Deferral of payment arrangements with SARS

Relevant Acts and documents

Income Tax Act
SARS Deferral of Payment Arrangements Guide on eFiling

Acronyms relevant to this Guide and process:

CIT Corporate Income Tax
DWT Dividends Withholding Tax
MCP My Compliance Profile
SOA Statement of Account
SARS South African Revenue Service
PAYE Pay As You Earn
PIT Personal Income Tax
SDL Skills Development Levy
UIF Unemployment Insurance Fund
VAT Value Added Tax

SARS eFiling has been enhanced with the functionality to enable taxpayers to request deferral payment arrangements and recently published a 25-page guide to assist taxpayers with this process.

The purpose of this Guide is to assist the taxpayer to initiate a payment arrangement request on eFiling for outstanding debt. This functionality will allow taxpayers to make a payment arrangement request without the need to visit a SARS branch or contact the SARS Contact Centre.

On eFiling, the payment arrangement request functionality will be limited to these tax types:

Personal income tax (PIT),
CIT,
Dividends withholding tax,
VAT,
PAYE/UIF/SDL and,
Admin-penalties

The process appears to be relatively easy to follow.

Payment arrangement request submission process

As usual, the user must log in to the SARS eFiling website and navigate to on eFiling where there is outstanding debt against an assessed return in order to initiate the payment arrangement request.

The payment arrangement request can be initiated from any of the following places where there is outstanding debt and only one tax type request at a time will be allowed:

 Statement of account (SOA);
 SOA admin penalties;
 Return Work-Page;
 Notice of assessment;
 Notice of Assessment for admin penalties;
 My Compliance Profile (MCP) functionality;
 Final demand letter;
 Final demand reminder letter

Once a payment arrangement request has been initiated, eFiling will present the auto-simulated payment plan to either accept, save, cancel or propose different terms;

 Accept – If you accepts the simulation, you make a declaration that you have read and understood the agreement by selecting the checkbox then a check will be done to see if there is supporting documents required.

 Save – If you save, the simulation will be saved and you will be able to view the simulation at a later stage (before midnight).The simulation will only be saved up until midnight, therefore if the payment arrangement request is not finalised before midnight, then the simulation will be discarded and a re-simulation will be required.

 Cancel – If you cancel the auto-simulation, it will be discarded/deleted and you will have to start the process from beginning if you want to request for a payment arrangement.

 Propose different terms – If you proposes different terms, then you will be asked to provide the payment term and the first instalment start date.

 A series of primary validation checks will be done against the tax reference number and the tax type when initiating a payment arrangement request. If the taxpayer fails these primary validations as mentioned below, the taxpayer will be stopped from proceeding with the payment arrangement request and the applicable validation error message(s) will be displayed. The taxpayer will then have to contact SARS in order to rectify the error as displayed on eFiling.

Validation checks:

 Where a taxpayer has outstanding return(s);
 Where a taxpayer has a pending approval payment arrangement request OR an active payment arrangement request for the tax type in question;
 Where taxpayer has no debt / debit balance / unallocated credit on the account;
 Where a taxpayer has defaulted a previous payment arrangement;
 Taxpayer marked as “Address Unknown”, “Estate” or ‘Inactive’ de-registered or untraceable.

Payment arrangement functionality

The payment arrangement request functionality will be made available across all portfolio types, being the Individual, Tax Practitioner and Organisation portfolio and will be limited to these tax types (PIT, CIT, DWT, VAT, PAYE/UIF/SDL, Admin Penalties);

A new button labelled “Payment Arrangement” to initiate the payment arrangement request has been added to the following areas on eFiling, where there is outstanding debt:

 SOA; Admin penalty SOA
 Notice of Assessment;
 Notice for Admin Penalties;
 Work Page;
 MCP functionality;
 Final demand letter / reminder

Once you have successfully logged onto eFiling, you start the process for your payment arrangement button by downloading the Statement of Account, Notice of Assessment or Notice for Admin Penalties for the relevant period and thereafter the “payment arrangement” option is selected to initiate a payment arrangement.

Simulated payment arrangement plan

During the payment planning process, the system will generate a simulated payment plan defaulted to a 6-month period for the taxpayer to review.

Once you have selected payment arrangement button wherever there is any outstanding debt, you will be presented with the screen to select the Tax Types.

The payment arrangement request can only be done on one tax type at a time and not on multiple tax types in a single payment arrangement request.

Follow the steps below to continue with the auto simulated payment arrangement plan:

Verify the following information displayed on the auto simulated payment arrangement plan:

o Payment term.
o Total Account Balance.
o Payment start date and payment end date.
o Payment date.
o Instalment amount.
o Tax, Interest, Penalty.
o Total Instalment Amount Payable.

The Auto Simulated Payment plan will display the following buttons for selection:

o Propose Different Terms – If you select this option you will be asked to provide the payment term and the first instalment start date.
o Cancel – If you cancel the auto-simulation, it will be discarded/deleted and you will have to start the process from beginning if want you to request for a payment arrangement.
o Save – If you select this option, the simulation will be saved and you will be able to view the simulation at a later stage, provided that it has not expired.
o Accept Terms – If you select this option, you are accepting the auto simulated payment arrangement plan and you declare that you have read and understood the agreement. The “Accept Terms” button will be disabled until you have acknowledged the “Agreement Details”.

If you accept the simulation, then a check will be done to see if there is supporting documents required.

If supporting documents are required, a message will be displayed, and you will be able to continue to the supporting documents functionality. After uploading and submitting supporting documents, you will be able to complete the payment arrangement details so that the request can be finalised. You can choose to upload supporting documents at a later stage, however, the payment arrangement request will not be finalised without supporting documents been uploaded.

If there is no supporting documents required, you will proceed to complete the payment arrangement request details and submit once all the mandatory fields have been captured.

The required supporting documentation includes, but is not limited to:

For Company / Close Corporation / Trust / Sole Proprietor/ Partnership

o Copies of bank statements for the past three months;
o Cash flow statement for the next 12 months;
o Previous three year financial statements (where applicable, dependant on the request);
o Management accounts from last financial statements up to date
o A detailed asset register including disposals for the last 3 years;
o Detailed list of debtor and creditor’s analysis.

For Individuals (salary income)

o Copies of bank statements for the past six months;
o Copy of most recent payslip
o Proof of outstanding accounts

Thereafter the user will enter their contact detail and preferred method of payment.

The system is designed with step-by-step actions and guidance and should be easy enough to follow; feel free to contact Fincor Professional Accountants for assistance as and when required.

Author Craig Tonkin

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