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Hurry Up and Then Wait for Your Tax Refund

SARS distributed a media release last week including the statement that “SARS has an obligation to both taxpayers as well as to the fiscus to ensure that fraudulent and invalid claims are stopped.” They have asked South Africans to be patient this tax season and not expect tax refunds to be paid out immediately. The reason for the delay is as a result of additional risk assessment processes being implemented. They also stated that they are fully aware of the taxpayer’s expectation with regards to refunds but that processes needs to be concluded prior to the pay out of refunds.

Last year we saw the implementation of special stoppers which resulted in many delays. SARS’ reasoning behind the implementation of special stoppers was to add security screening in order to combat fraudulent claims. This year additional fields have been added to your personal income tax return which SARS will use to verify expenses against third parties. (For example travel, medical and retirement annuity contributions).

The 2017 Tax Season is now open and individual taxpayers will be able to submit their returns for the tax year ended 28 February 2017. The South African Revenue Service (“SARS”) has published the deadlines for the submission of Income Tax returns. The deadlines are dependent on the manner of submission of the return. These deadlines are not applicable to companies who are required to submit their returns within 12 months of their financial year end via e-Filing.

The Income Tax Act has been amended to impose administrative penalties for non-compliance. These penalties can vary from R250 to R16 000 per month. Kindly ensure that you have all the supporting documentation for your return as SARS could request this if you are selected for a review. Safeguard supporting documentation for at least five years in case SARS needs access to them in future.

Do you require assistance?

To assist with the compilation and submission of your income tax return, your tax adviser will require information such as:

  • Your banking details.
  • Your IRP5/IT3(a) certificate(s) which you will receive from your employer or pension fund.

Where applicable:

  • Certificate from Medical Aid as well as a summary of additional medical expenses, not covered by your medical aid and diagnosis of disability (ITR-DD), if applicable.
  • Pension and retirement annuity certificate(s).
  • Travel logbook (if you receive a travel allowance).
  • Tax certificates that you received in respect of investment income (IT3).
  • Financial statements, e.g. business income (where applicable).
  • Any other documentation relating to income you have received or deductions you want to claim.
  • Information relating to capital gain transactions.

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