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It’s tax return time again for individual taxpayers

Are you one of those super-efficient individuals that submitted your tax return immediately when the season opened on 1 July 2014 or do you procrastinate, letting the looming deadline cause distress due to the possible penalties and fines for late submissions?


This time of the year need not give you a headache. If you have gathered the correct documentation, the process can be very simple with various submission options and plenty of support available to help you along the way.


You can deliver or post your manual returns to your local SARS branches by 26 September, if you’re going to file the old-fashioned way. If you’re planning to file an electronic return at a SARS branch, you will have until 21 November 2014, whether you’re a provisional or non-provisional taxpayer.


A better option is to use the SARS eFiling online system. If you’re a non-provisional taxpayer, you may file using SARS eFiling until 21 November. Provisional taxpayers have more time and may submit electronic returns via eFiling until 30 January 2015.


Beat the rush

Karen Schmikl, Business Manager for Sage Online Payroll, says it’s a good idea to collect your tax documentation as soon as possible and to file way ahead of the official deadline. She notes that 17 000 taxpayers submitted returns by mid-July, so it is wise to avoid the stampede when the deadline approaches.


“Your first step is to gather proof of your contributions to retirement annuities and medical schemes as well as of your investment income, dividends and lump sum payments,” she says. “It’s a good idea to be well prepared to avoid the stress that accompanies the last-minute rush.”


Document checklist

It is not compulsory to submit supporting documentation when you submit your tax return, but SARS may ask for your documents at any time. Keep them on file for five years—including the following:

  • Your tax certificate [IRP5/IT3(a)].
  • Medical contribution certificates as well as proof of the costs you paid that were not covered by your medical aid.
  • Confirmation of diagnosis of disability, if you want to claim these expenses.
  • Pension and retirement annuity certificates.
  • Travel logbook, if you get a travel allowance, are reimbursed per kilometre or have a company car.
  • Investment income tax certificates [IT3(b)]
  • Information relevant to Capital Gains Tax


Exemptions from filing a tax return

If you earn less than R250,000 a year, you may choose to not submit an income tax return, provided you meet the following criteria:

  • Your remuneration was from a single employer and for a full year of assessment (1 March 2013 to 28 February 2014),
  • No allowance was paid from which employees’ tax was not fully deducted
  • You don’t need claim any deductions (retirement annuities or medical aid, for example) or to declare any additional income.


Use a registered tax practitioner

A good tax practitioner can help you file an accurate return on time as well as to ensure you are benefitting from all legitimate deductions. Practitioners must be registered with a recognised controlling body. Find out whether your tax practitioner is registered here https://secure.sarsefiling.co.za/TaxPractitionerQuery.aspx


Find out more

SARS has published a Tax Season 2014 electronic guide that can be easily accessed on the SARS website www.sars.gov.za. The tax authority also offers assistance with your returns through a number of channels, for example, through excellent help resources on sarsefiling.co.za as well as through its contact centre (0800007277).


SARS also caters for mobile technology, so you can file to file from your smartphone or tablet. If you’ve forgotten your eFiling login or password, can request your login name and reset your password on the eFiling website.


For the latest legislative news, connect with Sage Pastel Payroll & HR on (), or .

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