Are you required to submit a tax return for SARS? 

Taxpayers seem to be unsure as to whether they are required to actually submit an actual income tax return to SARS or not.

You do not have to submit a tax return if your total Gross remuneration (ie salary, bonuses etc) for the year is below R350 000 AND you meet the following criteria:

  • You only earn one salary from one employer (i.e. only have one IRP5); and
  • You do not have any other form of income (e.g. investment or rental income); and
  • You do not receive a travel allowance; and
  • You do not need to claim deductions such as medical expenses, retirement annuities or travel expenses.

You must submit a tax return in the following cases:

  • If you are carrying on a sole trader business or have rental income
  • If you are eligible to and want to claim commission or contractor expenses
  • If you had sold any asset in the tax year upon which capital gain was more than R30 000 – local or offshore asset
  • If you earned interest income exceeding R23 800 (for persons under 65 years) or exceeding R34 500 (for persons over 65 years)
  • If you are a resident and held offshore currency/owned any assets offshore which value exceeded R200 000 during any stage in the year
  • If you are a director of a company/member of a close corporation

3 other reasons why to submit your return to SARS:

  • Valid Tax clearances required for tenders, mortgage bond applications, transfer of properties ensures you are up to date with all SARS returns/monies due.
  • Payouts from pension/provident or retirement funds – 100% tax compliance ensures that payouts will be hassle-free and no outstanding SARS taxes withheld before payment is made to you.
  • SARS complete record – being compliant and having a good SARS record will ensure that administrative penalties cannot be levied against your account for returns coming back to haunt you in the future!

Beware of SARS tax scams(especially ‘refunds’ which are not really due to you) – SARS will never request your banking information in any correspondences (this can only be done in person at a SARS branch office) – SARS website does not have links to any banks or banking websites hyperlinks – DO NOT ACCEPT OR SELECT THESE!

If you are uncertain whether you need to submit a tax return or need help with filing of your return, please contact our tax department to help you with your tax needs.

Have you disclosed all your offshore investment income to SARS? If not, we urge clients to consider SARS’s Voluntary Disclosure Programme  (VDP) to ‘come clean’ with any possible undisclosed income, especially offshore investments. Due to closer relationships with offshore banks and SARS and information access, SARS will be selecting taxpayers for review and possible audit – taxpayers could face severe penalties and possible criminal prosecution by SARS (over and above the normal tax and interest implications).

Do you need to invest monies abroad and require a Foreign Investment Tax Clearance Certificate (FTCC)? Until last week, applications exceeding the old limit of R4million would have triggered an automatic review/audit of the applicable taxpayer’s affairs  which would delay the issuing of the FTCC by several months. SARS has announced that from this week onward, they will process the FTCC’s up to R10million without the automatic audit trigger which should result in the application process being finalised within 4-5 working days.

Please contact our offices to discuss any queries relating the above issues.

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2 Responses so far.

  1. Carl says:

    I have worked from march to May 2016 with the gobernment and I received 1 IRP5, then from September to February 2017 worked with a company that does not gave me IRP5, how most I submit my returns?

    • MDACC says:

      Your employer must provide you with an IRP5 certificate especially if PAYE was withheld from your salary. Alternatively, you may need to contact a closest SARS branch and prove your income to prepare the relevant return. You would need to take with all your payslips and bank statements for those periods.

      MD Accountants and Auditors Inc.

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