Some common (and sometimes forgotten) tax deductions
Posted 19 July 2019
Too often, taxpayers rush when completing their tax return, and then they miss out on some expenses they are eligible to claim. Don’t overpay tax by overlooking these seven common tax breaks.
Contributions towards a Retirement Annuity
Your contributions towards retirement funds are deductible for tax up to a limit of 27,5% of the greater of your taxable income or remuneration (to a maximum of R350,000 per year). This limit applies to the total contributions you make to any Pension, Provident or Retirement Annuity (RA) fund during the year...
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Wear and Tear (Depreciation) Top Questions
Posted 21 May 2019
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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Tax Breaks For All
Posted 31 July 2018
Primary, secondary, and tertiary rebates – depending on your age. A rebate is a set amount that SARS whacks off your total tax liability and basically represents the amount excluded by the minimum threshold to pay tax.
Primary rebate is for those under 65 years of age (on the last day of the tax year), the secondary rebate applies to those between 65 and 75 years old, and the tertiary rebate is added for those over 75 years old...Read more →
Use of personal devices for work letter
Posted 4 June 2018
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:
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Posted 17 February 2017
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...Read more →
How is Commission Taxed? 3 Ways Your Company Taxes Commission
Posted 14 April 2016
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
Posted 8 April 2016
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...Read more →
Swear an affidavit for SARS
Posted 7 August 2015
Has SARS asked you for documents that you can't produce, such as an old IRP5 from a prior year that your employer doesn't have, or that simply doesn't exist?
To prove to SARS that you cannot produce the document they want, you will need to produce what is called a sworn affidavit.
This is basically a letter that you must write, that you then take to your nearest police station to get signed and stamped.
Items to include:
1. Your name, ID number and contact details...Read more →
SARS isn't paying my refund, they want my old returns!!!!
Posted 3 August 2015
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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How to manage your tax affairs running a business in your own name as a sole-proprietor
Posted 1 October 2012
South Africa is brimming with entrepreneurs and small business owners who keep the economy running. These people may or may not be earning a regular salary too, but all of them operate a non-registered business in their own name - a so-called sole-proprietorship. In this blog post we will discuss how such a business pays tax, how it is taxed, and how to separate personal and business affairs to make tax deductions correctly.
To register or not to register as a company?
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What to do if your second ITA34 assessment says you now owe SARS money
Posted 6 September 2012
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.
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 →
SARS is asking for more documents. Are they auditing me?
Posted 13 August 2012
For most people upon submission of their year-end income tax return, either nothing much will happen or a refund will be due, this being paid back within a matter of days. However in a small number of cases SARS requires extra documentation or proof to be submitted so that they can verify that everything you submitted in your tax return is correct. Don’t be afraid, although many people consider this an “audit” it isn’t nearly as frightening as that and doesn't mean you have done anything wrong. A true audit would be SARS requesting years of past documentation and opening up for examination all your tax affairs from previous years. ...Read more →
Do I earn enough to have to pay tax?
Posted 26 March 2012
Why must I pay tax, I don’t earn enough! Will I get a penalty if I don’t disclose all my income to SARS? These questions are common and usually include other sources of income such as interest from a bank account. If these earnings don't extend above the tax threshold then why disclose them and pay tax? Unfortunately while you may not have to pay tax on the income, you will certainly have to disclose it to SARS. Let’s assume you earn a salary of R200 000 a year and hav...Read more →