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SARS refund - no active RSA bank accounts

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Just in case any of you are in the same boat as I am:

You're subject to an assurance audit after submitting your tax return (which can take up to one year!!!) , are due a refund, and you are planning on leaving SA and closing down all bank accounts before the SARS audit will be completed, you CAN apply to have your money paid into an overseas account once the audit is finalized.

You need to email a written request for the refund to be made into a foreign account to one of the following people - jmentz@sars.gov.za or hsmitvantonder@sars.gov.za, and need to attach to that email the following:

  • One page of your Australian bank statement - bank stamped, indicating movement etc
  • Certified copy of your passport detail page
  • Letter from your Australian bank confirming bank name, account number, branch name, branch sorting code, SWIFT number, name account in
  • Certified copy of proof of Australian residential address

NB - each attachment cannot exceed 2MB in size and must be in .doc or .pdf format

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Important part that is missing from above: Your SA bank must update SARB that you are resident temporarily abroad = in doing that they ask you to undertake not to use your SA credit card abroad. If you did not do that before you closed the account

Good day

Please see attached letter from the SA Reserve Bank regarding additional requirements for the transfer of the refund to be processed.

Applicant must contact any of the below South African Banks and request them to confirm to the SARB Financial Surveillance Department (FinSurv) whether the applicant is:

(a) a foreign national temporarily working in South Africa;

(B) a South African resident temporarily abroad (not formally emigrated); or

© an emigrant from South Africa.

The contact persons below will be in a position to guide the applicant in this regard.

Authorised Dealer

Contact person

Telephone number

e-mail address

ABSA Bank Limited

Wade Henning



Avril van Boom



FirstRand Bank Limited

Angela Pereira



Shabnam Baker



Nedbank Limited

Herbert Mufhadi



Johnny Earle



The Standard Bank of South Africa Limited

Glen Sommerville



Carwyn Rhode



Bidvest Bank Limited

Jan Lombard



Investec Bank Limited

Jennie Richmond



Mercantile Bank Limited

Charles Sekele



On receipt of the relevant confirmation, we will submit a fresh application to FinSurv for authorization to transfer the funds.

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Thanks Hugo2. This post was for if you have absolutely no local accounts left and perhaps only an SARB Blocked account which SARS will not pay into. I specifically asked SARS about that scenario.

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Take it from someone who closed their bank account attached to SARS. It's not a good idea if there is a review pending and you are due a refund.

It's extremely difficult to get your banking details changed from here and you will also not be able to apply for a tax clerance certificate until that refund is paid and your tax affairs are settled.

If at all possible, leave at least one bank account open and update SARS with those details before you leave. I know it's a pain but it's easier than the pain you will experience from Aus (even with a tax accountant) trying to sort out your tax affairs.

P.S. Also make sure you are registered to use eFiling before you leave.

I spoke to SARS about 6 months ago and asked the same question about having the refund paid into a blocked account and the ladies answer was "no, absolutely not, under any circumstances."

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I know this thread is a few years old but bumping up as it's tax time again. I'm due a refund by SARS and don't have any South African bank accounts open. Does anyone have a current contact at SARS, preferably an email, that I could request a refund to my Australian bank account? Thanks.

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Hi All,


Does anyone have any updated information on this, the latest advice I have been given is to fly back to SA to go into SARS and verify myself...not doing that obviously.


Would appreciate any help!

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There has been no change. A South African bank account is still required. No way around it it seems...

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