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Tax season: Get your tax inputs in order

27th August 2013

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If you are an individual, or if you run an SME, there are two basic ways to get your tax done. The first is to log on to the SARS e-filing website and submit your tax returns yourself. The second is to find a registered tax consultant or tax service to help you submit your returns.

SARS e-filing is a free, online process for the submission of tax returns and other related services in a secure online environment. Once you are registered for e-filing you can visit SARS online for the submission of returns, declarations and payments in respect of taxes, duties, levies and contributions. e-Filing also allows you to submit a variety of tax returns including VAT, PAYE, SDL, UIF, Income Tax, STC and Provisional Tax through the e-filing website.

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“While e-filing makes it very easy to submit your tax returns on your own”, explains Somaya Khaki, SAICA’s Project Director at Tax Suite, “it is always a good idea to use a professional tax consultant to submit your returns for you if you are uncertain about anything. Making sure that you are compliant will reduce the likelihood of being audited by SARS and may increase your chances of receiving a refund if deductions are available that you were unaware of ”.

Here are some general tips to keep in mind:

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● General tax rates on the profits of small business corporations are as follows:
- R0 – R67 111 (0 %)
- R67 112 - R365 000  (7%)
- R365 001 – R550 000  (21%)
- R550 001 + (28%)

● If you supply any of your employees with a subsistence allowance for their business travels, these allowances are tax-free if your employee is obliged to spend at least one night away from his/her usual place of residence and if they do not exceed the following amounts:
- R319 per day for meals and incidental costs for travel within the Republic
- R98 per day for incidental costs only within the Republic

● Severance benefits which you might have paid out to your employees in respect of the relinquishment or termination of their employment (for either attaining the age of 55 years, due to incapacity through sickness or other ailment, or retrenchment) are taxable  in accordance with the following table:
- R0 to R315 000 (0%)
- R315 000 to R630 000 (R0 + 18%)
- R630 000 to R945 000 (R56 700 + 27%)
- R945 000+ (R141 750 + 36%)

● If you have acquired any intellectual property, the costs incurred (i.e. other than developing or creating) can lead to tax rebates from 5% (for inventions, patents or copyrights) to 10% (for designs).  Intellectual property costs not exceeding R5 000 may be deducted in full although no deductions are available in respect of trademarks.


“These are just a few examples of details that you might miss out on when submitting your tax return and there are many more”, reports Khaki. “If you are unsure about your tax status or compliance, or if you think there may be deductions you are missing out on, you should contact a professional tax consultant or tax service you can find registered tax practitioners at www.taxsuite.co.za”. This is a professional tax information database powered by SAICA (The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants). It’s the definitive source for anyone who needs to find a professional tax advisor.

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