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Tax season: what you need to know

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With the personal income tax filing season being around the corner we asked DZB Chartered Accountants to share some insights into what this means for the person on the street.
When do I submit my tax return?
The tax season opens on 1 July and closes on 30 September for manual submissions and 27 November for electronic submissions through e-filing by non-provisional taxpayers, while provisional taxpayers have until 29 January next year to submit through e-filing.
Who needs to submit
a tax return?
Any taxpayer may submit a tax return, although it is not compulsory if you received less than R350 000 in remuneration for the full tax year from a single employer, and you received no other income or allowance and do not qualify for any deductions. This is because your tax has already been deducted from your salary and paid to SARS as Pay as You Earn (PAYE).
Why doesn’t everyone
pay the same tax?
Income tax for individuals is paid on a progressive tax system whereby the higher your taxable income, the higher your tax rate.
What will I need to submit
my tax return?
The basic information you will need includes:
Proof of income from your employer or fund (IRP5 or similar)
Proof of investment income (IT3 from the bank or investment company)
If you trade in your own name, proof of all business income and expenditure
Details of any sales of assets during the year as there could be a capital gain for tax purposes
Details of any distributions from a trust that you may be a beneficiary of
Certificates confirming contributions to funds during the year (pension, RAF and medical aid)
Proof of medical expenditure paid by yourself and not recovered from your medical aid
A detailed log book should you receive a travel allowance
Your bank account number (Never provide your login details)
What is the next step?
SARS will issue you with an Income Tax Assessment and a Statement of Account. This will show how SARS calculated the total tax owing by or refundable to you. It is very important that you verify that your Tax Assessment is accurate and whether you have been selected for audit or verification.
What is meant by
verification or audit?
SARS may request you to submit the documentation used to submit your return to verify whether the information on your tax return is accurate.
You can submit the documents to SARS either by uploading it onto your e-filing profile or submit it manually at the SARS branch. It is very important that you submit the documents within the time specified, usually 21 business days.
SARS has 30 working days from receipt of supporting documents to complete the verification. We recommend that you follow up on their progress by calling the call centre after 30 days.
What can SARS do if I do not
give them the information?
SARS will hold back all refunds until the verification is completed. If you fail to provide the information to SARS, it is practice generally prevailing to disallow all of your expenses and tax you on the full income. It is a criminal offence to wilfully fail to provide SARS with the requested information.
Can I refuse to pay the
tax assessment?
SARS may take legal action against you, which includes instructing your bank to pay the tax to them straight out of your bank account; with penalties and interest. They can also instruct your employer to deduct it from your salary. This is not the first step and it is thus cardinal that you act on their requests to avoid such harsh treatment or lose your rights to object.
What if there is a mistake on
my Income Tax Assessment?
It will depend on the nature of the error and where SARS is in the process. Often a revised return can be submitted to correct an honest mistake. You can also object to an assessment if you disagree with SARS. Objections and appeals are best referred to a tax specialist. It is extremely important that you act within 21 business days, or you may lose your right to object.
I am happy with my Income Tax
Assessment. What do I do now?
We recommend that you double check whether there is any correspondence from SARS requesting further information or notifying you that you have been selected for audit.