The Start of 2023 Individual Tax Season – What you need to know to save you time and costs!!

Jun 15, 2023 | Taxation Blog

7 July 2023 is the official start of the 2023 Tax filing season – SARS is encouraging all taxpayers to use SARS e-filing channels to file their tax returns with amended deadline dates:

Type of Taxpayer Channel Due Date
Non-provisional and provisional taxpayers Manually at a SARS Branch (by appointment only) 23 October 2023
Non-provisional taxpayers File electronically 23 October 2023
Provisional taxpayers File electronically 24 January 2024

Individual taxpayers whose total Gross Income for the year is below R500 000 may not have to file returns if they meet the following criteria:

  • they only earn one salary from one employer (i.e. only have one IRP5);
  • they do not have any other form of income (e.g., interest, rental income, or sole trader income) and
  • they need not claim deductions such as medical expenses, pension/provident funds, retirement annuities
  • they do not have any travel allowance or make use of a company car
  • they need not claim donations made to valid Public Benefit Organisations (PBO’s)
  • they do not have any capital gains greater than R40 000 for the tax year
  • they do not have any foreign currency/assets outside RSA with a combined value of more than R250 000 at any stage during the tax year.

If you are uncertain whether you need to submit a tax return, if you need help with filing of your return, or if you have queries about what documents SARS will require to ensure fewer tax queries, please contact our Tax department to assist you.

Auto Assessments   

As in prior years, SARS will be issuing assessments automatically to some taxpayers without submission of a tax return.

Auto assessments will be based on data received from employers and third-party data providers (e.g., medical schemes and financial institutions) – if you have not received your IRP5/IT3(a) or any other tax certificates for the 2023 tax year, you should contact your employer, medical scheme, RAF, or other financial institutions.

Starting in July 2023, SARS will automatically assess a number of taxpayers – if you have been selected for auto-assessment, SARS will send you an SMS. You can either accept the assessment (if accepted you do not have to submit a tax return at all) OR you need to make changes to your tax return before 23 October 2023.

Taxpayers would need to scrutinise their tax returns to ensure that the correct information is reflected – especially that certain tax deductions are not missed as you could be paying too much tax:

  • Donations to qualifying Public Benefit Organisations (Section 18A certificates required)
  • Travel allowance claim with substantiating logbook
  • Medical expenses not covered by the medical aid/extra medical expenses never submitted to the medical aid
  • Other qualifying tax deductions (eg home office expenses or expenses relating to commission income earned)

SARS would also not have any data relating to possible Trust distributions and Capital Gains Tax for the 2023 tax year.

NB! It is important that the auto-assessment is reviewed before accepting it as the onus is on you as the taxpayer to ensure that this assessment is 100% accurate. And you do not want to pay too much tax.

Please advise me or anyone in our Tax Department should you receive any communication from SARS directly. We will assist you with this new process to ensure your 2023 affairs have been correctly assessed! 

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