SARS has announced the 2022/23 filing season to commence on 7 July 2023 and end on 23 October 2023 for non-provisional taxpayers. Filing season is the period for which tax returns are required to be submitted, returns submitted after this date will be considered late and might incur penalties and interest.
Who is required to submit a tax return?
You are not required to submit a tax return if you:
- Received income from employment less than R500 000, provided you worked for only one employer during the year and PAYE was deducted,
- Received interest income not more than R23 800,
- Did not receive a travel allowance or company car fringe benefit,
- Did not receive income in respect of services rendered outside the South Africa,
- Did not receive any other income in addition to your salary e.g., rental income, side-hustles etc.
Even if you are not required to submit a tax return, SARS might issue you with an auto-assessment. You have to respond to your auto-assessment before 23 October 2023, if no reply is received SARS will assume you agree with the auto-assessment and the tax calculated in the assessment.
What is an auto assessment?
In 2020 SARS introduced auto-assessments and have confirmed they will make use of it for the 2022/23 filing season. Through the auto-assessment system, SARS receives data from third parties such as your employer, medical schemes, banks, retirement annuity funds etc. This data is used to calculate your tax for the year and an assessment will be issued.
If you are required to submit a tax return and you do receive an auto-assessment, it’s important to note that the assessment will not include information not available from third parties such as your travel allowance deduction, home office deduction etc.
How to submit your tax return or respond to the auto-assessment?
SARS will start using auto-assessment from 1 July 2023. It will be communicated to you via your preferred channel of communication, which can be via email or SMS. Once received you can view the assessment on eFiling or the SARS MobiApp, if you agree with the auto- assessment you can accept the assessment, if you disagree, you may reject the assessment and edit your tax return accordingly.
What to do now until filing season opens
Failure to prepare is preparing to fail, whether you are required to submit a return or respond to an auto-assessment, its important you do the following before filing season kicks off:
- Register for eFiling or the MobiApp – This will be required for you to view your auto -assessment, accept it or edit your tax return.
- Ensure your contact details are up to date on eFiling or the MobiApp – This is the contact details which SARS will use to notify you of your auto-assessment, if not up to date you might miss your auto-assessment notification.
- Gather all of your supporting documents, this would include your:
- IRP5/IT3(A) certificate from your employer,
- Medical aid certificate from your medical aid scheme,
- Proof of medical aid expenses incurred,
- Section 18A donation certificate from the NPO you’ve donated to,
- Pension and retirement fund contributions,
- Travel logbook if you received a car benefit or travel allowance,
- Home office deduction documents if you qualify for home office deduction,
- Proof of income and expenses for your rental business etc.
Importance of supporting document:
It’s of the outmost importance to gather this information, as you will need them to:
- Compare against the SARS auto-assessment as they will guide you whether to accept or reject the auto-assessment,
- If you are legally required to submit a tax return, it will be used to help you complete your return,
- Provide them to SARS in case you are selected for an audit verification, and
- You are legally required to keep supporting documents for a period of 5 years just in case SARS request them at a later date.
SARS is on a drive to ensure that taxpayers are compliant and are performing their tax obligation, if you fail to meet your tax obligations you will be levied with non-compliance penalties and interest.
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