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IT3D Submissions made easy with ActiveDonor

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) IT3(D) Returns submission is a crucial process for Public Benefit Organizations (PBO) authorized to issue Section 18A receipts. This article will provide an in-depth look at the IT3D Returns submission process, its importance, and how to navigate it effectively for your PBO.

Understanding IT3D Returns

IT3D Returns are third-party data submissions required by SARS from organizations that issue Section 18A tax receipts for tax-deductible donations. These returns play a vital role in the tax ecosystem, helping SARS pre-populate tax returns and ensure compliance among tax-exempt organizations.

Who Needs to Submit IT3D Returns?

All PBOs and other entities authorized under Section 18A(1)(a) to (c) of the Income Tax Act to issue tax-deductible receipts must submit IT3D Returns. This includes:

  • Public Benefit Organizations
  • Government institutions
  • United Nations agencies

If your organization has issued any Section 18A certificates for donations received, you are required to submit these to SARS through the IT3D Returns submission process.

IT3D Submission Process

The IT3D Returns submission involves several key steps:

  1. Preparation: Gather all necessary information about donations received and Section 18A tax certificates issued during the tax year.
  2. File Creation: Prepare a data file according to SARS’ Business Requirement Specification (BRS) for IT3 Data Submission.
  3. Enrollment: If not already done, enroll for Third Party Data Submission on SARS eFiling.
  4. Testing: Use SARS’ Test Platform to ensure your data file conforms to the specified BRS before submission.
  5. Submission: Submit the data on the Production Platform using your preferred channel (eFiling, Connect Direct channel, or Secured File Gateway).
  6. Declaration: Submit a summary of your data submissions using the specified declaration form (IT3-02) via eFiling.

Thankfully, SARS has provided a few helpful video walkthroughs linked below to guide you through the IT3D submission process:

The first video, “How to Complete and Submit IT3D on eFiling,” offers a step-by-step guide to navigating the eFiling platform and submitting your IT3D return.


To activate the IT3 tax type for IT3D submissions, SARS has created the video guide below that walks you through the process of activating the IT3 tax type on your eFiling profile. This is a crucial step before you can submit your IT3D returns:

Submission Deadlines and Methods

SARS typically opens the IT3D submission period from April to May each year. For the 2024 tax year (i.e. 1 March 2023 – 29 February 2024), the submission period ran from 16 April 2024 to 31 May 2024. It’s crucial to submit within this timeframe to avoid penalties for late or non-submission. The submission methods vary based on the volume of records:

  • For 50 or fewer records: You may use eFiling, or one of the methods listed below:
  • For 51 to 50,000 records: Use the Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) gateway bulk data filing service
  • For more than 50,000 records: Use Connect Direct (C:D) bulk data filing

Required Information for IT3D Returns

The IT3D Returns require detailed information about both the reporting entity and the donations received. This typically includes:

  • Reporting entity details i.e. name, tax number, contact information
  • Donor (i.e. the taxpayer) information e.g. name, tax number, contact details
  • Donation details i.e. amount, date, certificate number, nature of donation
  • Section 18A tax receipt information

Best Practices for IT3D Returns Submission

To ensure a smooth submission process:

  1. Start early! Please don’t wait until the last minute to prepare your submission.
  2. Ensure that you maintain accurate records throughout the year.
  3. Use the Test Platform before making your production submission.
  4. Ensure completeness and accuracy in your first submission to minimize revisions.
  5. Stay informed about any changes or updates to the submission process.

Consequences of Non-Compliance

Failure to submit Section 18A Returns accurately and on time can result in penalties and/or may impact your organization’s tax-exempt status. It’s crucial to prioritize this as a compliance requirement.

ActiveDonor: Your IT3D Returns Solution

While the IT3D Returns submission process can seem daunting, tools like ActiveDonor can significantly simplify the task. ActiveDonor is a comprehensive donation management system that automates much of the IT3D Returns preparation process. With ActiveDonor, you can:

By leveraging ActiveDonor’s capabilities, organizations can ensure accurate and timely IT3D Returns submissions, maintaining compliance with SARS regulations while focusing on their core mission of serving the community.

IT3D Returns submissions are a critical compliance requirement for PBOs and other Section 18A entities, with the right understanding, preparation, and tools like ActiveDonor, the process can be managed efficiently and effectively.

Simplify Your NPO Administration with ActiveDonor:

Trusted by South African NPOs since 2017, ActiveDonor is the leading cloud-based donor management solution designed specifically for local organizations. Streamline your NPO operations today and focus on what matters most – your mission. ActiveDonor offers:

  • Instant Compliant IT3(d) Returns
  • Easy to use donor management
  • Automated donation receipting
  • Effortless Section 18A compliance
  • Project Fundraising campaign tracking
  • Comprehensive reporting tools
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