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SARS & eFiling Posts in TaxTim's Blog

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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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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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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    I have received an Additional Assessment from SARS - what does this mean?




    After you have submitted your supporting documents to SARS, they have 21 working days to review them, assuming all sufficient documents have been received.  Once their review is complete, you will either:

    1. Receive a request for additional documents; or
    2. Receive a Completion Letter; or,
    3. Receive an Additional Assessment

    Additional Documents Request

    If SARS still requires for documents from you, they will either send ...

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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 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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    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 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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    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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    The Dangers of DIY Tax: How to Avoid Disaster




    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 w...

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    Penalty FAQs



    What is a recurring penalty? OR What are recurring SARS penalties? OR What does it mean to receive a penalty?
    This is a penalty for non-submission of your returns in previous years. You need to see which returns you have not submitted and submit them ASAP. You also need to make payment to SARS for this penalty, but you would have to call them on 0800 00 7277 or log onto SARS eFiling to get a current statement of account and know exactly what they want from you.

    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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    What You Need to Know About Changes to the Tax Clearance System



    Tax compliance makes its way into many aspects of life and business. Perhaps you’re considering applying for a tender, or for a foreign investment allowance to move funds offshore, or even looking to emigrate and leave our shores. These are just a few examples of instances where you may be asked by a third party to provide a Tax Clearance Certificate.

    And until now, the course of action to obtain your certificate has been a tedious one.

    Upon request, SARS would check its records and verify that the taxpayer had filed all required tax returns, paid all taxes, penalties and interest due, before releasing a Tax Clearance Certificate confirming a good standing...

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    SARS isn't paying my refund, they want my old returns!!!!



    Taxpayers this year are facing a new gripe with SARS when it comes to receiving those well-earned refunds. The current two scenarios are:

    • NO AUDIT: A taxpayer files a tax return, gets their ITA34 and does not need to submit supporting documents; or
    • AUDIT: A taxpayer files a return and in their ITA34 is requested to submit supporting documents, after which they receives a Completion Letter stating "no adjustment made".

    In both these cases a refund should be paid out a few days later (if the taxpayer is due one), however thousands of taxpayers still have not been paid their refund. Here’s why!...

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    Thank you Minister - we expected worse! 2015 Budget



    New Finance Minister Nene delivers his first budget with some “better than expected” tax increases. The fight against corruption was highlighted with the minster announcing a series of reforms and procedures to be introduced both to curb corruption and make doing business with the state easier. The minister announced that R25bn would be saved in expenditure over the next two years, but R16.8bn is to be raised this year via tax increases and a remarkably large rise in the fuel and road accident fund levies. To be honest, we expected greater tax increases from the minister, thankfully he spared us some of the pain! ...

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    What's the delay with getting my SARS Refund?



    SARS has typically been quick to refund taxpayers who have filed their tax returns and are due a refund, with money appearing back in their bank accounts smoothly and reliably, often within a day or two.

    However since the opening of this tax season on 1 July 2014, the process appears to have changed and suffered a few hiccups along the way. From the queries we have received over the last month from multiple confused taxpayers, it would seem that thousands of refunds were first paid out, then reversed...

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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. After the rush, when nothing happens, they often ask us "Ok I have submitted. What happens now?" In most cases where an income tax refund is due to a taxpayer, SARS pays it out within one or two days. However there are many instances when this does not happen, leaving people feeling unsure as to what is happening with their tax return and tax refund. ...

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    Garnishee orders explained: How SARS can deduct penalties directly from your pay cheque and how to stop it



    The last days of the month are often the most exciting for employees as they look forward to spending their monthly pay cheques. Unfortunately for many taxpayers anticipation quickly turns to grief when the money they receive in their bank account is suddenly less than they had expected. Stress and anxiety then result in light of impending debit orders and monthly expenses that need to be paid.

    Apart from the ordinary deductions that your employer takes off your salary each month - expenses for your benefit such as medical aid or a retirement / pension plan - there is another deduction that can take place unexpectedly: a garnishee order...

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    Important Information for Surviving the SARS Outbreak



    From the office of the Center for Dis-Ease Control, 12 Bliksem Straat, Pretoria, South Africa

    EPIDEMIOLOGICAL INFORMATION

    Severe Anxiety from Revenue Services (SARS) is a common affliction affecting millions of South Africans in all major city centres every year. Historically, symptoms begin to present themselves in the winter season from 1 July and continue to increase in severity towards a statistical peak for the epidemic on 22 November every year...

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    Why do I need to submit an Income Tax Return if my employer pays my Tax?



    A question often asked is, "If my boss pays over my tax then why do I have to do anything?"

    If you earn below R160 000 per year, SARS does not require that you complete and submit an ITR12 tax return. HOWEVER SARS will charge you an admin penalty for not submitting a return AND if you don't mention all your deductions you can't maximise your potential refund. So rather submit a return every year and stay tax compliant. With TaxTim it's easy. Remember as well that SARS doesn't know everything about you so you need to tell them to maximise your potential refund! ...

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    What to do if your second ITA34 assessment says you now owe SARS money



    If you have ever survived a SARS audit, you may have been issued with a "revised assessment" or second ITA34 that doesn't make much sense. It probably says that you now owe SARS some money, despite being due a refund. Don't be alarmed though, if you read lower down the new ITA34 you will find that in fact you are still due a refund, only it is probably smaller than before.

    For example:

    First IT34A (before audit):
    SARS says: "Your assessment has been concluded and reflects an amount refundable to you of R-16 636.10"...

    Read more →
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