Tax season always throws up some interesting and confusing calculations, but for many, the most confusing of all is how medical aid contributions and Out of Pocket medical expenses are treated.
Like in previous years, there have always been opening tax season niggles and 2019 has been no different. Patience is a virtue, so the adage goes. And when it comes to waiting for responses from most government departments, they can certainly put your skills of tolerance to the test. Our helpdesk is inundated with questions about how long SARS will take to react or respond to certain requests or submissions. The short answer is ‘typically, quite a while’. You can imagine that during their busy filing season there are hundreds of thousands of documents being processed and not all administration can be automated...
SARS has just announced that if you earn less than R500 000 in a year, and fulfill a series of complicated criteria, you may not have to file a tax return for 2019.
Previously, SARS had communicated that if you earn less than R350 000 in a year you may not have to file a tax return.
However, we advise you to take GREAT CARE here, and understand your duties properly, because if you don't, you may suffer for it later on.
Here are the top 5 reasons why not to skip filing your tax return this season:Read more →
What to expect in 2018 after submitting your tax return to SARS
Posted 1 July 2018
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 what is happening to their refund? In most cases where an income tax refund is due to a taxpayer, SARS pays it out within one or two days...Read more →
The 3 R's: Returns, Rebates and Refunds Explained
Posted 20 March 2018
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.Read more →
Posted 6 March 2017
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.
Posted 22 February 2017
What is a rebate?
A rebate is an amount by which SARS takes off the actual taxes owing to them. SARS will calculate the amount of tax that you owe to them, based on your income and expenses throughout the year, then if certain conditions apply, they’ll reduce the amount due.
What does a negative tax refund amount mean?
This means SARS owes you money
What do I do if my refund was paid into the wrong bank account? ...Read more →
Promised a Guaranteed Tax Refund? Be Afraid - Be Very Afraid
Posted 16 September 2016
Guarantees are pretty powerful – they’re used by leading manufacturers and retailers to gain our confidence and trust. We’ve all come across them at some point or another: “Life time guarantee”, “money back guarantee”, “product satisfaction guaranteed, or your money back”. They’re a promise. A promise that your purchase will provide you with a level of value, or a return on your investment. While a guarantee is common – expected, ...Read more →
5 Great Reasons to File Your Tax Return Early This Year
Posted 24 May 2016
Are you the type of person dashing into the store to grab a birthday gift en route to a party? Or perhaps you’ve found yourself scratching through your craft box at 11pm the night before to make a ‘World Book Day’ outfit for your son? Or possibly you’re one of the hundreds of thousands of South Africans who waits until the last week of November to file your tax return?
While I’m not suggesting that every minute of your life needs to be pre-planned and organised, there are certainly a number of benefits to getting your tax done early...
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...
Read more →
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 →
What is Turnover Tax?
Posted 23 March 2016
Turnover Tax is a simplified tax system only available to sole proprietors, partnerships, companies or close corporations with a “qualifying turnover” of less than R1m per year. These types of entities are called micro businesses.
As the name implies, Turnover Tax is a type of tax, which is calculated against the turnover of a business, as opposed to a percentage of profit (i.e. income less business expenses) as per usual business tax. This difference reduces the administrat...
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4 Common Provisional Tax Penalties - And How to Avoid Them
Posted 29 February 2016
Seasoned provisional taxpayers – those people who earn income from sources other than, or in addition to a regular ol' salary or traditional payment from an employer - are all too familiar with the process of estimating taxable income and submitting provisional tax returns. Not once - but twice a year!
Yes, it's a bit painful (although TaxTim makes it super easy) but entirely necessary if you don't want to be lumped with penalties from SARS...
Read more →
2016 Budget Speech: Welcome Back, Minister! You Couldn't Have Returned Just for the Free Lunch?
Posted 25 February 2016
The 24th of February 2016 was supposed to be a watershed moment for the Economy of South Africa. The old-new Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan, was to deliver his budget for the 2016/2017 tax year and save South Africa from a financial pit-fall in the form of an International Ratings Agency downgrade. The jury is still out on whether or not this is possible. Immediately after the budget was revealed the Rand tumbled 2%, which doesn’t bode well for market sentiment. However, ...
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What You Need to Know About Changes to the Tax Clearance System
Posted 23 February 2016
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...
Read more →
Retirement Funds Tax Laws Effective 1 March 2016 - How SARS' New Changes Affect You!
Posted 10 February 2016
If you’re diligently putting money away for your retirement in the form of a pension, provident fund or retirement annuity, you may be curious – perhaps even a touch concerned – about the changes SARS has made to the retirement fund tax laws, which come into effect on 1 March 2016.
If you missed the news, here's a quick overview.
SARS have changed how contributions to retirement funds are treated from a tax perspective, as well as how your funds are managed when you retire...
Read more →
Calculate interest on late provisional tax payment
Posted 28 September 2015
SARS charges interest on late payments made toward provisional tax deadlines.
To calculate this late payment penalty, use the formula below:
Provisional tax amount x 10.25% x (days after deadline / 365)
Use the calculator below:
Read more →
Thank you Minister - we expected worse! 2015 Budget
Posted 25 February 2015
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! ...Read more →
What to Expect after Submitting your Tax Return to SARS
Posted 23 July 2014
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
...Read more →
What if I am not tax compliant?
Posted 22 May 2014
SARS, in their attempt to promote compliant taxpayers and maximise timely revenue collection, have traditionally imposed penalties for late filing of tax returns. In 2012 SARS upped their game significantly and imposed heavy fines for the following transgressions which still hold to today:
- Failure to register as a taxpayer.
- Failure to inform SARS of a change of address and other personal particulars.
...Read more →
2014 Budget - A move to economic transformation
Posted 26 February 2014
In delivering what could possibly be his last annual budget and perhaps in an election year a very pragmatic one, Minister Pravin Gordhan painted a rather positive picture for the future of South Africa, whilst at the same time warning of the impact the global economy is having on the South African economy. He too, had a “good story” to tell of how well managed the economy is and how we have survived the economic downturn of the last half decade. The minister, like his predecessors b...Read more →
Garnishee orders explained: How SARS can deduct penalties directly from your pay cheque and how to stop it
Posted 14 November 2013
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...Read more →
Important Information for Surviving the SARS Outbreak
Posted 18 June 2013
From the office of the Center for Dis-Ease Control, 12 Bliksem Straat, Pretoria, South Africa
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...Read more →
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