sars tax return mistake
2024 tax return season is only days away for South Africans. Picture: SARS.

Home » Tax return: This one mistake could cost you a refund

Tax return: This one mistake could cost you a refund

Tax practitioners warn this one mistake if you’re trying to be conscientious on your 2024 tax return could cost you a refund, or worse.

sars tax return mistake
2024 tax return season is only days away for South Africans. Picture: SARS.

The time to file your 2024 tax return is rapidly approaching. SARS eFiling opens up on Monday 15 July for individual taxpayers (non-provisional). This runs until Monday 21 October 2024. And, as we speak, an approximate 4.5-million SARS auto-assessments are being sent out to eligible candidates until the evening of Sunday 14 July 2024. Beyond that, other 2024 tax return dates to note are that provisional taxpayers have until 20 January 2025 to submit their tax information. And trusts have a filing period from 16 September 2024 to 20 January 2025.


2024 tax return
Unsuspecting taxpayers hoping for a refund are easy targets for scammers at this time of year. Image: File

However, SARS has also alerted those submitting a 2024 tax return that a number of scams are doing the rounds. Cyber criminals love to capitalise on this time of year, attempting to impersonate SARS. A scam might ask for your ID number and/or banking details to initiate a so-called refund. The revenue service says it will never ask for your banking details or ID number, as it has all these details.

And it will never prompt you to open a hyperlink through an email or text message. SARS has a list of more than 500 such phishing scams on its website you should look out for. That being said, in the lead-up to Monday July 14 and the start of 2024 tax season, there is one simple but massive mistake you must avoid. Do this and you could seriously risk your chance of receiving a refund, according to TaxTim.


2024 tax return
You might want to get your 2024 tax return in as early as possible, but resist that urge. Image: File

This mistake on your 2024 tax return, simply put, is to not jump the gun. Do not file a return on SARS eFiling before the portal is officially open on Monday 14 July. This is because the pre-population of ITR12 data from third parties takes place right up until the opening of the tax period. And there is every possibility that this pre-populated information may not be uploaded or comprehensively processed before you jump the gun and click ‘submit’.

We know you want to be conscientious and get it done early for a potential refund. But doing so can cause major glitches on SARS’ side and lead to prolonged delays in the processing of your data. Therefore, under no circumstance must you attempt to file your 2024 tax return early. Likewise, if you attempt to submit your 2024 tax return early, you may also miss out on a SARS auto-assessment you’re already eligible for.


2024 tax return
Don’t make more work for yourself by submitting your return too early. Image: File

There are only three instances where you can file your 2024 tax return (ITR12) early, explains SARS:

  • Have been declared insolvent or have been sequestrated.
  • You’re filing a tax return for a deceased estate.
  • If you are emigrating and need to submit your tax compliance status to your bank.