What you should know about your tax return
The deadline for the submission of electronic income tax returns for provisional taxpayers who are in good standing with the South African Revenue Service (SARS) is Monday, January 31.
Here are a few points you should remember when you complete your tax return:
– To avoid penalties, submit your 2009/10 return timeously, on or before January 31. Failure to submit your return by the due date will result in SARS imposing penalties. These penalties range from R250 to R16 000 a month, depending on the type of taxpayer (an individual, a trust or a company) and the taxable income of the taxpayer in the preceding tax year.
– If you are a provisional taxpayer who submits your return via eFiling but you were not in good standing with SARS as at November 26, 2010 (that is, you had outstanding returns other than your 2009/10 return), you were obliged to submit your 2009/10 return to SARS by that date. If this applies to you, submit your return immediately.
– Once SARS assesses you for the 2009/10 tax year, your “basic amount” for the purposes of calculating your 2010/11 provisional tax liability will change. Ensure that you use the correct “basic amount” in order to avoid penalties for under-paying or under-estimating your provisional tax.
– An important change to the tax return for the 2009/10 tax year is that if you are married in community of property, it is compulsory to disclose your spouse’s details on your tax return. Remember to declare 100 percent of your investment income earned (even if you are married in community of property). SARS will do the necessary apportionment.
– A further change is that if you are a “handicapped person” and wish to claim a deduction for your medical expenses, you are required to re-confirm your disability status by completing a specific form (Form ITR-DD – Confirmation of Diagnosis of Disability). This form must be signed by a duly registered medical practitioner and submitted to SARS.
– If you earned remuneration of less than R120 000 for the full 2009/10 tax year, you may elect not to submit a tax return provided:
The remuneration was earned from a single employer;
– You did not receive a car allowance;
– You did not receive any other income during the tax year; and
– You do not wish to claim any tax deductions.
– Ensure that you complete all the mandatory fields. SARS will reject your return (and it will be noted as outstanding on SARS’s system) if these fields are not completed. This means that you may be liable for penalties for the late submission of the return.
– Ensure that you complete your return correctly and that you disclose all the income you earned during the tax year. Even if a tax consultant completes your return, SARS will hold you responsible for omissions or incorrect information.
– Your return will be pre-populated with any information that SARS obtained from third parties (for example, from your IRP5 certificates). It is your responsibility to verify this pre-populated information. If it is not correct, you may change it, and SARS may require you to submit supporting documentation to explain any changes.
– Retain records relating to your tax return for at least five years from the date of submission of your return. SARS may request you to provide certain supporting documentation before or after issuing you with your tax assessment.
– Use SARS’s online tax calculator to calculate the tax due by you or refundable to you
All material subject to our Legal Disclaimers.