Latest Posts in TaxTim's Blog

Turnover Tax FAQs



What is the definition of tax threshold? Tax thresholds? SARS Threshold.
A Tax threshold is the lower limit of earnings at which tax needs to start being paid. So any income less than the current threshold, would not be taxed.

What is Turnover Tax? 
Turnover Tax is a simplified tax system only available to sole proprietors, partnerships, companies or close corporations with a “qualifying turnover” of less than R1m per year. These types of entities are called micro businesses....

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Rental Income FAQs



Should interest on your home loan be deducted from your rental income?
Yes, it does, the interest would go under the finance costs, the actual bond repayments are not deductible for tax purposes.

Should my rent which is paid by my boss, reflect on my payslip?
Yes, this would be fully taxable at the same rate as your salary. It can reflect as 'other allowances - taxable" and can reflect under source code 3713 on your IRP5.

Is there a VAT payment on maintenance expenses for my car? ...

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Provisional Tax FAQs



What is a provisional tax?
Provisional tax is paid by people who earn income other than a salary / traditional remuneration paid by an employer.

How do I convert from a provisional taxpayer to a regular taxpayer? OR How do I de-register as a Provisional Taxpayer?
Your tax number stays the same, just make sure that it has not been deactivated. This has happened in some cases. You will also need to de-register as a Provisional Taxpayer (this won’t affect your tax number) You can do this on eFiling by going to the Home Tab and clicking Tax Types and de-registering there. This will mean you are only a "regular" taxpayer...

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Contract Workers FAQs



Contracting Benefits vs Salary?
You will still be able to claim deductions for medical, travel and RA directly regardless of how you are earning income.

Contract worker and the tax effects?
Contractors are taxed if they earn above the threshold. This is the same as a full time employee. 

Tax Thresholds? 
For the 2018 tax year, anyone under 65 years of age earning above R75 750 will not pay tax. 

Digging into the detail of Building Allowances



The cement is all used up and the bricks have been laid exactly where they need to be. A huge sigh of relief because… finally, construction and renovations are complete! And, just when you thought the worry was over, you realise that the differences between the building allowance and renovations aren’t clear to you. “Aren’t they all the same?” is the question lingering in your head. Don't fret, below is a breakdown of the exact clarity you’re looking for.
...

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Special Economic Zones



Special Economic Zones (SEZ’s) are certain designated areas of a country demarcated by the government for special targeted economic activities. These are generally areas where business and trade laws are different from that of the rest of the country. The aim of these zones is to encourage increased foreign investment and trade, as well as job creation. This done by way of several tax incentives which are available to business which operate in SEZ’s.

They include the following:...

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Rebate FAQs



What is a rebate?
A rebate is an amount by which SARS takes off the actual taxes owing to them. SARS will calculate the amount of tax that you owe to them, based on your income and expenses throughout the year, then if certain conditions apply, they’ll reduce the amount due.

What does a negative tax refund amount mean?
This means SARS owes you money

What do I do if my refund was paid into the wrong bank account? ...

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Audit FAQs



What is the meaning of an audit? What is an audit from SARS? SARS audit What is a SARS audit?
Being audited just means that SARS could be doing a random selection and checking that all the information submitted is the same as they have.

How long does it take for SARS to pay me after an audit? OR Payment pending an audit, how long is that? OR Payment still pending due to audit.
It can take anywhere from 24 hours to a few months. You will receive a letter of completion once the audit has been verified indicating if any changes have been made. You just have to sit tight and be patient....

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Donations FAQs



Are donations to political parties’ tax deductible?
They are deductible if the political party is a registered Public Benefit Organisation/Not-For-Profit and is registered with SARS.

Are church donations deductible?
The church should give you a receipt with a PBO/NPO/NPC number, if they don't have a number then you cannot claim the deduction. The number needs to start with a 9. It should be either 9 or 10 digits. 

Foreign gift in the form of donation OR Donation from overseas OR Informing SARS of inheritance OR Donations received from overseas...

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IRP5 FAQs



What is an IRP5?
An IRP5 is the employee's tax certificate that is issued to him/her at the end of each tax year detailing all employer/employee related incomes, deductions, and related taxes. The employee uses it specifically to complete his/her income tax return for a specific year.

Do I need an IRP5?
Yes, you do if you were employed during the tax year.

Can I submit a return without an IRP5? OR Am I able to submit returns without my IRP5? OR Are you able to submit without the IRP5?...

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2017/2018 Budget - The rich are going to pay more, but what does that mean for the rest of us?



2017/2018 Budget - The rich are going to pay more, but what does that mean for the rest of us?


Personal Tax Rates (rates below)

Individuals across the country, those qualifying above the new tax threshold of R75 750 (previously R75 000) will be paying increased taxes of R16.5bn (previously R5.65bn in actual tax increase) for the next tax year, most of this will be for high income earners, however. Taxpayers generally across the board will be earning the tiniest bit more money each year as their tax brackets...

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Depreciation FAQs



What constitutes wear and tear? What is depreciation? What is the depreciation limit?
Wear and Tear or Depreciation is the decrease in value of an asset. SARS allows you to deduct this decrease each year based on the tables. See here for the latest Depreciation Calculator

Can I claim depreciation for my car as a sole proprietor if I have a log book by using the tax table?
You would be able to depreciate your car over 5 years, but you need to then apportion it for the use of business travel based on the logbook...

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Tax Exemption for Foreign Employment Income : What You Need to Know



Tax Exemption for Foreign Employment Income : What You Need to Know

If you think earning an income from a global source isn’t taxable on home soil, I’m afraid I have some bad news. Whether you’re earning Dollars, Euros or Yen, as a South African, it’s more than likely you’ll have to pay tax on this income. This is because South Africa’s taxation system works on a residence-based tax system meaning we’re taxed on worldwide income.

There is, however, some good news!

Section 10 of the Income Tax Act offers a list of conditions where income earned (or at least a portion of it) for services rendered outside of South Africa borders will be exempt from income tax.

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6 Reasons Accounting Records Are Critical to Your Small Business



6 Reasons Accounting Records Are Critical to Your Small Business

You’re an entrepreneur. A wildly innovative individual. An ideas person. A make-things-happen person. A real go-getter. Passionate about your business and pursuing your dreams. And brilliant at keeping your accounting records up to date. Chances are that last one doesn’t ring true, does it? Don’t feel alone, financial record-keeping is the bane of existence for most small business owners and managers. 

When you’re in the throes of building your empire from the gr...

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Special Stopper at SARS: What We Know For Sure



Special Stopper at SARS: What We Know For Sure

Over the last few weeks, our helpdesk has received an alarming number of queries from taxpayers asking what they can do as their refunds are being held back by SARS due to a special stopper being placed on their account. It’s a complex situation and the only advice we've been able to provide has been for the individual to make contact with SARS directly to try resolve the matter.

The South African Institute of Tax Professionals (SAIT) issued a statement on Tuesday 20 September 2016 advising that they’re looking into the issue after numerous complaints had been raised...

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Promised a Guaranteed Tax Refund? Be Afraid - Be Very Afraid



Promised a Guaranteed Tax Refund? Be Afraid - Be Very Afraid

Guarantees are pretty powerful – they’re used by leading manufacturers and retailers to gain our confidence and trust. We’ve all come across them at some point or another: “Life time guarantee”, “money back guarantee”, “product satisfaction guaranteed, or your money back”. They’re a promise. A promise that your purchase will provide you with a level of value, or a return on your investment. While a guarantee is common – expected, ...

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10 Ways to Spend Your Tax Refund



10 Ways to Spend Your Tax Refund

It’s tax season, and one of the most compelling reasons to file a tax return (besides the fact that it’s the law, of course) is the chance that you’ve overpaid the taxman and that you’ll hear that sweet SMS sound of funds deposited into your bank account from SARS. Of course the best part about a tax refund is that it’s likely you hadn’t budgeted on the extra cash, and so you’re able to spend it as you please. Whether you choose to do so sensibly or splurge a little, we’ve rounded up some ideas on how to spend or invest your tax refund.

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7 Types of Tax Directives





Imagine you’re an estate agent or luxury car salesman. Chances are that you don’t earn much (if anything) as a basic salary and you rely on a few big deals and commission payments to keep you afloat during quieter months.

Or ima...

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Tax Free Savings Accounts: Everything You Need to Know



As a nation, South Africa does rather poorly on the savings front. With the majority living near or below the breadline, there’s not much to save when you’re more concerned with just getting through the month. Our high levels of consumer-debt, combined with little in the way of personal savings, means we become financial burdens on the government in the long-run...

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5 Great Reasons to File Your Tax Return Early This Year



Are you the type of person dashing into the store to grab a birthday gift en route to a party? Or perhaps you’ve found yourself scratching through your craft box at 11pm the night before to make a ‘World Book Day’ outfit for your son? Or possibly you’re one of the hundreds of thousands of South Africans who waits until the last week of November to file your tax return?

While I’m not suggesting that every minute of your life needs to be pre-planned and organised, there are certainly a number of benefits to getting your tax done early...

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Tax on Bonus Payments: How Does it Work?



For those fortunate enough to receive bonus payments as part of your remuneration, you’ll understand the frustration of seeing one amount on your letter of bonus, but a dwindled amount reflecting in your bank account on payment.

We receive hundreds of queries from people with regards to what percentage tax they’ll have to pay on a bonus they’ll be receiving, either annually or as an adhoc performance bonus. Much like other variable incomes, such as commission, there’s a misconception that tax on a bonus payment is withheld at a higher rate.

The fact is that there’s no special ‘bonus tax rate’...

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How is Commission Taxed? 3 Ways Your Company Taxes Commission



Our helpdesk receives hundreds of questions related to tax where commission is involved. A misconception that comes up time and time again is that people believe commission is taxed at a higher rate than what a fixed salary is.

This isn’t true!

Tax on commission is at exactly the same rate as a fixed salary.

The confusion comes from the fact that tax is calculated on a different amount each month (depending on your performance, of course), and this can result in different tax rates being applied month to month...

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The Smart Way to Save Tax when Renting out a Property



Taxpayers who earn rental income from a second property of theirs often don’t know what they need to do when it comes to declaring this income to SARS. Sometimes taxpayers think that they don’t have to declare this extra income, or can hide it from SARS by not entering it on their tax return form - a big mistake!

The truth is that extra income earned from rental is taxable, and SARS needs to know about it. In some cases - if the amount earned (profit) outside of a salary...

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What is Turnover Tax?



Turnover Tax is a simplified tax system only available to sole proprietors, partnerships, companies or close corporations with a “qualifying turnover” of less than R1m per year. These types of entities are called micro businesses.

As the name implies, Turnover Tax is a type of tax, which is calculated against the turnover of a business, as opposed to a percentage of profit (i.e. income less business expenses) as per usual business tax. This difference reduces the administrat...

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What Medical Expenses Can You Claim Back from Tax



Medical expenses are nothing to sneeze at. Private medical treatment is increasingly pushing the limits of medical aid scheme benefits and our wallets. It's an outlay few can avoid. Luckily, certain medical expenses come with a bit of tax relief in the way of tax credits.

A tax credit is a non-refundable rebate. This means that a portion of your qualifying expenses, in this case medical related spend, is converted to a tax credit, which is deducted from your overall tax liability (the amount of tax you have to pay SARS)...

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