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Tax season 2017 opens

By Jessica Anne Wood

 

Tax season 2017 officially opened for eFilers on Saturday, 1 July, and today for branch filers. Tax submissions for the 2016/2017 tax year need to be submitted electronically by 24 November 2017 for non-provisional taxpayers and 31 January 2018 for provisional taxpayers. Manual submissions through the post or at South African Revenue Service (SARS) drop boxes must be made by 22 September 2017.

To help make the tax submission process easier, SARS provided the following tips and information to assist you.

When don’t you need to submit a tax return?

Not everyone needs to submit a tax return, however, it is still important to check, as failure to submit a tax return when required could see you facing a hefty fine.

You do not need to submit an income tax return if the following applies:

  • Your salary for the previous tax year is not more than R350 000.
  • You only receive employment income from one employer for the full tax year under advisement.
  • You have no additional form of income such as a car allowance, business income, taxable interest or income from another job.
  • You don’t have any other allowable taxable deductions to claim, including medical expenses, retirement annuity contributions or travel expenses.

Even if the above apply, it is also best to check with SARS if you should submit a tax return.

What documents do you need?

There are a number of documents that you will need to submit with your tax return. With regards to proof of income, you will need to submit the following:

  • IRP5/IT3(a) from your employer or pension fund.
  • Tax certificates for investment income IT3(b).
  • Tax Free Investments certificate(s) IT3(s)
  • Financial statements where applicable.

For deductions, you need to submit the below documents as proof:

  • Medical aid contribution certificates and receipts.
  • Completed confirmation of diagnosis of disability form (ITR-DD) if you want to claim any disability expenses.
  • Retirement annuity contribution certificates.
  • Information relating to foreign tax credits withheld.
  • Travel logbook if you receive a travel allowance or use a company car.

In addition to these documents, you will also need to submit a proof of ID if you submit your return at a SARS branch.

When submitting your documents, it is important to confirm that all information on these documents is correct. If there are any discrepancies, contact the company involved (such as your medical aid or investment house) to rectify the matter prior to submitting your tax return.

eFiling

SARS has encouraged taxpayers to make use of its eFiling system for a number of years. This is a digital submission process that is available 24 hours a day, and according to SARS is the quickest and easiest way to submit a tax return.

“eFilers requiring assistance can make use of the free Help-You-eFile service by simply clicking on  the Help-You-eFile icon on eFiling and following the prompts to get access to a friendly SARS contact centre agent who will help them every step of the way while eFiling. This service is available during office hours,” revealed SARS.

Keep your wits about you

Unfortunately as tax season rolls around, so too do scams. Each year SARS cautions taxpayers against scams, where fraudsters claim to be from revenue service to swindle unsuspecting taxpayers. The tax entity stressed that it will never ask you for your banking or personal details in any correspondence received via post, email or SMS. Furthermore, SARS will not send correspondence with hyperlinks to other websites, including bank websites.

If you are concerned about authenticity of an email or SMS claiming to be from SARS, you can visit the scams and phishing webpage on the SARS website. Alternatively, you can contact SARS via the following:

  • Email phishing@sars.gov.za
  • Call the fraud and anti-corruption hotline on 0800 00 2870
  • Call the SARS contact centre on 0800 00 7277

“Tax Season is the single biggest annual engagement between ordinary citizens and SARS. Last year during Tax Season, SARS received 6.31 million income tax returns. Tax Season is an opportunity for taxpayers to reconcile their personal income and tax-related deductions with SARS. This allows SARS to assess if there were any factors that were not accounted for over the tax year, thus ensuring that the taxpayer is compliant,” added SARS.

 Handy tip: Need help submitting your tax return? Justmoney has partnered with TaxTim to meet your tax related needs.

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