All things tax during this tax season

by Kimberly Flanagan


Tax season is upon us and making sure you get all your ducks in a row is really important. You don’t want to be found missing the deadline to do your tax returns and if you’re lucky, you might even get something back into your bank account.

Also, tax fraud or tax evasion is a real thing. That is when you are dishonest about what you owe the state in terms of your tax returns. That can also happen when you don’t declare all your sources of income or misrepresenting what you earn.

WHAT IS TAX?
Tax is a compulsory contribution to the state levied by the government on your income. The higher your income, the higher your tax. You also get different types of tax but the one employees focus on is income tax. Other sorts of tax include Value-added-tax, PAYE (Pay as you earn), provisional tax and capital gains tax amongst others but again, all you need to worry about is income tax which counts for individuals, companies, and trusts. Anyone who earns a salary is eligible to pay tax.

The first thing to take note of are the dates and deadlines for tax season in South Africa. Tax season opened on the first of July 2019 and runs up until the fourth of December but there is a small detail to take note of, If you are physically planning on going to a SARS branch then the dates are slightly different for you. You will have time from the first of August 2019 until the 31st of October 2019 and If you are doing it online, the first date applies to you.

The second thing to take note of is to make sure you have all your documents on hand and in order.

If you are registering for the very first time, this is what you will need:

  • ID book
  • Certified copy of your ID (You can do this at a police station)
  • A copy of your IRP5 (you may have more than one if you changed jobs during the financial year)
  • If you have no IRP5 bring along your latest pay slip.
  • A bank statement reflecting your account for the past month (again – get this done before TAX

If you have filed before or have a tax number, the following documents are required:

  • Your ID book, or some sort of identification (passport/driver’s license). This won’t be required if you know your eFiling login and password.
  • Have your tax number on hand.
  • A copy of your IRP5 (you may have more than one if you changed jobs during the financial year)
  • Your eFiling login and password (if you have eFiled before. If you cannot remember please contact SARS before TAX day to find out)
  • Medical Tax Certificates (this should have been sent to you by your Medical Aid. If not please get it before TAX Day)
  • Retirement Annuity Fund certificates (if you have them)
  • Proof of any other income

Now, if you’ve read up until here, I’m sure you are asking yourself what is an IRP5, I did when I first had to register for tax.

According to TaxTim SA;

“An IRP5 is the employee’s tax certificate that is issued to him/her at the end of each tax year detailing all employer/employee related incomes, deductions, and related taxes. It is used by the employee specifically to complete his/her income tax return for a specific year.”

You can get this document from your employer or the HR department at the company you work for.

If you have medical aid, you can contact your medical aid provider and ask them to email your medical tax certificate to you.

If you don’t want to go the conventional way and prefer to do all your things online, that is where eFiling comes in.

eFiling is a system provided by SARS that helps you do your tax returns in the comfort of your home or at your desk at work. There is also the SARS MobiApp that you can download on your phone.

So go ahead and make sure all your affairs are in order. The quicker you do it, the better.

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