On 28 June 2013 SARS issued the notice which formally marks the beginning of the 2013 tax filing season setting out which persons are required to file income tax returns and the deadlines for submission.
On an annual basis SARS issues a notice in terms of the Tax Administration Act to inform the public which taxpayers should file tax returns, how they should do so and by when the returns must be submitted. For the 2013 year of assessment, the notice is similar to that issued for previous years, but with a few important changes:
Non-resident companies, trusts and other juristic persons now only have to file a return where they carry on a trade through a permanent establishment in South Africa. Previously, non-resident companies were obliged to file returns where they had gross income from a South African source. This resulted in absurdities where, for example, a non-resident receiving exempt dividends or interest was obliged to file a return in South Africa.
Natural persons who receive allowances or advances (e.g. travel and subsistence allowance) now only have to file a tax return if they also exceed the tax thresholds.
The various monetary thresholds for the 2013 year of assessment have been amended from the 2012 year of assessment as follows:
The single-source remuneration threshold for natural persons has been increased to R250 000 (2012: R120 000);
The capital gains and losses threshold for natural persons is increased to R30 000 (2012: R20 000);
The tax thresholds exclusions are increased to:
Under 65 years: R63 556 (2012: R59 750)
Over 65 years: R99 056 (2012: R93 150)
Over 75 years: R110 889 (2012: R104 261)
The time periods for filing returns remain similar to those for 2012, namely:
Companies must, for financial years ending during 2013, file within 12 months after the end of such financial year;
All other persons must file:
on or before 27 September 2013 if submitting manually;
on or before 22 November 2013 if submitting through eFiling;
on or before 31 January 2014 if the taxpayer is a provisional taxpayer and submits through eFiling;
within 6 months of the date to which the accounts are drawn where accounts drawn to a date after 28 February 2013 are accepted by the Commissioner in terms of section 66(13A) .
The notice also provides that companies may now only file their 2013 returns through eFiling. Previously, companies were able to file their returns through any of the available channels. All other taxpayers may file through eFiling or manually by posting the return or delivering it to a SARS office.
Taxpayers are advised to make sure that they conform to the new requirements where applicable and note the relevant submission dates.
Section 240A of the Tax Administration Act, 2011 (as amended) requires that all tax practitioners register with a recognized controlling body before 1 July 2013. It is a criminal offense to not register with both a recognized controlling body and SARS.