SARS refunds can take anywhere from 72 hours to 21 business days to be paid, which sometimes means that these payments only reflect over weekends.
This year, SARS has paid refunds owing to taxpayers who have been auto-assessed within 72 hours. Though they have up to 21 business days from the date that you received your ITA34 to pay you, which is why payments sometimes reflect on weekends.
Does SARS pay on weekends?
With the 2023 tax season upon us, many people all around the country are scrambling to get their affairs in order.
This year’s filing season will run from 7 July to 23 October 2023 for individual taxpayers. However, if you have already noticed a refund on your statement of account, then you may have been issued this refund in an auto-assessment (which was paid out within 72 hours of the assessment and could have reflected in your account over a weekend).
However, for those who are filing their Personal Income Tax Return (ITR12) themselves, SARS technically has up to 21 business days to pay out your refund.
Even so, most people receive their refund payments within two to three days of receiving their ITA34, if there was no delay in the process. This, again, could mean that the funds will reflect in your account over a weekend.
How to know if you have been auto-assessed
If you noticed a refund payment from SARS in your account, but you have not actually filed your taxes yet for this season, you may have been issued with an auto-assessment.
The taxpayers who were auto-assessed this year should have received an SMS or an email from SARS between 1 and 7 July 2023 stating as much.
How to know when a refund was issued
Filing your taxes can be a confusing process, but if you are unsure about whether you are owed a refund you can check your ITA34. If there is a minus (“-”)next to the figure on the first page of your ITA34, then you are owed a refund.
If your ‘Income Tax Statement of Account’ (ITSA) lists an ‘Electronic refund’ charge with a date, then SARS has already issued the refund (on that date) and it may just be a couple of days before it reflects in your account.
Possible reasons why your refund payment may be delayed
If it has been more than a week (or up to 21 business days) since you received your ITA34 and you have still not received your refund, then it could be because of one of these delays:
- Your return might have been selected for an audit
- Your banking details are incomplete or invalid
- You have outstanding returns or unpaid balances