Understanding Individual SARS Tax Auto Assessments

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) Tax Auto Assessments has been introduced to simplify tax return filing for individual taxpayers. The system automatically assesses individuals based on the information submitted by their employers, financial institutions, and other third-party sources such as medical aid schemes, retirement annuities as well as pension funds. Within the context of this text, we will look at an overview of the SARS auto assessment process and how to object if any information is incorrect or insufficient.

SARS Auto Assessment Process:

Below is an explanation of the process on how SARS goes about auto assessing individuals:

  1. Preparation of Tax Returns: SARS obtains relevant information from various third-party sources.
  2. Auto Assessment: SARS uses this information to automatically assess taxpayers’ income tax liabilities. If you are eligible for auto assessment, you will receive a notification from SARS via SMS or email.
  3. Review of Assessment: Taxpayers can review the assessment details on the SARS eFiling platform or SARS MobiApp. The assessment includes details such as income, deductions, rebates, and the final tax liability.
  4. Acceptance or Objection: Taxpayers have the option to either accept the auto assessment or object to specific details if they believe there are errors or omissions.

However, the automation may omit certain deductions and additional income. The individual then has 80 business days, from the date that the auto assessment has been issued, to object the assessment. If the auto assessment is incorrect or incomplete, follow the below guidelines to object:

How to Object:

  1. Access the eFiling: Log in to your SARS eFiling account using your credentials.
  2. Select the Assessment: Navigate to the auto assessment section to view the details of the assessment, the assessment is easily accessible under the correspondence tab.
  3. Identify Discrepancies: Carefully review the information provided in the assessment. Pay attention to income sources, deductions, and any other relevant details.
  4. Initiate Objection: If you find any discrepancies or errors, you can initiate an objection through the eFiling platform. There should be an option to raise an objection against specific items.
  5. Provide Supporting Documents: SARS may request supporting documents to substantiate your objection. Ensure you have relevant documents such as salary slips, medical aid certificates, or retirement annuity fund statements. For a faster resolution, it is better to include the supporting documentation upon objection.
  6. Submit the Objection: Follow the instructions provided on the eFiling platform to submit your objection. Make sure to provide clear explanations for each discrepancy or error.
  7. Monitor Progress: Once you have submitted the objection, monitor the progress of your objection through the eFiling platform. SARS will review your objection and respond accordingly.
  8. Resolution: SARS will either accept your objection and make the necessary adjustments to your assessment or provide reasons for rejecting your objection.
  9. Additional Steps: If you are not satisfied with the outcome of your objection, you may have the option to escalate the matter through formal dispute resolution channels provided by SARS.


The process is designed to streamline tax filing for individuals that do not have multiple sources of income. As SARS only has access to a limited number of third parties for financial information, it is not accurate for individuals that have multiple income streams and deductions applicable to these income streams. It does, however, remove the burden of return submissions for average income-earning working-class employees.

Written By:
Tevlon De Lora author of Understanding Individual SARS Tax Auto Assessments
Tevlon De Lora.
Auditor, MaxProf


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