Ever wondered why exactly you need to file a tax return? Should you earn below R350 000, you don’t have to file a tax return, but keep in mind; you can’t receive a tax refund when you don’t. Below are things to remember when submitting your tax return:
How do you get a tax refund?
Every month, you are taxed on the amount of money you earned in that month. Should the amount you get vary, you might pay tax at an increased rate for that month. At the financial year end, you will have to ensure that you paid tax at the appropriate rate for your annual total. Therefore, you may need to pay money back to SARS or receive a refund. Also, several expenses are “tax deductible”, consequently the amount you spend on them is subtracted from your total taxed earnings. For instance, healthcare contributions and retirement annuities.
Register for eFiling
A lot of individuals are still submitting their tax return manually thus losing out on the advantages of SARS eFiling. It allows you to submit your documents in an eco-friendly manner, steer clear of long lines at the SARS offices and help with getting your documents processed quicker.
Don’t neglect to submit your tax returns
It’s easy to forget to file your tax return every so often. However, you should not make a habit of it. Not filing a tax return when due and not paying money you owe are considered a criminal offence in South Africa. If you neglect to pay your taxes, SARS can collect what you owe in several ways or issue a judgement to get you blacklisted.
Ensure that there are no mistakes on your tax return
SARS audits people randomly; therefore, you need to make sure you don’t participate in any potentially illegal or high-risk projects, and your tax returns are error free. You have to have the appropriate paperwork and legal evidence for each claim you make; including supporting documentation, expense slips, logbooks and contribution certificates for medical aid, retirement annuity, etc.
Beware of the due date
SARS opened tax season for individuals on 1 July 2017. Non-provisional taxpayers making use of eFiling need to file their returns by 24 November 2017 while provisional taxpayers using eFiling need to file their tax returns by 31 January 2018. Non-provisional and provisional taxpayers who choose to file their return manually will need to submit it via post or at your nearest SARS branch drop box by 27 September 2017.
Employ help if you can’t do it yourself
If you are incapable of preparing all your documents or you don’t know how to review your finances, get a tax specialist or a financial advisor to assist you with your tax returns.
Watch out for scams
Sadly, fraudsters are becoming incredibly innovative, and it is now popular for taxpayers to receive emails which state they are from SARS, informing you of a tax refund due, and asking for your banking details to process the payment. Visit the SARS website for current information about any new scams, but be aware that SARS will not require your banking details via email or SMS.