Latest Posts in TaxTim's Blog

Why have I received a smaller tax refund from SARS this year?

We receive many queries from confused taxpayers who are disappointed to see their tax refunds are smaller than the refund received last year.

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Get your digital tax health score to help you pay less tax

TaxTim, which helps you to complete and file your tax returns online with the help of a digital tax expert called Tim, now offers a personalised tax health score report free which could help users pay less tax.

The score is the result of an in depth automated analysis of an individual’s tax return. It makes recommendations on how to improve tax health for maximum tax efficiency.

“For the first time, taxpayers will have a report card reflecting where they can improve their tax affairs and maximise efficiency...

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What to expect after submitting your tax return to SARS

As soon as tax season opens in July, many taxpayers rush to submit their ITR12 tax returns as early as possible, eagerly hoping for a nice refund.

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How to calculate totals under source codes 3696 and 3699 for 2020

Perhaps you just tried to submit your tax return and you instantly got an error relating to 3696 and 3699. As frustrating as it could be, don’t worry the error can be fixed. Maybe, you might have just simply left an amount out. Let’s have a look at what you should do, in order to crack these codes correctly – in that way making filing much more easier for you.

You’ll need to check your IRP5 to make sure you answered TaxTim's questions for these amounts correctly. Your IRP5 can show one or more amounts with source codes describing the income you received from your employer that year. ...

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Foreign Employment Exemption Letter


Employee's Full Name

To Whom It May Concern,

Subject: Confirmation of foreign employment

This letter serves to confirm that____________________________(Name of employee) _______________________(ID number) is employed by __________________________(company name) in the capacity of__________________________(position).
He/she is contracted to work overseas in _______________ (country)  from ______________dd/mm/yy to ________________dd/mm/yy.  ...

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Use of personal devices for work letter


Employee's Full Name


To Whom It May Concern,

Subject: Permission to use personal items for work purposes

This letter serves to confirm that _______________________________(Name of employee), ___________________________(ID number) who is employed by our firm ___________________( company name) in the capacity of__________________________(Position) has permission to use  the following personal items for work purposes:


Item: 1...

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Home Office Letter


Employee's Full Name


 To Whom It May Concern,

Subject: Permission to work from home

This letter serves to confirm that _______________________________ (Name of employee), _____________________ (ID number) who is employed by our firm ___________________ (Company name) in the capacity of __________________________ (Position) has permission to work from home in order to fulfil his/her duties to the company.  ...

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Letters you may need to provide to SARS

After submission of your tax return, SARS may request certain documents from you.
These may include a letter if you claimed any of the following deductions:

- Home Office
- Wear and Tear on personal devices used for work e.g laptop or cellphone.
- Foreign Employment Income Exemption...

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How Do Taxpayers Feel About The Proposed New Filing Deadline?

On Monday 21st May, TaxTim conducted a simple survey of taxpayers who make use of the TaxTim services about their opinion on SARS’ proposal to shorten the tax filing season by 3 weeks.

An email was sent out containing the following:

“SARS recently published a Draft Notice of who needs to file a tax return and when tax returns will be due for the 2018 tax season. SARS are planning to move the submission deadline 3 weeks earlier to 31st October 2018 for all non-provisional taxpayers. ...

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What supporting documents do I need to submit to SARS?

After submission of your tax return, when you receive your tax assessment (ITA34) from SARS, you need to scan down to the block “Compliance Information” to see if SARS requires anything further from you. You will see “Selected for audit or verification” with a Y or N (Yes or No) next to it. If you have a N, you can breathe a sigh of relief and consider yourself fortunate that SARS probably doesn’t require anything further from you for this tax year. If you have a Y in the block (and we are seeing this more and more frequently) it means that SARS wants to see evidence or back up which supports the amounts you entered on your tax return....

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Be smart and save tax when receiving income from an Airbnb

Taxpayers who earn Airbnb income 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 Airbnb income is taxable, and SARS needs to know about it. In some cases - if the amount earned (profit) outside of a salary is larger than R30,000 a y...

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The 3 R's: Returns, Rebates and Refunds Explained

When it comes to tax jargon, most people prefer to bury their heads in the sand instead of trying to understand all the confusing terms that tax practitioners use. Taxpayers just want to do their tax quickly and easily, and if they’re due - receive some money back from SARS. A lot of confusion surrounds the process, but by understanding three simple terms you can make tax season a little bit easier.

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Budget Speech: VAT rises by 1%, predictions were correct!

Taxpayers should breathe a sigh of relief as a much lower than expected R36bn in increased taxes was announced by the once-off Minister of Finance. The biggest news amongst the increases was the VAT rise of 1%. For the first time in 25 years, all South Africans will see most goods and services become a little bit more expensive thanks to the Value Added Tax rise. Although controversial, a VAT rise was much needed and will bring in almost R23...

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Mirror Mirror on the Wall, Where Do We Look to Plug the Shortfall?

By now we are all aware that it is more than likely that SARS will miss its 2018 revenue collection target that it set a year ago by R51bn. The budget deficit (i.e. the gap between government expenditure and income) for the first eight months of the tax year from April to November 2017 widened to a record R195 billion as tax collections lagged due to a slowing economy, low business confidence and a possible slippage in compliance by taxpayers. Sadly, there’s no light at the end of the tunn...

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I've raised a dispute: Do I need to pay?

Many disgruntled taxpayers are receiving SMS’s from SARS who threaten legal action if they don’t pay their outstanding tax debt.

However, these same taxpayers raised a dispute/lodged an objection because they didn’t agree with the SARS assessment and are still waiting for the dispute to be resolved.

This can take up to 60 working days and in many cases, even longer. In fact if the dispute was raised at the end of last year, SARS will take even longer because the period 15 December to 15 Janaury is excluded from the 60 day review period!...

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Latest SARS Guide: Tax treatment of retrenchment benefits

In the past, taxpayers who received a severance payment benefitted from the favourable tax treatment applied to it. It didn’t matter if the retrenchment was ‘voluntary’ or ‘involuntary’ (i.e. forced). If it was their first such lump sum, R500,000 was exempt from tax and the balance was taxed according to special tax tables.

For the first time last year, SARS issued a guide on Tax Directives, which distinguished, between ‘voluntary’ and ‘involuntary’ retrenchments as follows:...

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Disposal of Small Business Assets

If you have reached the age of 55 years, and are thinking of selling your small business, read on to find out more about the special capital gains exclusion of R1,800,000 which may apply to you.

Before getting into the detail, let’s first highlight the three different scenarios where this exclusion may apply:

1. You are selling your business, which you operate as a sole proprietor.
2. You are selling your share of a business, which you run through a partnership....

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Navigating around your Momentum tax certificate (IT3b)

1. Local interest - source code 4201

Navigating around your Investec investment tax certificate (IT3b)

1. Local interest - source code 4201
2. Local dividends - you don't need to enter this on your tax return. This income is exempt....

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Navigating around your FNB tax certificate (IT3b)

1. Local credit interest (income) - source code 4201. 
2. Local debit interest (expense) - you don't need to enter this on your tax return.

Navigating around your Allan Gray tax certificate (IT3b)

1. Local interest - source code 4201
2. Foreign interest - source code 4218
3. Foreign tax credit on foreign interest - source code 4113
4. Local dividends - you don't need to enter this on your tax return. This income is exempt from tax.
5. Real Estate Investment Income (REIT) - source code 4238
6. Foreign dividends - source code 4216
7. Foreign tax credit on foreign dividends - source code 4112...

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Navigating around your Alexander Forbes investment tax certificate (IT3b)

1. Local dividend - subject to dividend withholding tax. You don't need to enter it in your tax return.
2. Local interest - source code 4201.
3. Distribution from a REIT (Real Estate Investment Trust) - source code 4238.
4. Withholding tax on local dividend - you don't need to enter it in your tax return (see note 1).

Navigating around your investment tax certificate (IT3b)

If you hold investments with a bank or financial institution, there is important information on your IT3(b) tax certificate which needs to be included in your tax return.

This will ensure your taxable income is calculated accurately with the correct interest, foreign dividends and foreign tax credits included. 

Do you hold investments at any of the below institutions?

Alexander Forbes...

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Tax and Marriage go together, like a horse and carriage

When planning your wedding, it’s highly unlikely that anything related to tax features on your agenda. However, when saying “I do” it’s very important to understand the tax laws associated with marriage because SARS treats income differently according to the type of marriage contract that binds you and your spouse.

Marriage in Community of Property

If you marry without an antenuptial contract, you’ll by default be married in community of property...

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Navigating around your Wooltru Medical Aid Certificate

1. Name of Medical Scheme
2. Medical Scheme Membership number
3. Number of members/dependents per month
4. Total contributions
5. Claims you paid personally that were not covered by the Medical Aid


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