SO HAVE you writ­ten and sent your love let­ter de­tail­ing all your re­ceipts to the SA Rev­enue Ser­vice (Sars)?

The first leg of the tax fil­ing sea­sons for non-pro­vi­sional tax­pay­ers closed on Oc­to­ber 31.

You should have re­ceived, or are due to re­ceive, your tax assess­ment on eFil­ing when you log in.

Low and be­hold, your tax assess­ment has ar­rived – so now what to do? This lit­tle re­turn con­fir­ma­tion of your love let­ter in which you were brag­ging about all the money you made is where Sars stakes its claim and tells you just how much of your rev­enue is ac­tu­ally their rev­enue.

The very first thing I would ad­vise would be to sit down and re­print or take out a copy of your sub­mit­ted in­come tax and com­pare the assess­ment that you re­ceived to the re­turn that you sub­mit­ted, to make sure that there are no er­rors and/or mis­takes in the assess­ment.

Next, I will ad­vise that you log into eFil­ing and check whether there was any cor­re­spon­dence ad­dressed to you re­quest­ing that you sub­mit ad­di­tional in­for­ma­tion.

Please note that there are time frames in terms of which you have to sub­mit th­ese re­quired doc­u­ments to Sars. The rea­son for this? To see whether Sars has to ver­ify the ac­cu­racy of your re­turn to the in­for­ma­tion that they have re­quested. Af­ter all, some­times you have to ver­ify that ev­ery­thing you are told is true, cor­rect?

Re­mem­ber what you signed when you sub­mit­ted the re­turn? You promised that you would keep the sup­port­ing doc­u­ments. Now heed the warn­ing – this is where things can start to go wrong if not done cor­rectly.

Take the doc­u­ments that you have promised to keep and which are re­quested (only those which are re­quested), scan them, put them into a PDF for­mat and then up­load them on eFil­ing to Sars. Al­ter­na­tively, you can se­lect the op­tion that you can hand-de­liver them in per­son to the friendly Sars store on ev­ery street cor­ner. Once this has been sub­mit­ted, I would ad­vise you to oc­ca­sion­ally, if not more spo­rad­i­cally, or al­most ob­ses­sively com­pul­sively, check your eFil­ing to see whether any ad­di­tional as­sess­ments have been is­sued.

An ad­di­tional assess­ment is re­quested when the sub­mit­ted in­for­ma­tion dif­fers from the sub­mit­ted re­turn. Sars will then ini­ti­ate cor­re­spon­dence.

But, as is hu­man, if you don’t log on to eFil­ing and you missed the re­quests, your sub­mit­ted re­turn and orig­i­nal assess­ment is ad­justed, re­sult­ing in an ad­di­tional or re­vised assess­ment. You can, of course, lodge an ob­jec­tion against as­sess­ments if you are within the time frame as spec­i­fied on the as­sess­ments and re­vised or ad­di­tional as­sess­ments. This is typ­i­cally done through the first round sub­mis­sion of the No­tice of Ob­jec­tion.

We will deal with ob­jec­tions a later, but check those as­sess­ments and sub­mit the re­quested in­for­ma­tion. Ob­jec­tions are within the realm of law. It’s a scary busi­ness. It’s the space where Freddy lives, so fall asleep just a lit­tle and you might end up on Elm Street, drenched in the screams of the ig­no­ra­mus who fell asleep be­fore you.

An­other word of cau­tion. An­swer what was asked and sup­ply what is re­quired.

Willem Oberholzer CA (SA), MCom (Tax) is an ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor at Pro­bity Ad­vi­sory (Kre­ston South Africa).

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