Tax season 2012 has been officially launched. To avoid fines or penalties, individuals need to file their tax returns within the SARS deadlines, for the period 1 March 2011 to 29 February 2012.
Manual returns have to be posted or delivered to local SARS branches by 28 September 2012 while non-provisional taxpayers may use SARS eFiling until 23 November 2012. Provisional taxpayers have more time and may submit electronic returns via eFiling until 31 January next year.
Phil Meyer, technology director of payroll, tax and HR software developer Pastel Payroll, recommends that individuals begin to get their tax documentation in order now.
“It makes sense to gather proof of contributions to Retirement Annuities or private pensions and medical schemes, investment income, dividends and lump sum payments now. The earlier the return can be finalised and submitted the better. It is less stressful than the panic last-minute rush.”
Meyer adds that taxpayers can obtain the Tax Season 2012 electronic guide from the SARS website www.sars.gov.za.
“This year SARS is offering taxpayers assistance with their returns through a number of channels, helping to ensure that tax returns are submitted accurately and on time with minimal effort. A Help-You-eFile service will also soon be launched by SARS.”
The Help-You-eFile service is an innovation that will provide taxpayers with access to contact centre agents while the taxpayer is online. SARS Agents are able to see what taxpayers are doing and assist with the completion of the tax return.
Meyer says SARS has also embraced mobile technology and this year individuals with mobile devices will also be able to file their returns through the new SARS eFiling mobisite (sarsefiling.mobi) or a soon-to-be-launched new eFiling application for people on the move using smartphones or tablets.
“Taxpayers will also be able to view eFiling videos on YouTube that demonstrate how to register for eFiling, complete and submit the IRT12 tax form, accompanied by supporting documents if these are required. SARS has said that eFilers will receive their ITA34 assessment and statement of account within a few minutes of submitting the return.”
Finally, taxpayers who may have forgotten their eFiling login or password will be able to request their login name and reset their password from the login page.