Getting a tax certificate on your bank’s mobile app – What you should know

With tax-filing season around the corner, many South Africans will want to ensure they have all the necessary documentation they require to complete their SARS returns.

Paying tax is a legal obligation for citizens aged under 65 earning an annual income of over R79,000, and persons over 65 earning an income over R122,300.

While the process might be tedious, many stand to get a tax rebate from SARS, which can be a welcome financial injection during a time when many are facing financial hardship due to the impact of COVID-19.

Some taxpayers will need to be able to provide an IT3(b) tax certificate, which provides the amount of interest paid or earned on any investment products held from a bank or financial institution.

These include customers who hold deposit, loan, and transactional accounts, or who trade shares through their bank. This certificate can also be provided as proof of payment of taxes on income and property.

Typically, banks and other financial institutions email these certificates to the clients which require them or provide a facility to procure them via a digital channel or at their physical branches.

This service is normally provided without any fees. However, a MyBroadband reader recently noted that it appeared Absa was now charging users to download tax certificates.

When using his app, the tax certificate page showed a notification at the bottom which read “Note: Tax certificates per request are subject to transaction fees and recharge”.

According to TaxTim, banks are not supposed to charge customers for their annual tax certificates.

However, if a customer is requesting certificates for older tax years, banks are entitled to charge for these reprints.

Absa responds

MyBroadband asked Absa to confirm whether it was charging customers for tax certificates.

Managing Executive for Customer Value Management at Absa Retail and Business Bank Christine Wu explained that the message furnished on the app was outdated. 

“We apologise for the older, inaccurate message about charges levied for tax certificates on our app. For clarity, the wording  ‘Tax certificates per request are subject to transaction fees and recharge’ will be removed from the mobile app,” Wu said.

She added that the bank’s customers are able to download their IT3(b) income tax certificates free of charge through the banking app or online banking. 

How to get your tax certificate

MyBroadband asked major South African banks whether they charge fees for tax certificates and where customers could access these.

Capitec, Discovery Bank, FNB, and Standard Bank all confirmed that they provide tax certificates with no charge to their customers. Nedbank did not respond by the time of publication.

South African bank account holders can access their tax certificates via the following channels for each bank:

Capitec – Available under “Certificate of interest” on the mobile app.

Discovery Bank – Available on the mobile app.

FNB – Available on request via online banking or the call centre on 087 575 9404.

Standard Bank – Available via online and mobile banking, or through the account holder’s relationship manager.

Now read: FNB will no longer email bank statements – Here is what other banks are doing

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Getting a tax certificate on your bank’s mobile app – What you should know