A Hot topic among practitioners and with clients is that of the discontinuation of the Debit Pull functionality on SARS efiling.
Mixed emotions, reviews and comments have been flying around finance departments of every company in South Africa.
Basically our old trusted “Pay Now!” option, when diligently submitting each of the statutory declarations and returns have been suspended with little notice last month and now, re-activated for a limited period.
Numerous companies that have been using alternative methods of releasing payments are having issues with allocation of payments made on returns submitted apart from the Debit Pull functionality.
I strongly suggest you make use of this grace period. Finalise pending additional payments and, if cash flow allows, submit and pay your due VAT and EMP returns before re suspension of the Debit Pull function.
Some more words from our Revenue Service:
SARS has received representations from various tax practitioner organisations requesting an extension on the date for the discontinuing the debit pull option as a means of paying SARS.
We can now announce that an extension of a month has been granted and that debit pull transactions will be discontinued at the end of October 2013.
As of the end of October 2013 Debit Pull transactions will be discontinued for ABSA, FNB, Investec, Nedbank and Standard Bank. Taxpayers are advised to set-up a Credit Push payment option or use one of our alternative methods of payment.
Why is SARS discontinuing the use of a Debit Pull transaction on eFiling?
With debit pull a taxpayer or their approved representative may authorise SARS to collect the money owed directly from their bank on their behalf, which means that SARS is initiating the collection directly from their bank. SARS does so by instructing the bank to collect the amount from the taxpayer’s bank account. There are several problems associated with this:
- There are risks associated with this product in that payment is not guaranteed and can be reversed at the request of the client and can also be rejected due to insufficient funds
- SARS is unable to validate that the person authorising SARS to initiate the debit pull is mandated to do so which can result in payments being withdrawn from incorrect accounts. SARS could be placed at risk as a result of such unauthorised actions.
Very importantly it is in the interest of the client to not allow unauthorised withdrawals from their accounts.
It should be noted that the debit pull option is still available for certain payments until the end of October 2013, on condition that the approved representative agrees to the declaration which appears on the screen.