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28 May 2018

South African Revenue Service (“SARS”), in an attempt to reduce the risk of paying out refunds to incorrect taxpayers, often requests taxpayers to confirm new or existing banking details.  Only once these details have been verified or updated does SARS release the refund due to that taxpayer.  Taxpayers have various options available on how to proceed with this verification process:

  • The banking details must be updated when completing the taxpayer’s income tax return (for both individuals and companies). The banking details can be updated by completing the relevant RAV01 form[1] on e-Filing. SARS will not allow updates to the SARS system via other forms of communication (e.g. email, fax, post[2] or telephone);
  • If the banking details does not show as valid on the taxpayer’s e-filing profiles within 48 hours, the details must be updated or verified at a SARS branch;
  • If the banking details does show as valid after the 48 hours and the refund is still due on the account after 21 business days, there might be a “stopper” on the account and the details will have to be verified at a SARS branch to remove the stopper on the account;

Registering or changing of banking details for customs and excise clients cannot be done via e-Filing. These taxpayers need to visit a SARS branch office and submit a completed DA185 application form[3] together with specific supporting documentation.

SARS will only accept the following documentation as a valid bank account:

  • a cheque;
  • savings or transmission account in the name of the relevant taxpayer;

Credit card, bond and foreign bank accounts are not accepted.

Persons which are allowed to change banking details include:

  • the relevant taxpayer; or
  • a registered representative of that taxpayer (whose details match those on the SARS system); or a registered tax practitioner acting on behalf of the taxpayer.[4]

SARS lists certain exceptional circumstances where banking details may be changed by someone other than the aforementioned persons (for example, in the case of estates or where the taxpayer is a non-resident and is unable to go to a branch office).

SARS also provides detailed guidance on the supporting documentation what should be provided when changing banking details. Typically, this includes:

  • the original ID document of the taxpayer;
  • a certified copy of the ID;
  • proof of the residential or business address of the taxpayer, not older than 3 months
    • in the absence of proof, a CRA01 form needs to be completed and a certified copy of the person signing the CRA01 form needs to be provided;
  • original bank stamped bank statement, not older than 3 months (for new bank accounts: an original letter on a letterhead from the bank not older than 1 Month)

In addition to the above, if the verification is for an entity (other than an individual):

  • a resolution is required, signed by all the directors/members/trustees; and
  • power of attorney
  • certificate of incorporation


How can we assist:

To avoid having to stand in those long SARS queues (potentially, more than once), contact us directly to assist you with this process.

[1] Registration, Amendment and Verification form

[2] This also includes placing documents in the drop-box at a SARS branch.

[3] Registration / Licensing of Customs and Excise

[4] See form ASPOA – Authority on Special Power of Attorney by Tax Practitioner.

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