6 top tips to streamline the 2013 tax season
18 June 2013
Posted by: Author: Jannie Marais
Author: Jannie Marais, Product manager, (CQS Technology Holdings)
submission of tax returns is always a moving target thanks to the reality of
continually evolving legislation. Probably the most noteworthy update for this
tax season is that tax submissions for companies and close corporations have
changed from the old IT14 to the new, dynamic ITR14. This represents further
effort from SARS to effectively close loopholes and eliminate unethical
practices, while leaving little room for interpretation.
therefore advisable that every amount declared in a tax return should be
adequately substantiated with reliable evidence.
these developments, my top six tips to streamline the 2013 tax season are:
- Ensure accurate and
complete data capture
Start by reporting all income and store all
supporting documents safely.
Ensure that private expenses are removed from
those categorised as business expenses (which are not made in the production of
Private assets should be removed from the
business balance sheet; fixed asset registers must be up-to-date. Write-off periods
should be executed in terms of Interpretation Note number47 (issue 3), indicating how wear and tear is
- Application of tax
When preparing the tax computation and subsequent
tax return, ensure that the relevant tax legislation is considered and complied
with on every inclusion, income exemption, deduction, and assessed loss.
Prepare a separate tax computation calculating
the tax payable/refundable and keep it with the financial statements.
Submit the tax computation with the financial
statements in PDF format to SARS to ensure the assessor has a clear
understanding of how the tax owing was calculated.
Some of the tax schedules are compulsory for some
claims and industry types. These are listed on the SARS website: www.sars.gov.za/TaxTypes/CIT/Pages/CompletinganITR14.aspx
Even though tax schedules may not be requested
for all expenditure claimed against the taxable income, it is essential that
schedules are prepared and kept on file. These should preferably be in
electronic format for quick submission through e-filing if requested by SARS.
- Include Financial
Statements with ITR14 filings
The requirement that financial statements must
accompany the ITR14 filing was introduced recently. When submitting financial
statements, ensure that they are free of material misstatements, and remember
that they should be filed in PDF format.
- Provide accurate
It’s simple: the type and quality of company
information that you submit to SARS will determine how well you sleep at night.
Before completing the ITR14, make sure that your business details are updated.
Refer to SARS’ website for the page "Keeping my business details up to date”;
failure to do so could open the door for fraud at your expense.
While you’re there, spend some time on the SARS
website as it is a great place to find everything you need to file your ITR14
return. The website also provides tax schedules, guidelines and submission
tools, all of which are there to assist you in the filing process. Just make
sure your computer has the right software (Adobe Flash Player, Version 11 or
later) required for completing the customised, dynamic ITR14.
Review your tax return before submitting it.
Avoiding mistakes will save you time in the long run. We all rush and that’s
when mistakes are made.
If you are a tax practitioner, weigh up your
filing options; there are numerous alternatives available when preparing your
tax return. These include software options that will automate the tax
submission process for you, checking for inaccuracies and directly linking to
efiling, saving you time and improving your overall efficiency.
Above all, remember that there is noroom for clever tax schemes – stick to the rule of
the law if you value your rest.
- Get it right the
In your dealings with SARS, the one thing you
really want to get done right is your e-filing status. This is important because
it can determine how much you pay (or save) in taxes. If you get it wrong, it
will come back to haunt you. If your information is not consistent and
accurate, analytics software used by SARS could result in your account being
flagged for the dreaded audit. Should that happen (for whatever reason), you
will really want to be certain that
your filings are impeccable.