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FAQs on TaxTim

We’ve put together a few FAQs which have come from many of our users. These questions vary from the filing process on TaxTim as well as the generic tax questions which can often be quite unclear. With the tax filing season deadline being just around the corner, we’d like to ensure you’ve got the correct information and tools to help you navigate your way around the processes. Knowing exactly what to do when it comes to your taxes during this final stretch. After all, according to SARS, filing a tax return is your responsibility and not your employers'....

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File by 31 October or face heavy fines and potential legal action!

With the tax season shortened this year by 3 weeks, the deadline to file by 31 October is just around the corner. SARS announced that it will be clamping down on taxpayers who miss the deadline to submit their tax return. Besides stating that they will impose monthly fines for late tax returns, they have even gone so far as threatening criminal prosecution and time behind bars for unpaid tax debt, just as many of us have witnessed with the recent celebrity headlines....

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After all my documents submissions to SARS, they disallowed my expenses, why?

We are starting to see some common trends whereby taxpayers’ expenses are disallowed because the documents submitted are falling short of SARS’s requirements.  To avoid unnecessary frustration and time wasted in raising disputes, read on to see if any of these areas apply to you.

Travel deduction

In prior years, the submission of a logbook detailing your business mileage used to be sufficient to justify your travel claim. This year, SARS is re...

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Why must I submit an IRP5/IT3a if I never received any lump sum cash?

We receive many questions from taxpayers who are confused as to why they receive an IRP5/IT3a for retirement fund withdrawals or transfers and how to report this (if at all) in their tax return. If this applies to you, read on and let us clarify the issue for you.

IRP5/IT3a for retirement fund withdrawal, resignation or transfer

If you withdraw money or retire from your retirement fund and receive a lumpsum, the fund will have to apply for a tax directive for you and should also issue you an IRP5/IT3a...

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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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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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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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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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