6 tips for tax filing

(Shutterstock)
(Shutterstock)
Cape Town - The SA Revenue Service (Sars) intends collecting nearly R1trn during the 2014 tax season which started on July 1.

More than 50 000 taxpayers filed their tax returns within the first few hours of 2014 tax season and thousands received their tax refunds within 24 hours after submitting via eFiling.

Stiaan Klue, chief executive of the SA Institute of Tax Professionals, said that Sars’ modernisation programme gives it the ability to develop a world-class risk engine that can expose any form of non-compliance and fraud.

He provides the following tips for taxpayers:

Deadlines to remember
 
- The deadline for manual tax submissions is September 26 2014
- The deadline for all non-provisional taxpayers is November 21 2014  
- Provisional taxpayers submitting returns via eFiling is January 30 2015
 
Collect and safeguard all supporting documentation

Income items, such as salary and interest, as well as qualifying expenditure, such medical certificates, retirement annuities and pension fund contributions, should be accurately filed on the return. In addition taxpayers are required by law to safeguard and retain supporting documentation for 5 years.

Be diligent and submit your tax return early

Don’t wait for the last minute. If you have a problem submitting your return, whether manually or electronically, you don’t want to stand in the line at a Sars office and be part of the last minute rush.

Use only a registered tax practitioner

Taxpayers must take responsibility and ensure their tax practitioners are accredited and registered to submit their tax return.

Only an accredited tax practitioner will be able to complete and submit tax returns on behalf of taxpayers, update and maintain taxpayer registration details and register taxpayers for new taxes.

Do not offer or agree to a contingency fee

Taxpayers are prohibited to pay a contingency fee to a tax practitioner, calculated as a percentage of the refund paid by Sars. This practice is not approved and may expose you to either under-declaration of income or inflated deductions.

Read all Sars’s correspondence

A new feature this tax season is an “inbox” on the eFiling page that enables taxpayers to access all correspondence from Sars. However, be warned that this “inbox” is also a legal mechanism for Sars to officially communicate requests for additional information.


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