Have you ever started one of those ‘oh, this’ll be easy’ Do-It-Yourself jobs, only to find yourself utterly frustrated half-way through wondering - what was I thinking? Pieces of wood cut just a few millimetres short of what they should’ve been. Holes drilled in the wrong places. Screwdrivers in every size except the one you need, missing bolts or the wrong colour paint! These DIY disasters can land up costing you much more time and money to salvage (or in the worst-case scenario – start from scratch) than it would’ve if you’d hired a professional to do it for you from the get-go.
It’s a situation we see time and time again: Taxpayers who’ve used free, go-it-alone methods to do their tax return and who land up with their taxes in a mess. The main concern with this method is that there’s little in the way of guidance or prompting within the system, telling you exactly what you’re supposed to be filling out at each point, or what values you need to declare where. It’s exceptionally easy to make errors or omissions, and the scary part is that incorrect or incomplete tax returns can amount to penalties and administrative pain in the long run.
Did you know that SARS can penalise you with something called ‘unforced errors’? Legally, the onus is on you to have sufficient knowledge and understanding of the complex tax regulation and SARS guidelines to complete your taxes accurately. I’m not telling you this to create undue stress and panic. I’m telling you this because it happens – and it doesn’t need to!
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