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Tax season just one day away!

30 June 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Author: Clinton Botha
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Author: Clinton Botha (Randfontein Herald)

‘Tis Tax Season as of tomorrow 1 July! The South African Institute of Tax Professionals (SAIT) provided the Herald and the taxpayers of Randfontein with some advice.

The South African Institute of Tax Professionals says the SARS eFiling system is top of class internationally

Tax season is here again.

 According to the official SARS website, the 2017 Tax Season for individuals opens on 1 July 2017. For some it can be a cruel period, for others, it’s a blessing in disguise. Whichever way you look at it, it must be done.

 The South African Institute of Tax Professionals (SAIT) provided the Herald and the taxpayers of Randfontein with some advice.

 In short, it is advised you submit your return accurately and on time (whether you choose to do it yourself or opt to use the services of a registered tax practitioner) so you can sleep well at night without fear of unexpected audits and challenges. The manual filing due date is 22 September 2017 and the electronic filing due date is 24 November 2017 (for non-provisional taxpayers) and 31 January 2018 (for provisional taxpayers). Please do not forget about the obligation to file provisional (i.e., six monthly) returns for amounts not subject to third party withholding.

 Furthermore, SAIT says that the SARS eFiling system is top of class internationally and, in simple circumstances, a good case can be made for taxpayers to submit their own returns.

 According to them, there is much to be said for seeking professional tax advice once returns become more complicated.

 It is one thing to submit your own return when you are an employee with a pension plan and a small amount of savings. It is quite another to place yourself at risk if you are running a small business, have complex investments or have a family estate to preserve. Tax laws are complex, good record-keeping is essential, and mathematical errors are easy to make. Taxpayers must be prepared to deal with requests for information and possibly audits from SARS at any point in time. It is thus important to ask yourself whether you can really defend your return once submitted. You best be prepared to respond quickly before things spiral out of control.

 When seeking a tax adviser, you should ensure that the adviser is a tax practitioner registered with SARS via a recognised controlling body (see section 240 of the Tax Administration Act). Only a registered tax practitioner can sign a return and officially act on your behalf. Other self-professed tax practitioners will ask you to sign your own return, meaning that you bear the full risk of their potential mistakes. Without a tax practitioner’s signature, nothing stands between you and SARS in terms of penalties and other costs, should you find yourself liable.

 This article first appeared on randfonteinherald.co.za.


 

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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.

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