The due date for submission of income tax returns is published annually in the Government Gazette. Every year SARS embarks on an extensive publicity campaign to inform taxpayers of the deadline for the year. For the 2020 year of assessment (YOA), the income tax returns for individuals must be submitted on or before the following dates:

  • 22 October 2020 – if your return is submitted electronically with the assistance of a SARS official at a SARS branch or manually;

  • 16 November 2020 – if you are a non-provisional taxpayer and your return is submitted electronically via eFiling;

  • 29 January 2021 – if you are a provisional taxpayer and your return is submitted via eFiling.


eFiling is the quickest, easiest and most convenient way to submit the return and is the option recommended by SARS. If you do not submit your return by the relevant deadline, you will be liable for an administrative penalty due to non-compliance. 


This year SARS has identified a group of taxpayers to be auto assessed for the 2020 year of assessment. If you fall within this category, you will receive an SMS notifying you of the following: 

  • SARS has prepared an auto-assessment for you based on available information

  • The amount due to or by you.


You can view the auto-assessment by:

  • Logging on to eFiling

  • Logging on to the SARS MobiApp

  • Booking an appointment with a SARS branch for assistance.


After viewing the auto-assessment details you will have the option to either:

  • Accept the auto-assessment result; or

  • Edit the return on (e.g. if you have additional income to declare and/or to claim additional medical expenses).


If you accept the auto-assessment result, SARS will automatically process a return on your behalf and a notice of assessment will be issued. Log on to eFiling or the SARS MobiApp to view the notice of assessment.

For more information you may:

Visit the SARS website at

Visit your nearest SARS branch

Alternatively Contact SA Financial Accounting Professionals as your preferred tax practitioners.


The information above is an extract from the COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE TO THE ITR12 INCOME TAX RETURN FOR INDIVIDUALS and is intended as guidance only and is not considered to be a legal reference, nor is it a binding ruling. The information does not take the place of legislation and readers who are in doubt regarding any aspect of the information displayed in the guide should refer to the relevant legislation, or seek a formal opinion from a suitably qualified individual.


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