The individual tax filing season opened on 1 July 2012 for the period 1 March 2011 to 29 February 2012, which is a dreaded event for many.
E-filing is, however, a quick, easy and efficient way of managing your tax return, says Karen Schmikl, a legislation manager at Softline VIP, part of the Sage Group.
“Taxpayers who correctly complete their returns and who don’t require further verification of information have received their refunds within two days,” she says.
It is recommended to submit your tax return sooner, rather than later, to avoid the last minute rush.
“All manual submissions that are posted or dropped off at a SARS branch have to be finalised by 28 September 2012. Electronic submissions at a SARS branch or through e-filing, needs to be completed by 23 November and provisional tax payers have until 31 January 2013 to do their submissions,” says Schmikl.
Who should submit tax returns?
* Individuals who are under 65 years and received income of more than R59 750.
* Individuals who are 65 to 74 years and received income of more than R93 150.
* Individuals who are 75 years and older and received income of more than R104 261.
“If the income was only employment income from one employer, in any of these three incidences, then you only need to submit an assessment if your income was more than R120 000,” explains Schmikl.
“If you conducted any trade, received a travel allowance or public office allowance or made use of a company vehicle on which fringe benefit tax was paid, then you also need to submit a tax return,” says Schmikl. “If you hold any funds or assets outside South Africa to the value of more than R50 000, have local capital gains or losses of more than R20 000 or received any income or capital gain in foreign currency, then you also need to submit a tax return.”
During the completion of an e-filing submission, individuals will complete an online personal income tax return called ITR12.
“Although the submission of ITR12 does not require supporting documentation. You must, however, keep the following documentation for up to five years because it could be requested by SARS to verify your submission,” explains Schmikl.
* Medical aid certificates
* Retirement annuity certificates
* Tax certificates from your employer(s) (IRP5s and IT3as)
* Travel logbook
* Investment income tax certificates (IT3bs)
* Confirmation of diagnosis as being disabled
* Information relating to capital gain
* Any other documentation relating to income received and deductions you want to claim.
Schmikl says that SARS is making a big effort to educate and assist individuals to get to know about taxes and learn how to e-file their returns.
“SARS is hosting taxpayer education workshops across the country, focusing on the provision of information that aims to create a basic understanding of various tax types and what is expected from tax payers in order to be compliant. YouTube videos have also been uploaded to teach taxpayers how to register for e-filing as well as how to complete and submit their e-filing.”
Schmikl adds that it is always a good idea to compare the tax certificates (IRP5s and IT3as) that you receive from your employer with your information on e-filing. “If information is not there, or if information is different from what is on the tax certificate, then you should verify your IRP5 information before completing the assessment on e-filing. Refunds will only be made if all your tax affairs are up to date. Ensure that all your personal details are correct such as your banking details, address and contact details,” Schmikl adds.