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Time to file tax returns

Time to file tax returns
Photo by Bloomberg

30th June 2015

By: Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

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Tax filing season is due to start in less than 12 hours, and although thousands of taxpayers are already prepared, others have not yet given a thought to filing their tax returns when the South African Revenue Service (SARS) opens its eFiling system at midnight on Tuesday.

The filing period is for the period of March 1, 2014 to February 28, 2015.

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"Although taxpayers are keen to file early to get a refund from SARS, they need to ensure that they have all the required supporting documentation before filing, and confirm whether they are legally required to file," warned Stiaan Klue, CE of the South African Institute of Tax Professionals.

Subject to some exceptions, this year certain taxpayers are not required to file a tax return if their total salary for the year before tax is not more than R350 000.

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Klue pointed out that the "R350 000 exemption" is not applicable to taxpayers earning income from more than one employer.

"Also, taxpayers with more than one employer must file even if the salary is minimal. Taxpayers claiming tax-related deductions, such as car allowance or medical expenses, are not exempted from filing either," said Klue.

The most common required documentation a taxpayer needs to file includes:

- IRP5 issued by employer;
- Proof of medical expenses, i e medical aid and other invoices (if applicable);
- Interest received certificate, i e IT3(b) (if applicable); and
- Travel logbook (if undertaking business travel on behalf of employer).

Klue advised taxpayers to seek help from the SARS call centre on 0800 00 SARS (7277) if they are uncertain about anything. Alternatively, taxpayers can get assistance from a SARS-registered tax practitioner.

The important deadline dates in the 2015 tax season are:

September 30 2015: Manual/postal submissions
November 27 2015: At a SARS branch (non-provisional)
November 27 2015: eFiling (non-provisional)
January 29 2016: Provisional taxpayers via eFiling

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