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It is tax season and we have this bit of advice to offer: be proactive and avoid missing deadlines, check the accuracy of IRP5 forms prior to submission, do not provide false information and be aware of scams!
Despite all the information available and the fact that this is an annual mandatory practice, people still get the process confused and end up being frustrated.

A number of points that need to be considered, that will help people – including, and perhaps most importantly, the time frame for personal tax submissions.

The tax return time frame begins on 1 July 2017 until 24 November 2017 at a SARS branch (provisional and non-provisional) or e-filing (non-provisional) and 31 January 2018 (provisional taxpayers via e-filing).

Firstly, the Income Tax Act 58 of 1962 and the Tax Administration Act regulates the income tax rules. This legislation stipulates whether a person has to pay tax or not.

An individual does not need to file an annual tax submission if their total salary for the year before tax is less than R350 000.

However, it should be noted that an individual earning the said amount will still be liable to pay income tax. It is imperative to remember that earning less than the R350 000 threshold in employment income applies to an individual that only earns a fixed salary and does not receive any other forms of income like allowances or reimbursed amounts. The moment there is such an earning, the individual will be compelled to submit a return.

A person is liable to pay income tax if you earn more than the tax threshold for the applicable year of assessment.

There are specific criteria that need to be met and if you are not certain, it is best to consult with experts and legislation to check what this criteria is. It is also advisable to check on exactly what documents are required to complete the annual tax return. It is very important to have correct documents and proof for every claim made.

Overstating the number of dependants or expenses for medical claims is a criminal offence. Individuals who do not comply with their obligations may be liable to certain penalties. Be aware of scams. SARS will never request your banking details in any communication that you receive via post, email, or SMS. SARS will not send you any hyperlinks to other websites - even those of banks.

If you have forgotten your password you can reset it by calling your SARS Contact Centre and follow a simple procedure.

Before submitting a tax return, the HR and HCM specialist lists the following as priority considerations.

An employer must issue an employee with an employee’ tax certificate (IRP5) where the employees’ tax was deducted from the employee’s earnings. This certificate discloses, amongst other things, the total employment income earned for the year of assessment and the employees’ tax that was deducted by the employer and paid over to SARS.

Every taxpayer has to register for income tax even if he/she is not liable to submit a tax return. Employers can register their employees for income tax. Ensure that you submit your return by the relevant deadline, otherwise you will be liable for an administrative penalty due to non-compliance.

Sandra Maritz is a Legislation Business Consultant at CRS Technologies.
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