24 November 2017 is the most important date on the calendar for taxpayers. It's when most taxpayers have to file their annual tax returns.
Each year, more than two million taxpayers leave filing their tax returns to the last minute and hope to get them in before midnight on that last Friday in November.
Taxpayers who miss the deadline and have outstanding returns could be subject to a minimum of R250 per month penalty and interest. Penalties could range up to R16 000 per month in the case of higher-earning taxpayers.
Marc Sevitz, co-founder, and CFO of TaxTim says taxpayers asking themselves what exactly to do if they are running late and not ready to submit their return by the deadline need not fear.
Often taxpayers fear filing a tax return and the result, but there should be no need for anxiety as these easy steps will get them filed and hopefully a refund just before Christmas as well!”— Marc Sevitz, co-founder and CFO of TaxTim
A simple checklist to get ready and then submit your return online is all you need to be compliant for the 2017 tax year.
Step 1 Check your email, your post-box or possibly the pigeonhole at your office for your IRP5. This is the document your employer needs to give you which is a summary of all your payslips for the tax year. If for some reason you are unable to obtain your IRP5, maybe your previous employer has closed down, you will need to go to your local police station and swear an affidavit stating reasons why you don’t have an IRP5. You will need to submit this to SARS when you do your tax return.
Step 2 Check on your IRP5 or with SARS that you are registered as a taxpayer.
Step 3 Make sure you have a SARS eFiling profile and can remember your login details. If you are unable to recall this, phone 0800 00 7277 to retrieve your details. SARS eFiling is an online process for the submission of returns.
Step 4 Gather all your other tax-related documents from your service providers:
• Medical aid – medical aid tax certificate • Banks – IT3b • Investment houses – IT3b & IT3c • Charity – s18A tax certificate
Step 5 If you travelled for work purposes and received a travel allowance or made use of a company car, then you should get your logbook with the following details:
• Opening and closing kilometres for 1 March 2016 and 28 Feb 2017 • Business travel kilometres per day and reason for business travel • Make, model, registration, and cost of vehicle
Step 6 Deductions • If you worked from home or made use of a personal laptop or phone for work purposes, then make sure your employer has agreed to this in a letter or it is written in your employment contract. You can deduct these expenses as well, provided they are work-related. • Any medical expenses not covered by your medical aid paid by you, (those that were paid to a registered medical practitioner or tests at a lab or hospital) are also tax deductible. Gather these documents including proof of payment and include on your tax return as well. Download TaxTim’s Tax Deductibles eBook which shares all you need to know about tax deductibles.
Step 7 Take advantage of filing your tax return on TaxTim or SARS eFiling. Some find SARS eFiling tricky and TaxTim helps to make it really simple. Make sure to do this sooner, rather than later, and give yourself a few days to make sure you have your return filed. Remember millions of other taxpayers will try and file on the very last day which could cause some issues. Get it done as soon as possible.
Step 8 Relax, take it easy, spend 20 minutes completing and filing your return with ease, confidence, and simplicity. The best advice is not to panic!
If you are finding it difficult to gather documents for steps 2, 3 and 4, start right now. Phone the companies you need information from, and you will have time before the deadline.
Don’t delay, the time to start is now!
(TaxTim is a website which provides an online service to help in the completion and filing of tax returns, with the expert guidance of Tim, a digital tax assistant. and an e-book to make it all a lot easier.)