The first leg of the tax filing seasons for non-provisional taxpayers closed on October 31.     Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)
The first leg of the tax filing seasons for non-provisional taxpayers closed on October 31. Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)

Wake up to tax or step into a nightmare

By Willem Oberholzer Time of article published Nov 9, 2018

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JOHANNESBURG – So have you written and sent your love letter detailing all your receipts to the SA Revenue Service (Sars)?

The first leg of the tax filing seasons for non-provisional taxpayers closed on October 31.

You should have received, or are due to receive, your tax assessment on eFiling when you log in.

Low and behold, your tax assessment has arrived - so now what to do? This little return confirmation of your love letter in which you were bragging about all the money you made is where Sars stakes its claim and tells you just how much of your revenue is actually their revenue.

The very first thing I would advise would be to sit down and reprint or take out a copy of your submitted income tax and compare the assessment that you received to the return that you submitted, to make sure that there are no errors and/or mistakes in the assessment.

Next, I will advise that you log into eFiling and check whether there was any correspondence addressed to you requesting that you submit additional information.

Please note that there are time frames in terms of which you have to submit these required documents to Sars. The reason for this? To see whether Sars has to verify the accuracy of your return to the information that they have requested. After all, sometimes you have to verify that everything you are told is true, correct?

Remember what you signed when you submitted the return? You promised that you would keep the supporting documents. Now heed the warning - this is where things can start to go wrong if not done correctly.

Take the documents that you have promised to keep and which are requested (only those which are requested), scan them, put them into a PDF format and then upload them on eFiling to Sars. Alternatively, you can select the option that you can hand-deliver them in person to the friendly Sars store on every street corner. Once this has been submitted, I would advise you to occasionally, if not more sporadically, or almost obsessively compulsively, check your eFiling to see whether any additional assessments have been issued.

An additional assessment is requested when the submitted information differs from the submitted return. Sars will then initiate correspondence.

But, as is human, if you don’t log on to eFiling and you missed the requests, your submitted return and original assessment is adjusted, resulting in an additional or revised assessment. You can, of course, lodge an objection against assessments if you are within the time frame as specified on the assessments and revised or additional assessments. This is typically done through the first round submission of the Notice of Objection.

We will deal with objections a later, but check those assessments and submit the requested information. Objections are within the realm of law. It’s a scary business. It’s the space where Freddy lives, so fall asleep just a little and you might end up on Elm Street, drenched in the screams of the ignoramus who fell asleep before you.

Another word of caution. Answer what was asked and supply what is required.

Willem Oberholzer CA (SA), MCom (Tax) is an executive director at Probity Advisory (Kreston South Africa).


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