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Tax submission deadline looms

By Staff Writer

If you’re one of the millions of South Africans planning to file an electronic income tax return this year, time is running out for you. It is best not to miss the looming deadline of 25 November since SARS is imposing increasingly tough penalties on taxpayers that submit late returns.

If you were planning to submit a hard copy tax return, you have already missed the deadline for paper-based returns. Luckily, registering for eFiling with SARS is so quick and easy that this need not be a big problem.

Do bear in mind that it will take about 48 hours for your tax return to be made available online, so don’t wait until the last minute to register. If you are not familiar with the site, it might take you a while to familiarise yourself with it and complete the tax return correctly.

Even if you are already registered with eFiling, don’t delay filing your return.  Judging by previous years, there’s a good chance that the eFiling Website may collapse under the weight of last-minute submissions, leaving you unable to file before the deadline lapses.

You can also submit your tax return with a SARS branch office up until the 25 November deadline.

If you are planning to use this alternative, the importance of handing in your tax return as soon as possible cannot be stressed enough. The lines at the SARS offices during filing season are daunting.

If you are uncertain about how to fill in your tax return, need help applying for an extension or have any other questions, try to meet up with a tax advisor or financial planner as soon as possible.

Remember, it’s best to do things right the first time to avoid potential penalties or the inconvenience of an audit.

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