Recent media headlines announced that Sars reported a revenue shortfall for 2018/19, making it the fifth shortfall year estimated at R57.4billion less than the original mark. Tax season is open and the revenue services will without a doubt try to reach its collection target. South African taxpayers have until end October to file their individual personal returns. For outstanding returns, penalties range up to R16000 a month for higher-earning taxpayers and individuals have been convicted and sentenced in the past for failure to submit.
Taken from my book Tips, Tricks and Checklists from a Tax Practitioner, here are five simple steps to help ace your Sars income tax return this season:
Get your act together: Taxpayers have to collect a number of different documents to substantiate and inform their tax calculations and submissions. These documents are not the same for every taxpayer and should be collected from various sources, such as medical aids, banks and suppliers before the income tax submission can be started.
One Sars step at a time: Complete Section 1 and 2 of the tax returns. It is important to understand the reason for the questions and how these apply to you before populating the answers. For example, a question regarding how the taxpayer is married and the options include “in community of property” and “outside community of property”:. Because tax on passive income is calculated differently for taxpayers depending on whether they are married in or outside community of property, selecting either one of the options will result in a very different result for the taxpayer.