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Latest Posts in TaxTim's Blog

Top Questions on Provisional Tax




With the first provisional return still fresh in the minds of taxpayers, we thought it would be a good time to highlight some questions that were asked to our Helpdesk last month.

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Return Status ‘Filed through Branch’ " What Does This Mean?



We’ve recently received many questions from taxpayers asking us if we physically went into a SARS office to submit their returns manually.

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Making payments to SARS




You have filed all your outstanding tax returns with SARS and when receiving your ITA34 assessment/ Statement of Account/ Penalty statement you notice that you owe SARS some tax. There are three main options available to you, if you want to make a payment to SARS.

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Tax on Pension Annuities




Taking a closer look at why taxpayers may be required to pay in tax on pensions or annuities on assessment and how they can avoid a repetition of this each year.

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SONA 2019 - A Short Summary



On 20 June 2019, President Cyril Ramaphosa delivered his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) of the sixth parliament, and for the first time in years, we witnessed an uninterrupted SONA. And that is not the only first. For the first time, the SONA cost almost R2m, a staggering 47% lower than the cost of SONA 2018 and the lowest in five years.

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SARS has done a ‘simulated calculation’ for me " what does this mean?




You may have heard the recent announcement from SARS that certain taxpayers who earn less than R500 000 per year don’t need to submit a tax return. However, this only applies under very specific conditions so it is extremely important to understand these fully if you think you may be affected. You can read all about this rule here.

This year SARS are taking things one step further. They ...

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How to claim medical aid costs for a family member




At TaxTim we receive many questions from taxpayers who pay medical aid for dependent family members and who want to know if they can claim for this in their tax return.

When paying medical aid contributions for a ‘financial dependent’ the medical scheme fees tax credit applies in respect of fees paid by the person to a medical scheme.  This means that the person who is paying the medical aid will receive the medical tax credits, and not the dependent/member of the medical aid. 

Who is a ‘dependent’?...

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Why is SARS requesting my supporting documents again?




TaxTim is seeing cases where taxpayers who had already submitted their documents in early July to SARS are, around ten days to two weeks later, receiving a further two letters from SARS requesting documents again. The one letter is the generic letter with the long list of documents, which was originally issued, while the second, contains a more specific request relating to the taxpayer’s tax return. 

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What should I do if I have no assessment from SARS after having filed a return?



Usually SARS issued an immediate assessment, however sometimes they do need to do a further manual check on their side. Often the reason for this is one of the following:

  • They are missing an IRP5/IT3a due to you having transferred a lumpsum between any retirement funds. For example if you changed jobs during the year or withdrew your lumpsum from a Pension/Provident or Retirement Annuity Fund then you should have been issued an IRP5/IT3a;

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    Top questions on Commission Earners




    Our helpdesk receives hundreds of questions from commission earners about how their tax is calculated. Many are also confused about which expenses they can claim.  Hopefully our FAQ will help other taxpayers who might be puzzling over the same issues.

    1. I have a salary and earn a small commission; can I claim for my travel to and from work every day? (The commission is based on the sales that my team makes telephonically per month).

    Should the commiss...

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    Clarifying the tax return threshold set by SARS




    You may have seen the latest announcement by the SARS commissioner to increase the qualifying threshold for certain taxpayers to submit a tax return from R350 000 to R500 000.

    However as with all previous years, this only applies to certain taxpayers and so it is very important to check if you are one of these.

    The threshold applies to you only if you meet ALL of the criteria below:

    • You have worked for a full 12 months for ONE employer only and received an IRP5;...


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    Top Questions on tax seasons




    By now you would have seen the latest announcement by the SARS commissioner to increase the qualifying threshold for certain taxpayers

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    How to lodge a complaint with SARS




    There are times when the call centre agent from SARS is unable to resolve your issue and you need to reach out to a more senior person at SARS.

    You can request to speak to a team leader / operations manager or the branch / call centre manager and they should be able to assist you. Always remember to note down the case number for your call. If however, you're not satisfied with the outcome of the issue, you can lodge a formal complaint with an agent at a SARS branch or on eFiling (if y...

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    Wear and Tear (Depreciation) Top Questions




    This week we zoom into Wear and Tear also commonly known as Depreciation. Below we've covered some of the top questions we've received from our Helpdesk. Take a quick read through our Q&As and see how your pressing depreciation questions can potentially be solved. 

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    Top Questions on IRP5s




    It’s that time of the year again and employers are issuing their employees IRP5s for the tax year. An IRP5 is a tax certificate which shows the total employment income that you earned for the tax year, the total employment related deductions that were taken from your income and paid over to either a retirement fund (pension, provident or retirement annuity fund) or a medical aid and the total tax  (PAYE, UIF and SDL) that you paid...

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    Tax Treatment for Uber Drivers




    If you are an Uber driver, you use your own vehicle/s to generate your income and you determine your own working hours, you will be treated as being self-employed  (i.e. an independent contractor) for tax purposes.

    Since you do not earn a salary, you should be registered as a provisional taxpayer with SARS.

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    A basic overview of the Balance Sheet and Income Statement




    From our numerous interactions with small business owners, it seems that many draw up the company’s financial statements by themselves, without engaging the services of a professional. Many don’t use accounting software but opt for a simple excel spreadsheet instead. Although this is cost-effective, it can be a daunting task, particularly for those with a sketchy (or non-existent) accounting background.

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    Capital Gains Tax (CGT) Top Questions




    Below we take a look at Capital Gains Tax, particularly relating to the primary residence exclusion. What we’ve covered are some of the most pressing questions asked by our users on our help-desk. Take a few minutes to read the Q&As. Hopefully what has been unpacked in these Q&As will benefit and assist you with any uncertainties you might have experienced regarding this topic.

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    Tax and winnings




    It's always wonderful to win a prize or a competition – however, many people don’t realise there may be tax consequences attached.

    This week we thought it would be helpful to remind you what to look out for, should you be the lucky recipient of one of the below:

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    SARS and medical disability




    We receive many relevant questions from our users about what they can claim as a tax deduction if they or one of their dependants suffers from a disability. This week, we will focus on this issue and hopefully help other taxpayers out there who may have the same questions.

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    Retirement Funds




    This week we received some questions from our users on retirement fund contributions and the laws that govern it. We hope that this helps you as you start gathering your documents for the new tax season.

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    Rental Property: Top Weekly Questions




    If you own a rental property, then this week’s top questions are specifically for you! Read on to find out more.

    1. We paid off our home loan 5 years ago - nil balance due. However, we will have the loan available to borrow from as the term of the loan is not complete (we still have 90 months left).

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    Top 5 Weekly Tax Questions



    Read on to see this week’s top five burning questions received to our Helpdesk this past week.  Hopefully this helps you too as we once again shed light on some common tax issues.

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    1 March 2020: Expats alert, tax changes are coming your way!




    In 2017, National Treasury announced that there would be changes to the Foreign Employment income Exemption. These changes were intended to target those South Africans working overseas on expat contracts, who had not formally emigrated and were intending to return ‘home’ to SA at a later stage. The proposed amendments would have seen South Africans working overseas in lo...

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    Tax Return, Rebate and Refund 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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