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Tax Returns – How to Submit Your Tax Returns

Tips on How to Submit your Tax Returns

Tax returns don’t have to cause frustration. Help on how to submit your tax returns and tips on avoiding scams are briefly shared below to help you get started.

If you are an individual you will need to submit the ITR12 Income Tax Return form which is used to determine your financial year annual income minus the allowable tax deductible expenses for the particular year of tax assessment.

If your total salary earnings for the assessment year is lower than the threshold as stipulated by SARS you don’t have to submit a tax return for the particular assessment year provided:

  • You have worked at only one employer and didn’t get additional income from a part-time job outside your normal employment.
  • You didn’t receive additional income from rent, investments and car allowance.
  • You don’t have additional medical expenses that must be deducted.
  • You didn’t receive any dividends that must be declared.
  • You didn’t receive interest on investments above the threshold stated by SARS.

Where to Find the Tax Reference Number

You will only have a tax registration number if you have registered as tax payer. Once you have registered you will have a ten digit tax number which is the reference number you use in all your communication with SARS. The number will be available on the registration notification from SARS at the relevant branch, at the work page on the eFiling system and on your IRP5 or IT3(b) form which is your employee tax certificate.

You should use the eFiling system to submit your tax returns, but can also have it done through tax consultants or accountants such as The Tax Shop.

It is essential to ensure that the claims you submit on your tax returns are accurate and that you have supporting documentation available. SARS is rather strict when it comes to claims and applies severe penalties for inaccurate claims. Only the information available on the documents in support of the claims must be used. This also means that you may only use the amounts on the medical aid contribution and where relevant, the retirement fund certificates.

If you are claiming vehicle expenses such as fuel you must keep a logbook and never falsify the kilometre information. One thing never to do when you submit your tax return is to lie. It is essential to provide 100% accurate information also regarding dependants on your medical aid, medical expenses, and any prescription medication you want deducted.

Declare All Income

Don’t attempt to hide income. SARS is really good at assessing the accuracy of statements and even if you think that interest on an investment will go unnoticed, don’t be tempted to hide it and this also applies the royalties received on publications or extra income from part time work.

Proactive Recordkeeping

Nothing can be more unsettling than getting a call from SARS regarding a tax audit, especially if you haven’t kept the record and don’t have all the supporting documents at hand. Keep all relevant documents ready for inspection including the tax certificates, all your financial statements for the business, receipts for toll gates and parking, medical aid certificates, medical expense receipts, IT3(b) certificates, logbook, capital gain transaction information,  and receipts for all expenses including stationary, electronics etc.

If you plan on submitting your tax returns at your local SARS branch you must take all the supporting documents to their office in addition to your identity book or driver’s license.

Avoid Online Scams

You may receive emails stating that SARS owes you a refund and that you must provide or confirm your bank details to receive such. Note that SARS will never request any such information via email or phone and will not require you to click on website links from within an email. Contact the SARS office directly if you want information about refunds, or make use of our consultants at The Tax Shop to handle all your tax return submissions and queries to SARS.

Why eFiling is Beneficial

SARS notes on the question of how to submit tax returns that eFiling is the quickest and most convenient way. However, you may still need help in registering or completing the eFiling submissions and this is where expert assistance from tax and accounting specialists come in handy.