Preparing for tax time in advance

The annual filing of a tax return is a task that can be handled with minimal stress involved if you plan for it properly. If you are planning on doing manual submission, you will need to set some time aside to prepare your paperwork properly and to gather together some key documents.

You will also have to decide whether you will do it yourself, or pay your tax practitioner to do it for you. During the annual tax season, running from July to November, you will be required to submit a return. Individual taxpayers need to fill out the ITR12 form – Income Tax Return for Individual. There is of course a less stressful way of doing it. You can do it online - with SARS eFiling. eFilers can register as either an individual, an organisation or as a tax practitioner.

Who needs to pay tax in South Africa?

If you earn an income from a salary, commission or fees you are liable for tax.

However, if:

  • your salary before tax is less than R250 000  in a full year that you get paid from one employer; and
  • you have no other sources of income (like rent or interest earned), and
  • you have no deductions that you want to claim like medical or travel expenses;

then you don’t need to submit a return.

Benefits of eFiling:

  • eFiling is a free, simple and secure way of doing your taxes from the comfort and convenience of your home or office.
  • Once you are registered, you can submit returns, view your tax status and make payments to SARS electronically 24 hours a day!
  • eFilers are also given more time to make their submissions and payments.
  • You also have a full history of all submissions, payments and electronic correspondence available to you at your fingertips.
  • eFilers can also receive SMS and email notifications to remind you when submissions are due.
  • It is the quickest route to file your income tax return.

Gather key documents together to register for tax

To enjoy the full benefits and convenience of eFiling, you need to first register to gain secure access to your own tax information.

Note: Registration for and the use of eFiling is free. All you need is internet access.

To complete the registration process you will need:

  • Your tax registration number/s
  • Your ID number
  • Your personal details (i.e. address, telephone number, etc.)

If you’ve not yet registered as a taxpayer, you need to follow these steps to get started:

  • You must complete the IT 77 form, which is available from a Branch Office or SARS Contact Centre. Once you have completed the form, visit your nearest SARS Branch Office to hand it in together with a copy of your certified ID document/Passport/Driver’s License.
  • Once you’ve been registered and given your tax number, you can then register for eFiling on www.sarsefiling.co.za, which is a free, convenient way of working with SARS.

If you’ve forgotten your tax number you can ask for it from SARS in various ways:

  • You can visit your nearest SARS branch to get it. Please take along your ID.
  • You can get it on eFiling if you are registered as an eFiler. All you need to do is log on and check your number.
  • Or you can ask for it from the SARS Contact Centre on 0800 00 7277. Please have your ID number on hand as they will have to authenticate who you are.

Please note that SARS will not provide your tax number to another person, unless the person is your tax practitioner or has power of attorney to conduct your tax affairs.

Should you wish to go the manual route, call the SARS Contact Centre on 0800 00 7277 to find out what you will need, or you can visit your nearest SARS branch.

 
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