QUIZ: How tax-savvy are you?

By Drum Digital
05 August 2014

It’s that time of year when you can earn admiration if you can convince those around you that you can “talk tax”. Tax Season for individuals is in full swing and millions of taxpayers have to submit their income tax returns by 21 November 2014.

To see if you can talk tax like a real TAXpert, answer the seven questions below.

1. To check if you have to  submit an income tax return you can:

a)         Ask a friend

b)        Call the SARS Contact Centre on 0800 00 7277

c)         Complete the wizard on the SARS website www.sars.gov.za

2. What channels can you use to complete and submit your tax return?

a)      At your bank

b)      At a SARS Branch

c)       Via SARS eFiling

3. The SARS eFiling app makes your life easier because you can:

a)      Use it to avoid paying income tax

b)      Download it from your app store

c)       Complete and submit your income tax return electronically

4. If you  submit your income tax return after the deadline:

a)      No worries, tomorrow takes care of itself

b)      You are liable for a penalty for non-compliance

c)       The penalty amount imposed ranges from R250 up to R16 000 per month

5. If you want to use a tax practitioner to complete and submit your tax return:

a)      You should choose the person who promises you a fat refund

b)      You should know the difference between a Tax Practitioner and a tax preparer

c)       Check on sarsefiling.co.za if the practitioner is registered with SARS as well as a recognised controlling body

6. What if I have to pay in tax and am unable to make full payment to SARS?

a)      Refuse to pay because it is your right

b)      Pay later – even if it means  getting penalties

c)       Discuss your financial position honestly with SARS to reach an agreement

7. Taxpayers who file their returns must keep  all supporting documents for:

a)      Only a few days and then destroy them

b)      As long as you want to

c)       Five years

Now, let’s see if you are indeed a TAXpert: How did you score?

Mostly a: You do not know if you really need to submit an income tax return and you do not understand why it is important to pay income tax where due. You are prone to letting anyone who offers you a fat refund complete your return on your behalf without considering the dire consequences of such a decision. You urgently need to visit the SARS website www.sars.gov.za to check if you should submit an income tax return and find what you should do to be tax compliant.  When others are talking tax you usually try to change the subject.

Mostly b: You are – as far as you know – tax compliant. You prefer to visit a SARS branch prepared with your supporting documents where an agent helps you to complete and submit your tax return. You are not quite sure why it is important to submit a tax return but you do it anyway to stay on the right side of the law. When people talk tax, you rather stay quiet and pretend to be busy on your cellphone.  You will benefit from registering for eFiling and submitting online as it will dramatically increase your confidence and you’ll be on your way to being a TAXpert.

Mostly c:  You are a TAXpert and know that paying income tax is important because it shows your commitment to the positive growth of the country’s economy which in turn benefits all South Africans.  You know that the Help-You-eFile service is available to eFilers and that a SARS agent can help you while you complete your return online. You are techno-savvy and prefer to use the SARS eFiling App to complete and submit your return. You file well before the deadline and are always honest in declaring your income and when claiming deductions. Talking tax comes naturally to you.

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