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It’s That Time of Year Again: Tax Season 2015

Article © CA(SA)DotNews by DotNews

“I just filled Tax Season 2015out my income tax forms. Who says you can’t get killed by a blank?”   (Milton Berle)

The 2015 tax season opened with much fanfare on 1 July.  The fanfare was justified as more than 67,000 returns were submitted by the 2nd.

Are you liable to pay tax?

This is the threshold at which you become liable for income tax –

Tax Threshold

Do you have to submit a tax return?

Liability to pay tax is one thing; liability to put in a tax return is another.  It will save you time and stress if you don’t need to complete a tax return.

If you are a natural person and –

You earn R350,000 p.a. or less from a single source and

PAYE  has been deducted, and
This amount was paid as a salary with no allowances, or

You earn less than R23,800 in interest (if less than 65 years old) or R34,500 in interest if aged 65 or over, or

You are a non-resident with dividend income.

Then you do not need to complete a tax return. Remember if you are due a refund, you will lose it if you don’t put a return in. If in doubt speak to your accountant.

How much interest can you earn tax free?

The tax exemption for interest income is R23,800 (if you are less than 65) or R34,500 if you are 65 or older.

What’s with the Populated Fields?

When completing your tax return online, you will see that some of the data fields have been automatically filled in. It is worth checking that these amounts have been correctly entered.

If you need to claim other deductions, such as car allowance, make sure you have the necessary supporting documentation (in this case a log-book), as SARS will want to see this. If you go to a SARS branch to complete your return, you will need to bring all supporting documents, plus your ID. If you use eFiling, you will be required to upload these supporting documents with your tax return.

The same goes for other income you receive – for example if you receive business income, then the annual financial statements will need to accompany your return.

Get expert advice from your accountant and make sure you get your return in on time and that it is accurate to avoid penalties and interest.

Your deadlines

By post or depositing it in a SARS drop box – 30 September 2015

Electronically at a SARS branch (non-provisional taxpayers) – 27 November 2015

Non-provisional taxpayers on eFiling – 27 November 2015

Provisional taxpayers on eFiling – 29 January 2016.

Be careful: As usual there are scams about

If someone contacts you saying they can get you a tax refund, and particularly if they request a percentage of any refund obtained, be very suspicious. Also remember, SARS will never ask you for your personal banking details or your PIN number.

Make use of the SARS “Report a Scam” facility on their web-site

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