Tips to avoid frus­tra­tion in fil­ing your tax form

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - Sizwe Dlamini

IT IS TAX sea­son and de­spite all the in­for­ma­tion avail­able and the fact it is an an­nual manda­tory prac­tice, peo­ple still get the process con­fused and end up frus­trated.

CRS Tech­nolo­gies, a hu­man re­sources and hu­man cap­i­tal management ser­vice and so­lu­tions provider, ad­vised tax­pay­ers to be proac­tive to avoid miss­ing dead­lines.

The so­lu­tions provider urged tax­pay­ers to check the ac­cu­racy of their IRP5 forms prior to sub­mis­sion, bear­ing in mind the scams ex­isted.

CRS em­pha­sised points that needed to be con­sid­ered, most im­por­tantly, the time frame for per­sonal tax sub­mis­sions.

The tax re­turn time frame runs from July 1 un­til Novem­ber 24 at an SA Rev­enue Ser­vice (Sars) branch (pro­vi­sional and non-pro­vi­sional) or e-fil­ing (non-pro­vi­sional) un­til Jan­uary 31 (pro­vi­sional tax­pay­ers via e-fil­ing).

The In­come Tax Act 58 of 1962 and the Tax Administration Act reg­u­lated the in­come tax rules. This leg­is­la­tion stip­u­lated whether a per­son had to pay tax or not.

CRS leg­is­la­tion busi­ness con­sul­tant San­dra Maritz said an in­di­vid­ual would not need to file an an­nual tax sub­mis­sion if their to­tal salary for the year be­fore tax was less than R350 000.

How­ever, it should be noted that an in­di­vid­ual earn­ing this amount would still be li­able to pay in­come tax.

It was im­per­a­tive to re­mem­ber that earn­ing less than the R350 000 thresh­old in em­ploy­ment in­come ap­plies to an in­di­vid­ual that earns a fixed salary and does not re­ceive any other forms of in­come such as al­lowances or re­im­bursed amounts.

The mo­ment there was such an earn­ing, the in­di­vid­ual would be com­pelled to sub­mit a re­turn.

A per­son was li­able to pay in­come tax if that per­son earned more than the tax thresh­old for the ap­pli­ca­ble year of as­sess­ment.

“There are spe­cific cri­te­ria that need to be met and if you are not cer­tain, it is best to con­sult with ex­perts and leg­is­la­tion to check what these cri­te­ria are. It is also ad­vis­able to check on ex­actly what doc­u­ments are re­quired to com­plete the an­nual tax re­turn.”

CRS em­pha­sised the im­por­tance of hav­ing the cor­rect doc­u­ments and proof for ev­ery claim made. Over­stat­ing the num­ber of de­pen­dants or ex­penses for med­i­cal claims was a crim­i­nal of­fence. In­di­vid­u­als who do not com­ply with their obli­ga­tions may be li­able to cer­tain penal­ties,” added Maritz. Be aware of scams.

“Sars will never re­quest your bank­ing de­tails in any com­mu­ni­ca­tion that you re­ceive via post, email, or SMS. Sars will not send you any hy­per­links to other web­sites – even those of banks. If you have for­got­ten your pass­word you can re­set it by call­ing your Sars con­tact cen­tre and fol­low a sim­ple pro­ce­dure,” she said.

Be­fore sub­mit­ting a tax re­turn, the spe­cial­ist listed the fol­low­ing as pri­or­ity con­sid­er­a­tions: an em­ployer must is­sue an em­ployee with an em­ployee tax certificate (IRP5) show­ing the em­ployee’s tax was de­ducted from earn­ings. This certificate dis­closed, among other things, the to­tal em­ploy­ment in­come earned for the year of as­sess­ment and the em­ploy­ees tax that was de­ducted“Ev­ery tax­payer has to reg­is­ter for in­come tax, even if he or she is not li­able to sub­mit a tax re­turn. Em­ploy­ers can reg­is­ter their em­ploy­ees for in­come tax. En­sure that you sub­mit your re­turn by the rel­e­vant dead­line, oth­er­wise you will be li­able for an ad­min­is­tra­tive penalty due to non-com­pli­ance,” Maritz said.

PHOTO: TRACEY ADAMS

The open­ing of the in­come tax re­turn sea­son nor­mally sees queues all the way around the front, side and back of the Sars build­ing in Lower Long Street, Cape Town.

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