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Take the trouble out of Tax Season

Know the basics of submitting your tax return for smooth sailing through tax season 2016. These pointers are directly from SARS:

Important due dates

25 November 2016 – Submit your return at a SARS branch (provisional and non-provisional)

25 November 2016 – eFiling deadline (non-provisional)

31 January 2017 – Provisional taxpayers via eFiling

Supporting documents

To get ready to submit your tax return, you will need to gather all your supporting documents:

• IRP5/IT3(a) certificate(s) from your employer or pension fund

• IT3(b) certificates for investment returns

• Financial statements, if applicable e.g. business income

• Medical aid contribution certificates and receipts

• Retirement annuity fund certificates

• Certificates you received for local interest income earned

• Logbook and other documents in support of business travel expenses

• Completed confirmation of diagnosis of disability form (ITR-DD), if applicable

• Any other relevant income and deduction information.

• Bank account details

Tip: Even though you will be using the supporting documents to complete your return, you mustn’t send them to SARS. Keep them safely for a period of five years should SARS require them in future.

Remember, if you’re filing at a SARS branch you must bring all the documents applicable to you, plus original proof of identity (ID, temporary ID, passport or driver’s licence).

Check your IRP5 and verify if all the information is correct before attempting to submit the return. If you notice any errors which might need to be corrected, kindly advise your employer to rectify it. You will not be able to change these prepopulated fields on the return.

Not everyone needs to submit an income tax return

You don’t need to file your return if your total salary earned during 1 March 2015 to 29 February 2016 for the 2015/2016 year of assessment is not more than R350 000 (before tax), provided:

• You only have one employer (but remember if you have two employers or income sources such as a late spouse or partner pension income, exam markings income, rental income, moonlighting income and the like, you do need to file even if the total is still under R350 000).

• You have no car allowance or other income (such as interest or rent)

• You are not claiming tax-related deductions (such as medical expenses, retirement annuity contributions and travel expenses).

• You received interest from a source in South Africa not exceeding R23 800 if you are below the age of 65 years, or R34 500 if you are aged 65 years or older.

• Dividends were paid to you and you were a non-resident during the 2016 year of assessment.

Tip: Trusts are required to submit an annual Income Tax Return (IT12TR) as well.

Forgot your tax number?

Your income tax reference number is a unique ten-digit number issued by SARS to a taxpayer on registration.

If you are registered, you can find your tax number on your notice of registration from SARS (only available at a SARS branch and not via the SARS contact centre); an employee tax certificate (IRP5/IT3(a)); or an income tax work page on eFiling, if you’re a registered eFiler.

Forgot your eFiling login name and password?

Visit, click on the Login button, click on the question mark icon for a reminder of your login name or to reset your password. If you have forgotten both your login name and password, you will need to first complete the “I forgot my login name” process. SARS will send it to your SARS registered email address or cell phone number. Use the details to complete the process. Still stuck? Call SARS on 0800 00 7277.

Make accurate claims

Make sure you have the correct documents and proof for every claim you make.

• Only use info and figures that reflect on your supporting documents

• Use only the amounts reflected on your contribution certificates from your retirement annuity fund, income protection scheme, medical aid and the like.

• Make sure you keep an accurate logbook and do not fabricate kilometres travelled.

• Don’t inflate the value of your vehicle.

• Declare all income you received during the year of assessment like rent, interest and income from your part-time job.

• If a deduction does not exist, do not claim for it!

Be honest on your tax return

Overstating the number of dependants or expenses for medical claims is a criminal offence. Only claim for the actual number of dependants registered on your medical aid. Don’t overstate your out-of-pocket medical expenses because SARS will ask for your receipts. Medication that has not been prescribed may not be claimed for.

Don’t fall for scams

SARS will never request your banking details or personal details in any communication that you receive by post, email, phone or SMS. SARS will also not send you any hyperlinks to other websites, even those of banks. There are no links to any bank on its website.

Why queue when there’s eFiling?

Visit eFiling to register and submit your return online. Need help? Click on the Help-You-eFile icon on eFiling (when filing from your computer) and follow the prompts to get access to a friendly SARS Contact Centre agent If you need help, just click the Help-You-eFile icon on eFiling and a SARS agent will help you every step of the way. Also click on the Help-You-eFile icon and select “Call Me”. One of our agents will call you back to help you step by step with eFiling.

Need help?

• Call the SARS Contact Centre on 0800 00 7277

• Visit your nearest SARS Branch.

• If you have forgotten your password you can reset it by calling the SARS Contact Centre and following a simple procedure.

Stay informed by visiting the website regularly or subscribing to its RSS feeds.

For more information, go to the SARS website.

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