The 2017 tax season will open for individuals on 1 July, and SARS has released some handy tips and information to make the process pain free for taxpayers.
In preparation for tax season, taxpayers can start gathering all the supporting documents that are needed to submit tax returns.
These documents include IRP5/IT3(a) certificates from one’s employer or pension fund; IT3(b) certificates for investment returns, medical aid contribution certificates and receipts; bank account details as well as retirement annuity fund certificates.
Those who use eFiling to submit their tax returns will be able to do so when tax season opens on Saturday, 1 July, while those who file their returns at South African Revenue Service (SARS) branches will be able to do so from 3 July onwards.
If you are a registered taxpayer and have forgotten your 10-digit tax number, you can easily find it on your IRP5 form or on the SARS Income Tax workpage on eFiling if you’re a registered eFiler.
If you realise that you have forgotten your eFiling login name and password, all you have to do is visit the www.sarsefiling.co.za website and click on the login button, then click on the question mark icon for a reminder of your login name or to reset your password.
eFilers can click on the question mark icon for a reminder of their login name or to reset their password. If you happen to have forgotten both your login name and password, you then complete the “I forgot my login name” process.
If that too fails, taxpayers can call SARS on 0800 00 7277.
For those who want to switch to eFiling from manual filing, they can register for eFiling on https://secure.sarsefiling.co.za/loggedon_default.asp?reg=1.
If taxpayers need help eFiling, they can click on the Help-You-eFile icon and a SARS agent will help them.
The revenue service has advised taxpayers who will be filing their returns at branches to bring all documents applicable, as well as the original proof of identity such as an ID, passport or driver’s licence.
In addition to preparing to file their returns, taxpayers must check that details on their IRP5 form — which discloses the total employment remuneration earned for the year of assessment and the total deductions — is correct before attempting to submit the return.
The same verification also applies to medical aid contribution certificates.
However, not everyone needs to submit an income tax return to SARS if the total salary earned during 1 March 2016 to 29 February 2017 for the 2016/2017 year of assessment is not more than R350 000 (before tax). This is provided that you only have one employer. However if you have two employers or income sources e.g. late spouse/partner pension income, exam markings income, rental income and moonlighting income among others, you will need to file, even if the total is still under R350 000.
The revenue service has urged taxpayers to ensure that they have the correct documents and proof for every claim they make.
This is by using only information and figures that reflect on supporting documents as well as using only the amounts reflected on contribution certificates (retirement annuity fund, income protection scheme, medical aid etc).
SARS has also urged taxpayers to make sure they keep an accurate logbook and do not fabricate kilometres travelled or inflate the value of vehicles.
Honesty on returns
Taxpayers should also remember that overstating the number of dependants or expenses for medical claims is a criminal offence.
In addition, taxpayers should not overstate their out of pocket medical expenses, as SARS will ask for receipts.
The deadline for non-provisional and provisional taxpayers submitting their tax returns manually through the post or at a SARS branch drop box is 27 September 2017.
Meanwhile, the deadline for non-provisional taxpayers submitting their returns via eFiling or electronic filing at a SARS branch is 24 November 2017.
The deadline for provisional taxpayers using eFiling is 31 January 2018.
Taxpayers should not be fooled by scams asking for their personal information, as SARS will not request a taxpayer’s banking details in any communication received via post, email or SMS. The revenue service will not send taxpayers any hyperlinks to other websites, including those of banks.
However for the purpose of telephonic engagement and authentication purposes, SARS will verify your personal details.
Should taxpayers require further assistance, they can call the SARS Contact Centre on 0800 00 7277 or visit their nearest SARS branch.
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