Tips for tax season

By Drum Digital
05 August 2014

For some, and especially business owners, filing a tax return can be a stressful and daunting task which involves a lot of paper work and takes more time and effort than most think.

The 2014 tax season started on 1 July 2014 and will end on 21 November 2014. During this time you will need to submit your income tax return to the South African Revenue Service (SARS) to avoid any unforeseen penalties and interest.

If you earned an income greater than R250 000 for the tax year (i.e. from 1 March 2013 to 28 February 2014) you are required to submit a completed and signed income tax return to SARS. However, this is not applicable if: you earned under R250 000 for the full tax year from one employer (that’s your total salary income before tax); you have no other sources of additional income (e.g. interest or rental income); and you have no deductions that you want to claim (e.g. medical expenses, travel or retirement annuities).

For some, and especially business owners, filing a tax return can be a stressful and daunting task which involves a lot of paper work and takes more time and effort than most think.  Yet, those who are clued up and tax savvy are well aware that this is not always the case.

According to Johan Swart, Tax Manager at Legal & Tax, “If you do file early, early returns are usually processed fast. That means you’ll get your money quickly if you’re owed a refund from SARS. And, if you have underestimated your tax contribution, you may be able to save substantially on interest payable if you do submit early.”

“It’s also important not to miss the 21 November deadline because SARS will charge you non-compliance penalties for each month that your return is outstanding. If you do not submit your income tax return and pay your penalty, SARS may deduct the penalty from your salary/income or bank account,” says Swart.

There are also various ways to submit your income tax return. You can:

  • Submit your submission online via eFiling or via your mobile device using the SARS app
  • Submit your return manually by going into a SARS branch and requesting assistance from a SARS consultant
  • Post your submission to SARS
  • Place your submission in the drop box at a SARS branch

However, the easiest and most efficient way is directly via eFiling or the SARS app.

Swart’s top four tips to make filing season as easy as possible:

  • Collate and prepare all your supporting documents. These include your IRP5 tax certificate from your employer, tax certificates from your medical aid scheme and retirement annuity fund, receipts of medical expenses not covered by your medical aid scheme, and your car travel logbook.
  • Never lie about your income or inflate your expenses. The penalties for false declarations on tax returns are steep and you could be caught out.
  • Get help from a professional tax consultant at Legal and Tax to ensure you do your return correctly the first time.  Legal and Tax’s consultants may also be able to help you find legal ways to reduce the amount of tax that you pay each year.
  • When you file, check that the information SARS has already filled in on your return form is correct. You can fix any information that is wrong or out of date, but SARS may ask you to submit supporting documentation to explain your changes.

If you have any further queries or should you need help with your tax return visit http://www.legalandtax.co.za, or contact us on 0860 LTS LTS (587 587) or email info@legalandtax.co.za

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