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Was I qualified to pay tax return in 2007-2008?

I never submitted my tax return for 2007-2008. At that time, I was earning R69000 per annum. Also the tax return was done manually and unfortunately I can't find any copy. Now in 2012, SARS wants me to pay R8000 penalty.

My questions are:

1: was I qualified to pay my tax return?
2: What must do to dispute this penalty as I am not earning much currently?

Thanks in advance for your advice.
Ps: I am a permanent resident(SA).

TaxTim TaxTim says:
21 November 2012 at 23:07

You were subject to pay tax on R69 000 in 2008 unfortunately and SARS have become really sticky with their penalties. To dispute a penalty you need to complete a Request for Remission (RFR01) or a Notice of Objection (NOO) which is available online on www.sars.gov.za.

You can go into a SARS office and dispute this as well which may be quicker given the length of time it takes to lodge an objection/dispute.

When did you arrive in SA and begin working? This may make a big difference to your situation?

Antoine says:
21 November 2012 at 23:45

Thanks Tim for your prompt answer.
I arrive in SA in 1999, and I started working in 2002.

1. What arguments should I use to dispute this penalty?
2. What was the amount required in 2007-2008 for an individual to pay tax return.
In my case, the company deducted UIF AND PAYE....But there is nothing on SARS system that shows that I submitted my returns.

After 2007-2008, I was working on a part-time basis for the company earning between R1500 to R4000. Even now in 2012, my salary doesn't exceed R3500.

Please help, what should I do?

TaxTim TaxTim says:
22 November 2012 at 0:21

The tax threshold for the 2008 year of assessment was R43 000 per year and given your income of R69 000 you would have paid tax on the R26 000 difference at 18%. That's probably where half your problem lies. By not submitting a return for that year, penalties and interest has been added to the original amount.

You would need to go online and actually submit the returns for all the outstanding years, if you receive an IRP5 from your employers then that will already be online. Remember that if you have medical aid you can deduct these amounts however based on what you have said it is most likely you will not be paying tax and just need to click the File button on your pre-filled returns!

When speaking to SARS, I suggest mentioning that you were unaware of how to submit your returns at the time and explain that you do not earn enough to pay tax let alone the penalties and ask them to reduce it as you are now coming in to sort out all your tax affairs and becoming compliant. When going into a SARS office take ALL your paperwork with you including IRP5's and medical certificates.

Let me know if you need anything else?

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