Taxpayers frustrated as Sars fails to shift from outdated tech

14 January 2021 - 06:00
Taxpayers have been left in the lurch, unable to access certain forms on eFiling because of a blunder by revenue service Sars.
Taxpayers have been left in the lurch, unable to access certain forms on eFiling because of a blunder by revenue service Sars.
Image: Gallo

A failure by revenue service Sars has left citizens perplexed as to why the tax collector failed to find a solution to a glitch in its online software that was tipped by its manufacturer to be discontinued on January 12.

American multinational computer software company Adobe announced as early as December 2 that their Flash software would be discontinued. The software's main function is to allow users to view multimedia content online and was Sars's software of choice.

On Twitter, the tax collector said it was aware that certain forms were “not loading correctly due to Adobe Flash”.

“We are currently working on resolving the matter and will advise once the problem has been resolved. We sincerely apologise for the current inconvenience,” it tweeted.

In a statement on its website, Sars said the discontinuation of the Flash Player component had affected a limited set of Adobe forms and declarations which were available on eFiling.

“As you are aware, Sars has already begun the journey of migrating the old Flash Player-enabled forms from the Adobe Flash technology to the enhanced HTML5 technology, however there are a few remaining forms which are still in the process of being modernised. We have found that there are multiple user-specific scenarios which could prevent the workaround from functioning and we have listed some revised guidelines below for ease of reference of how to ensure that you can continue to access these forms,” the statement read.

Questions to Sars on why it did not timeously shift from Flash Player to HTML5 went unanswered.

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