The tax returns season in South Africa is now open and it is that time when individuals in particular income brackets are under obligation by law to file in their tax returns with the South African Revenue Authority(SARS).
A tax return is a declaration of ones income and it is also a way in which tax payers claim a tax refund from the revenue authority if they paid more tax than due. It also proves quite handy when an individual has to seek a loan, buying property or even taking a huge insurance cover.
An individual can file the returns either online or off line. The off line filling of tax is where an individual physically walks through the doors of the South African Revenue Authority to complete the necessary documents to complete the process. e-filling is the facilitation of electronic submission of tax returns and payments by tax payers and tax practitioners. Once you have filed your return, if your tax affairs are straightforward, you will receive the outcome of your assessment almost instantly via an SMS message. Your formal assessment and any audit letters will be sent via the post or email.
The South African Revenue Authority has this year raised the income threshold in which one doesn’t have to file a return from R120, 000 to R250, 000 a year. Also an individual may not file in a tax return if a salary they earn is only paid by only one employer, if an individual doesn’t have any other income such as taxable interest or rent income or they don’t have any tax deductions, such as medical expenses, retirement annuity contributions or travel expenses to claim.
While the tax filing process may be seen to be demanding by many, it’s a worthwhile process that ensures tax compliance by those involved.
For those who may struggle to get a firm grip of it, they can contact the South African revenue authority on 0800 00 7277 or even seek the services of a professional chartered accountant.