This comes after Sars official Andre Rabie on Tuesday issued the warning that the e-filing tax system will crash in the next two years unless urgent measures are undertaken to recall Barry Hore, who masterminded the IT system dubbed “Modernisation”.

Rabie was testifying before Judge Robert Nugent’s commission of inquiry into governance and administrative issues at Sars on Tuesday. It was reported that it would cost about R1 billion to fix Sars’ IT infrastructure after its modernisation programme was abruptly halted in 2014 when suspended Commissioner Tom Moyane took over.

But the revenue service said that the perception created that the e-filing system was on the verge of collapse was incorrect and unfortunately had had the effect of creating unnecessary alarm and uncertainty.

“Sars would like to assure taxpayers that the Sars e-filing system is stable and performing well within specification, as evidenced by the system’s uptime at a rate of 99,7%. Already 3,3 million tax returns have been filed, with 50,4% of these via e-filing. The platform has handled an average traffic volume of 25 000 tax returns daily,” it said.

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“The concern expressed by Sars executives testifying at the Sars Commission of Inquiry, centred around the compatibility of e-filing and web browsers toward the year 2020 timeframe. This concern is associated to a future risk and not a reflection on the current capacity, functionality or stability of Sars’ systems.”

Sars said the e-filing system continues to be its premier preferred filing channel and had been capacitated to process high transaction volumes.  The revenue service also encouraged taxpayers to continue using the e-filing channel and submit returns before the 31 October 2018 deadline.

– African News Agency