The deadline to file your tax returns depends on how you want to submit your documents. Those people who have chosen eFiling or dropping off their documents at a South African Revenue Service (SARS) branch, have until 27th November 2015. GetMore has some top tax tips to make sure you stay on the right side of the law.

DO YOU NEED TO FILE A TAX RETURN?
A person who earns below R350 000 in a year does not have to file a return, if the following categories apply:
– You have only one employer
– You do not have a car allowance
– You do not receive other income (e.g. rent, interest)
– You won’t claim tax-related deductions (e.g. travel expenses, medical aid)
– You are receiving interest from a South African source not exceeding
o R23 800 (for people under 65 years old) or
o R34 500 (for people 65 or older) or
– You were paid dividends and you were a non-resident during the assessment year

FIRST-TIME TAX PAYERS
If you need to register as a tax payer, your first step is to complete an IT77 registration form, which you can get at a SARS branch or online at www.sars.gov.za. Once you receive your 10-digit tax number, it will be yours for life.

WHAT DOCUMENTS DO I NEED?
– An IRP5 or IT3(a) certificates from your employer
– Your banking details
– Certificates stating interest earned on income
– Medical aid certificates and receipts if you have additional medical aid expenses
– Certificates of your annuity fund contributions
– A travel logbook if you are claiming back for travel expenses
– Any other documents for income received or allowable deductions
Remember that you can be audited by SARS at any time if they are dissatisfied with what you have filed, this is why you need to keep all your original supporting documents for five years.

COMPLETING YOUR TAX RETURN
During the tax season you are required to submit an ITR12 (your Income Tax Return), so that SARS can calculate how much tax you need to pay on the income that you earn, and any tax-deductible expenses which may even result in a refund.
Tax can be complicated, which is why many people hire an accountant or seek help at a SARS branch. Some employers assist their staff with filing their returns, although a popular and simple way to submit your tax return is to use SARS eFiling.

BE HONEST AND ACCURATE
It’s important that you file your return on time every year, or you may be faced with a fine or a penalty. It’s also essential that you complete your returns correctly and that you have proof for every claim you make, otherwise you could receive a penalty from SARS. Overstating medical expenses or your number of dependants is a criminal offence. Additionally, if you don’t claim all your allowable deductions, then SARS will not pay you the refund you’re entitled to.

The tax deadline is close, and we recommend that you file your returns as soon as possible to avoid being caught in the rush. It’s tax season, so you must also be aware of email and SMS scams that ask for your banking and personal information. SARS will not request this information via an email or SMS.

If you need any help understanding tax or filing your tax returns, then call us – we’re here to help. A GetMore tax consultant is available to assist you, simply phone 084 11 438 48 today.

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