  3. Log In and Access Your Return: Log in to your eFiling account and navigate to the “Returns” section. Access the relevant tax year’s return that you want to submit.
  4. Complete the Return: Fill out the tax return form accurately and thoroughly. Make sure you include all the relevant income, deductions, and expenses to ensure your claim is correct.
  5. Submit the Return: Once you’ve completed the return, review it for accuracy and submit it electronically through the eFiling platform.
  6. Wait for Assessment: After submitting your return, SARS will assess it. This process may take some time, and SARS might request additional information or documentation to verify your claim.
  7. Receive the Assessment: SARS will send you an assessment indicating whether your refund has been approved and the amount you are eligible to receive. This assessment will be sent to your eFiling account, and you will also receive an SMS notification.
  8. Accept the Assessment: If you agree with the assessment, you can accept it on the eFiling platform. If there are any discrepancies or issues, you can follow the instructions on how to address them.
  9. Receive the Refund: Once you’ve accepted the assessment, SARS will process your refund. The refund will be deposited into the bank account you provided during the eFiling process.
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Remember that the steps and requirements might vary based on your individual circumstances and any changes in SARS procedures. It’s always a good idea to consult the official SARS website or contact SARS directly for the most accurate and current information regarding claiming tax refunds.

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