With a continual upward spiral in the cost of living, everyone is mindful of curbing excess, cutting down on expenses and reigning in debt.  For even the most diligent, the challenge is to unlock value and to maximise where and how we spend our money.

One area where consumers can unlock financial benefit is by becoming more efficient in the unavoidable filing of tax returns – and in the claiming back of taxes paid.  According to the Momentum/Unisa Household Wealth Report (Q4 2015), South African households are paying higher taxes than ever before. Making sure to pay only the minimum amount required by the South African Revenue Services (SARS) is one area where consumers can focus on, to reduce financial pressure.

TaxTim is South Africa’s first digital, interactive tax return assistant, helping individual taxpayers with their tax returns. It is an extremely user-friendly, digital (web and mobile) tool designed to help consumers complete and file their tax returns confidently, quickly, easily and correctly.

With a conversational approach to completing a tax return, the process is easier for a taxpayer and also allows TaxTim to highlight all possible deductions for the user’s tax profile. This key differentiator maximises refund potential.

TaxTim’s integration directly with SARS eFiling means that, once authorised, TaxTim can import the user’s IRP5 data for easy completion and submit the completed return directly to SARS.

Equipped with tax calculators, easy-to-understand language, and definitions for financial jargon, the web site simplifies the otherwise cumbersome tax process.  It’s like having your own, instantly accessible professional tax adviser at your fingertips.

TaxTim has three tax return options, Lite, Smart and Ultra, accommodating all earners, from those with a basic salary, to freelancers, commission earners independent contractors or sole proprietors.  Momentum, financial services company, in its purpose to enhance the financial wellness of South Africans, has partnered with TaxTim and is offering discounted sign-ups to members of Multiply, Momentum’s wellness and rewards programme.

Multiply members can get discounts of between 25% and 40% off TaxTim packages.  Packages can therefore start from as little as around R186; however the time you can save, is priceless.

Although it is impossible to guarantee refunds, TaxTim makes sure that people using their services are asked the right questions which will increase the likelihood of receiving a refund, and importantly ensure compliance.  Of those using TaxTim in the past, more than 70% who were due refunds, received more than R1 000 back from SARS.

TaxTim was founded by Evan Robinson, an inventor and programmer, and Marc Sevitz, a chartered accountant specialising in tax.  They initially pitched their idea to the Google Umbono incubator and were awarded mentorship, office space and limited funding by the programme. Early in 2016, Tax Tim secured a fresh wave of investment from MMI Holdings’ innovation unit Exponential.  Momentum is part of MMI Holdings, hence the Multiply discounts and connection.

Sevitz comments: “Filing tax returns is unavoidable, so our idea is simple, to help you in the easiest way possible, maximise your chances of getting a refund and avoid penalties.  We want you to access the deductions you are entitled to and at the same time make sure you have no compliance hassles from SARS.

“We are very happy that MMI has come on board with additional investment, and equally happy that we are able to offer our services to Multiply and Momentum.  For now the MMI discounts apply to Multiply members only, however we anticipate a roll out for all MMI (Momentum and Metropolitan) clients in the future.”

TaxTim’s interface has helped over 2-million South Africans with their taxes to date, while also teaching students about tax at the University of Cape Town, University of the Witwaterstrand, University of Johannesburg, University of KwaZulu-Natal, University of Pretoria and University of the Western Cape. In October 2014, TaxTim integrated directly with the South African Revenue Service (SARS) for data retrieval and one-click direct electronic submission of tax returns.