What you need to know about SARS auto assessments




1. What is an auto-assessment?
This is an automatic assessment issued by SARS to certain taxpayers. SARS will use data collected from employers, financial institutions, medical schemes, retirement annuity fund administrators and other 3rd party data providers to generate the assessment automatically, without any input from the taxpayer.

2. Why has SARS introduced this process?

This process was started in 2019 – however, it has been expanded on this year in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and the need for physical distancing. It is intended to remove the need for taxpayers to travel to branches to file returns there.
 
3. How will I know if I have been auto-assessed?
You should receive a SMS from SARS informing you that you have been selected for auto-assessment. SARS have indicated that the process will start from 1 August 2020.
 
4. Should I accept the auto-assessment?
No, we think there are risks involved. Your auto-assessment may be inaccurate and accepting it, could result in you paying more tax than necessary.
 
"Why is this the case?"
 
SARS may not have received all of your tax certificates
SARS may not have your most up-to-date tax certificates
You may miss out on claiming certain deductions, which won’t appear on your auto-assessment e.g. wear and tear, home office and donations to charities.
 
5. If I reject it, what happens next?
You can file your tax return as normal as soon as tax-filing season opens on 1 September 2020.
Filing a tax return means that you can include all of your possible deductions so as to pay less tax and maximize your chance of a refund.

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

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