Updating your Bank Account Details with SARS

Things changed for the average South African over recent months as a result COVID-19. Government, business and individuals all had to consider more appropriate ways of dealing with aspects normally dealt with in person. During this time, we are forced to consider ways that allow for more technology and less face-to-face. Some of these will likely last beyond the current COVID-19 restrictions to hopefully assist in faster & better ways of dealing with tax affairs.

We will all have the need at some stage in our lives, to update our banking details with SARS to ensure SARS has the latest details available when making refunds to a taxpayer. To this end, SARS provided an external guide which deals with the ways in which a tax payer can change their banking details at SARS without going to a SARS branch. This was issued on 16 April 2020.

SARS will not allow any bank details to be changed telephonically, through fax or through the post.

Only a South African cheque / current account, savings account or transmission account details may be supplied. Credit card, bond account or foreign bank accounts are not permitted. The bank account should be in the name of the taxpayer.

For tax types, other than VAT, SARS also allows that the type of bank account be a corporate saver account. At this stage, these are Investec’s Corporate Cash Manager (CCM) current accounts, Standard Bank’s Third Party Fund Administration current accounts and Nedbank’s Corporate Savers savings accounts. This list may change as SARS continues to work with the banks to identify appropriate account types.

With regards to foreign bank accounts and bank accounts in the name of a third party, other than the taxpayer, there are certain very strict exceptions that may apply. These are discussed in brief a bit later on.

The change of banking details may be done through the following channels:

The following people may change bank details:

The Exceptional Circumstances under which SARS will allow a request for change of banking details to be done by a Requestor with a mandate are:

If SARS do not have valid banking details for the taxpayer, the taxpayer will be informed by SARS via SMS or email.

During this COVID-19 period, the person submitting the supporting documentation for the updating or verification of banking details electronically to SARS must provide an image as per below examples, as supplied by SARS. The one example is where there is a SARS case number that can be provided, while the other one is where the request is to update details. In both instances, the image need to include a clear picture of the person holding the ID document of him / her dealing with the submission and the note (may be hand-written).

The following supporting documentation needs to be supplied for updating or verifying banking details:

Apart from the above supporting documentation, the following supporting documentation is also required:

We are all charting unfamiliar waters. Let’s try our best to be understanding and to use technology as best we can. We will not always get it right and SARS will also not always get it right, but if we work together, we can learn and find ways to accommodate each other in this strange new environment.

Author :   Nikki Kennedy   (Original publication)
Published :   2020-07-20