Avoid costly tax-filing mistakes with these 6 tips

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) began tax season for individuals on the 1 July 2017. Submitting your tax returns may seem extremely overwhelming, so we’re here to offer guidance and advice to help smooth the process for you and make sure you submit your returns on time.

Register for eFiling

Some taxpayers are still submitting their tax manually and missing out on the benefits of SARS eFiling. It enables you to:

  • File your documents in an environmentally friendly way
  • Avoid long queues at the SARS offices
  • Access eFiling online around the clock
  • Submit a variety of tax returns online
  • Get your documents processed faster
  • Have access to a full history of your submissions and payments online

Don’t fail to file your tax returns

It’s easy to fall behind with your taxes from time to time, but you must not make a habit of it. Not submitting a tax return when it is due and not paying money you owe are criminal offenses. If you fail to pay your taxes, SARS can collect your debt in various ways or issue a judgement to get your name blacklisted. Read more.

If you are struggling with debt, contact Debt Rescue today.

Make sure your tax return is error free

SARS audits individuals at random, which means you should always make sure you do not engage in any potentially illegal or risky endeavours and your returns are error free.

You must have the correct documents and valid proof for every claim you make; this includes supporting documents, slips, logbooks and contribution certificates for claims such as medical aid, retirement annuity fund, travelled distance, etc.

Beware of the deadline

  • Non-provisional taxpayers using eFiling must submit their returns by 24 November 2017.
  • Provisional taxpayers using eFiling must submit their returns by 31 January 2018.
  • Non-provisional and provisional taxpayers submitting their tax manually must submit their tax via post or at a SARS branch drop box by 27 September.

Hire help if you need to

If you’re struggling to prepare all your documents and have no idea how to analyse your finances, get a tax practitioner or an accountant to help you with your tax returns.

Beware of scams

SARS will not ask a taxpayer for any bank details via email, sms or post . They will also not send taxpayers any hyperlinks to other websites.

SARS will, however, verify your personal details for authentication purposes as well as telephonic engagement. Contact SARS for more information.

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