Sars temporarily closes branches for physical visits as Covid-19 cases spike

By Staff Reporter Time of article published Jun 25, 2021

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Cape Town - The South African Revenue Service (SARS) will close its tax branches temporarily for physical visits from July 1 as a result of increasing Covid-19 infections countrywide.

In a statement, Sars noted with concern the devastating impact of the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The seven-day moving average of positive Covid-19 infections has now surpassed 12 000 cases. On one single day – June 23, 2021 – there were 17 493 positive cases reported and 166 deaths.

We express our deepest sympathies to those who are bereaved.

“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, July 1. 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 July 1, 2021,” Sars said.

At this stage, Sars plans to commence physical branch visits on August 16, 2021, but they 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.”

All Customs Ports of Entry will be open for front line customs operations, but not for face-to-face client engagement other than for clearance and inspection purposes.

• Bookings for virtual appointments may be made via the SARS website by following the link below: https://www.sars.gov.za/contact-us/make-an-appointment/ and sending an SMS to 47277 with the word “Booking” and your passport/ID number/asylum permit number and a Sars agent will contact you to arrange a booking on your behalf.

• Taxpayers can also visit www.sars.gov.za

• The SARS Contact Centre (0800 00 7277) will continue to service any queries from members of the public.

Cape Times

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