Taxpayers shouldn’t be afraid of eFiling

2011-07-14 00:00

THE 2011 filing season began on July 1 and the theme of this year’s tax season campaign is “Taking the “eish” out of tax-eish-ion”.

In the spirit of this theme taxpayers are encouraged to file early and not to wait for the last minute to submit their tax returns.

This may also facilitate the turnaround time of assessments and refunds.

Taxpayers are also encouraged to file electronically.

In the 2010 filing season more than 95% of all returns were submitted electronically, either via a South African Revenue Service (SARS) branch or via SARS eFiling.

On average electronically submitted returns are processed in just 24 hours, according to a media release by SARS.

The small percentage of taxpayers who fear technology or are reluctant to register on SARS eFiling due to problems that they may have experienced in the past should not be afraid.

Completing and submitting returns on eFiling is relatively straightforward and will mean quicker turnaround times for assessments and refunds and no more waiting in queues.

Taxpayers who wish to submit their return manually should remember that SARS will not send them a tax return until they receive a completed Income Tax Return Request (ITRR) form, which can be obtained from the SARS contact centre or SARS branch.

The following points should be considered:

•The income tax returns are pre-populated based on information that SARS has received from the employer during the recently completed tax season for employers.

The taxpayer will have to check that the pre-populated information is correct. Where the information is incorrect SARS may require supporting documentation relating to the correction.

• Individuals who receive a travel allowance will not be entitled to claim a deduction for business travel unless they have maintained a logbook for the 2011 tax year.

• If there is any other income and deductions that are not employment related the taxpayer should ensure there is documentation to support the amounts reflected on the return as SARS may request these documents before finalising the assessment.

The deadlines for the submission of income tax returns for individuals and trusts are as follows:

• If you complete your return manually and post it or hand it in at a SARS office, you have until September 30, 2011, to submit your return.

• If you are a non-provisional taxpayer who uses SARS eFiling to submit your return, you have until November 25, 2011.

• If you are a provisional taxpayer who uses SARS eFiling to submit your return, you have until January 31, 2012.

Remember, if your return is not submitted on time, SARS can levy an administrative penalty of at least R250 per month that your return is outstanding.

Where the penalty assessments are not paid by the specified date, SARS may instruct your employer to deduct the amounts from your salary.

For more information call KPMG at 033 347 7600.

 

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