8 Common tax troubles tackled

By Staff Writer

Still not sure why you are being taxed or how long it takes for SARS to refund you? Our guest columnist Marc Sevitz, director of digital tax assistant TaxTim (pictured), answers your questions.


We are halfway through 2012 tax season in South Africa and with a little more than two months to go until deadline, almost 2.5m people have filed their tax returns so far. Once filed though it may not be over for taxpayers as SARS can still ask for supporting documentation. Below is a list of the most common questions we get asked at TaxTim.


1.    If my employer pays my tax for me each month, why do I need to do anything for tax season?


•    SARS requires each taxpayer to submit their own tax return because your employer does not always know about the other tax-relevant payments that you make. Disclosing this other info can increase your tax refund.


2.    How long does it take for SARS to pay me any refund that is due?


•    Usually refunds are settled within 3 working days, however if you had to submit further documents then SARS can take anywhere between 1-90 days.


3.    I’m confused by all these documents, ITA34, ITR12 and ITSA, what are they?


•    The ITR12 is the Income Tax Return (a form) that you complete and submit for tax purposes to SARS containing all your tax-related details. The ITA34 or Income Tax Assessment is the tax calculation based on the information you provided in the ITR12 and describes any amounts owing to you or still due by you. The ITSA is the Income Tax Statement of Account which is a summary of all your current and previous year’s refunds and amounts payable including any penalties and interest that may be charged.


4.    If SARS asks me to submit supporting documentation, how do I go about doing it?


•    You can either drop off the documents at your nearest SARS branch or you can upload all supporting documents via SARS eFiling.


5.    What does it mean if there is a minus sign / negative amount next to the tax amount on my ITA34?


•    This means you are due a refund by SARS and can expect money to be deposited into your account.


6.    What is the tax threshold that I would start paying tax over?
•    For the 2012 year of assessment the taxable threshold for which you will begin paying tax is R59 750 if you are under the age of 65 years.


7.    Why do my colleagues get a refund and I don’t?


•    Each taxpayer has different personal circumstances with regards to their deductions and other tax related matters. Often a taxpayer will have a retirement fund annuity policy or pay for their own medical aid or have other medical expenditure which your employer does not pay for. If your colleague didn’t work a full year this can also result in a different refund.


8.    Can I claim expenses like personal insurance and household goods?


•    No you cannot. SARS are very strict on the expenses that can be claimed as a deduction, it is specifically prohibited to claim expenses of a personal nature.


Remember the deadline for non-provisional taxpayers is 23 November 2012, so file your return with SARS as soon as possible. If you need a hand, try TaxTim: www.taxtim.com.
 

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