Wednesday, 23 December 2020

Pretoria: As part of measures to slow down the spread of COVID-19, the South African Revenue Service (SARS) offices will temporarily close with effect from Christmas Eve.

South Africa is currently experiencing a second wave of infections.

“Taking into account the transmission risk that COVID-19 poses, SARS has decided to put preventative restrictions in place.

“We therefore wish to inform members of the public that all SARS offices will be closed from Thursday, 24 December 2020 until Monday, 4 January 2021.

“This two-week period of the physical lockdown of offices is SARS’ contribution to curb [the] spread of COVID-19 infections among taxpayers and our staff,” said the revenue service.

In a statement on Tuesday, the revenue service said all offices will operate remotely via digital channels.

Branches will also engage with taxpayers via virtual meetings using Microsoft Teams.

Taxpayers should take note of the following:

  • All existing branch appointments will be honoured.
  • Branch appointments can only be made via the SARS website, using following the link – https://www.sars.gov.za/Contact/Pages/Make-an-Appointment.aspx.
  • All new bookings via the SARS site will be honoured via virtual engagement (Microsoft Teams or a telephonic engagement).
  • The SARS contact centre will continue to service any queries from members of the public.
  • All South African borders manned by SARS customs officials will continue to operate during this lockdown period. Please note that strict social distancing measures will apply and it will be compulsory for members of the public to wear masks when entering any SARS building or engaging with any customs officials. The sanitising of hands is also compulsory. No access will be allowed without complying with these protocols.

“These measures are being undertaken with the wellbeing of SARS employees and all South African citizens in mind, and we appeal to each taxpayer to take this call to adherence very seriously. With the co-operation of each citizen, we will be able to overcome this pandemic,” said SARS.

SARS will review this decision and communicate in advance should it decide to extend this arrangement.

“We thank taxpayers for their cooperation and understanding as we navigate this challenging period. We wish all citizens a joyful and safe festive period, and call on them to act responsibly during this difficult time.” SARS said.