Quick Summary:

Introduction

Navigating the world of tax returns can be a daunting task for many South Africans. Keeping track of your SARS (South African Revenue Service) status is crucial to ensure you’re compliant and up to date with your tax obligations. One of the most convenient and efficient ways to do this is by using SMS. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the process of checking your SARS status via SMS, highlighting its importance and providing you with step-by-step instructions to make the process hassle-free.

Why is it essential to check your SARS status?
Staying informed about your SARS status helps you avoid potential penalties, ensures timely refunds, and allows you to take necessary actions promptly. Whether you’re awaiting a tax refund or need to verify your tax assessment, having access to your SARS status on-the-go can make a significant difference in managing your finances effectively.

Why Use SMS to Check SARS Status?

Convenience and Accessibility

One of the primary reasons to opt for SMS when checking your SARS status is its unparalleled convenience and accessibility. Unlike other methods that may require internet access or specialized software, SMS is universally accessible to anyone with a mobile phone, making it an ideal choice for individuals on the go or those without consistent internet access.

Immediate Response and Ease of Use

Sending an SMS to check your SARS status provides you with an immediate response, eliminating the need to wait in long queues or navigate through complex online platforms. The simplicity of composing a text message and receiving a timely reply ensures a hassle-free experience, allowing you to stay updated without any unnecessary delays.

Comparison with Other Methods

While there are various methods available to check your SARS status, such as online portals and helpline services, SMS stands out for its simplicity and efficiency. Unlike online platforms that may require account registration and complex navigation, or helpline services that can be time-consuming due to wait times, SMS offers a straightforward and direct approach to accessing your SARS status anytime, anywhere.

What You Need Before Checking Your SARS Status

Before diving into the process of checking your SARS status via SMS, it’s essential to gather all the necessary information to ensure a smooth experience. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Personal Information: Your South African identity number (ID) is a crucial piece of information required to verify your identity and access your tax details securely.
  • Tax Year: Specify the tax year you wish to inquire about, whether it’s the current year or previous ones. This helps SARS provide you with accurate and relevant information tailored to your query.
  • Sufficient Mobile Credit: Ensure you have sufficient airtime or credit on your mobile phone to send the SMS. Standard messaging rates may apply, so it’s advisable to check with your service provider for any charges related to sending SMS to shortcode numbers like 32700.

By ensuring you have these details on hand before checking your SARS status via SMS, you can streamline the process and avoid any potential delays or complications.

Step-by-Step Guide to Checking SARS Status via SMS

Now that you understand the importance of checking your SARS status and have gathered all the necessary information, let’s dive into the step-by-step guide to checking your SARS status via SMS. This guide will walk you through each stage of the process, ensuring you can easily navigate the SMS querying system and receive accurate and timely responses from SARS.

Step 1: Composing the SMS

Open Your Messaging App
Begin by opening the messaging app on your mobile phone. This could be the default messaging app provided by your phone’s manufacturer or a third-party messaging app you prefer.

Create a New Message
Tap on the option to create a new message, typically represented by a ‘+’ or ‘compose’ icon. This will open a blank message screen where you can enter the recipient’s number and message content.

Enter the Required Information
In the message body, you’ll need to enter specific details in a particular format to ensure SARS can process your query accurately. Here’s how to format the message:

IDNumber*TaxYear*Status

Replace IDNumber with your South African identity number, TaxYear with the tax year you want to inquire about (e.g., “2023” for the 2023 tax year), and Status with the word “Status” to indicate the type of query you’re making.

Example:
If your ID number is 1234567890123 and you want to check the status for the 2023 tax year, your message should look like this:

1234567890123*2023*Status

Step 2: Sending the SMS

Select the Recipient
Enter the SARS shortcode, which is 32700, as the recipient of your SMS query. This shortcode is specifically designated for receiving SARS-related SMS queries and ensures your message reaches the correct department for processing.

Send the Message
Once you’ve entered all the required information in the correct format, tap the send button to dispatch the SMS to SARS. You should receive a confirmation message shortly after sending, indicating that your query has been received and is being processed.

Step 3: Receiving and Understanding the Response

Wait for the SARS Reply
After sending the SMS, wait patiently for a response from SARS. Typically, you should receive a reply within a few minutes, although response times may vary depending on network conditions and query volume.

Interpreting the Response
When you receive the response from SARS, it will provide you with detailed information about your tax status for the specified tax year. The response may indicate whether your tax return has been assessed, if a refund is due, or if further action is required on your part.

Example Response:
A typical response from SARS might look like this:

Your tax return for the 2023 tax year has been assessed. No further action is required at this time.

By following this step-by-step guide, you can easily check your SARS status via SMS and stay informed about your tax obligations. Remember to keep the message format consistent and accurate to ensure SARS can process your query without any issues.

Tips and Best Practices

Navigating the SARS status checking process via SMS can be straightforward, but there are several tips and best practices to enhance your experience and ensure accurate results. Here’s a compilation of recommendations to help you make the most out of this convenient service:

Double-Check Information Before Sending

Before hitting the send button, always double-check the information you’ve entered in the SMS. Ensure your South African identity number, tax year, and the word “Status” are correctly formatted and free from errors. Mistakes in these details can lead to inaccurate responses or delays in processing your query.

Keep Records of SMS Queries

Maintaining a record of the SMS queries you send to SARS can be beneficial for future reference. Whether you’re tracking the progress of a tax return or verifying compliance for multiple tax years, having a documented history of your queries can help you stay organized and informed.

Be Aware of Potential SMS Scams

While SMS is a legitimate and secure method for checking your SARS status, it’s essential to be vigilant of potential SMS scams. Always ensure you’re sending your queries to the official SARS shortcode, which is 32700, and avoid responding to unsolicited SMS messages requesting personal or financial information.

Monitor Mobile Credit and Messaging Rates

Before sending an SMS to check your SARS status, verify that you have sufficient mobile credit or airtime available. While most service providers offer free or discounted SMS rates, standard messaging rates may apply when sending SMS to shortcode numbers like 32700. Check with your service provider for any associated charges to avoid unexpected costs.


Common FAQs About Checking SARS Status by SMS

Navigating the SARS status checking process via SMS may raise several questions, especially for those new to the service. Here are some frequently asked questions and their answers to help you gain a better understanding:

What to Do If You Haven’t Received a Response?

If you haven’t received a response from SARS within a reasonable timeframe, there could be several reasons, including network delays or high query volumes. In such cases, wait for a while and resend your SMS query. If the issue persists, consider contacting SARS directly through their official helpline for assistance.

Can You Check Multiple Tax Years with One SMS?

Yes, you can inquire about multiple tax years in a single SMS by separating each tax year with a comma. For example:

1234567890123*2022,2023*Status

This will allow you to receive information about your tax status for both the 2022 and 2023 tax years in one response from SARS.

Are There Any Costs Involved in Sending the SMS?

While most mobile service providers offer free or discounted SMS rates, standard messaging rates may apply when sending SMS to shortcode numbers like 32700. It’s advisable to check with your service provider for any associated charges to avoid unexpected costs.

Conclusion

Checking your SARS status via SMS offers a convenient and efficient way to stay updated on your tax obligations. By following the step-by-step guide, tips, and best practices outlined in this comprehensive guide, you can easily navigate the SMS querying system and receive accurate and timely responses from SARS.

Remember, staying informed about your SARS status is crucial to ensure compliance, avoid potential penalties, and manage your finances effectively. Whether you’re awaiting a tax refund or need to verify your tax assessment, leveraging the power of SMS can make a significant difference in simplifying the process and providing peace of mind.

So, the next time you find yourself wondering, “How can I check my SARS status by SMS?”, you’ll know exactly what to do. Embrace the convenience of SMS querying, follow the recommended practices, and empower yourself with the knowledge to stay on top of your tax responsibilities.


References

Author’s Note

As we conclude this comprehensive guide on checking your SARS status via SMS, I’d like to emphasize the importance of staying proactive and informed about your tax obligations. The information provided in this article is based on the latest guidelines and practices recommended by the South African Revenue Service (SARS) and aims to empower you with the knowledge and tools to manage your tax affairs effectively.

While the SMS querying service offers a convenient and efficient way to check your SARS status, it’s essential to remain vigilant and cautious of potential scams and fraudulent activities. Always ensure you’re sending your queries to the official SARS shortcode, which is 32700, and avoid sharing sensitive information or responding to unsolicited SMS messages requesting personal or financial details.

Additionally, remember to consult the official SARS website or contact their helpline directly for any specific queries, updates, or changes to the SMS querying process. Tax regulations and procedures may evolve over time, and it’s crucial to stay updated and compliant to avoid penalties or legal implications.

I hope you found this guide insightful and valuable in navigating the SARS status checking process via SMS. If you have any feedback, suggestions, or topics you’d like us to cover in future articles, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Your input is highly appreciated, and we strive to provide content that resonates with your needs and interests.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article, and we wish you success in managing your tax obligations effectively and staying informed about your SARS status!

Brief Note about the author.

Kimbowa Geofrey
Business & Financial Analyst

I am Kimbowa Geofrey, a go-getter, It is my passion that drives me in all I do but also the personal improvement that I experience.
My story started about 8 years back, trying one business to another, it wasn’t easy at the start because I didn’t get exactly what I expected out of these businesses and my frustration grew. Luckily I stumbled upon three businesses that changed my life; Web hosting, web development, and blogging.
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