SARS filing season tips

income tax 2Tax Season starts 1 July and for eFilers the process is even easier this year.

Here are a few tips that will help you complete and submit your return easilyhonestly and on time:

  • Something new for eFilers! This year we have created a personal inbox for you on your eFiling profile where you will find all notices and letters relevant to you. The inbox is available on the individual, organisation and tax practitioner profiles.
  • Be smart – eFile via your tablet or smartphone: As an eFiler, you can choose to complete and submit your Income Tax Return (ITR12) via your PC, laptop, or simply download the SARS eFiling App from your App Store. Once you have done that, just log on to your eFiling profile via your preferred device and you will be prompted to the next steps.
  • If you have forgotten your login name and password, simply click on the question mark icon from the login page and you will be able to request your login name and reset your password.
  • Don’t just save your return – submit it! eFiling allows you to work on your return and then to save your work until you are ready to submit. But be aware that your return has not been sent to SARS until you hit the “Submit Return to SARS” button and your profile is updated to show the return has been submitted. Remember to always check for correspondence once you have submitted your return to SARS. Your return may have been stopped for an audit requiring you to provide SARS with your supporting documents.
  • Still need help with eFiling? Just click on the Help-You-eFile icon displayed on eFiling login page and follow the prompts. It gives you access to our friendly Contact Centre agents while you’re completing your return online with eFiling. With your permission our agent is able to see exactly what you are doing on your screen and will help you every step of the way. Rest assured – our agent cannot see any sensitive information such as your banking details.
  • File your return early: Don’t wait for the last minute to submit your tax return. The earlier you do it the better – and the quicker you will receive any refund due to you. Non-provisional taxpayers who submit their returns using eFiling have until Friday 21 November 2014. Provisional taxpayers (those taxpayers who have additional income like rental or business income) who submit their returns via eFiling have until Friday 30 January 2015.
  • Changing your banking details: If you need to change your banking details you can do it on eFiling when you are completing and submitting your ITR12. To protect you against fraud, any changes that you make to your banking details will be verified by SARS before updating your banking profile. Any refunds due to you (if applicable) will be processed after your banking details have been verified. Please note that you will be required to visit a SARS branch with the relevant supporting documents if SARS fails to validate the banking details changed via eFiling.

To change your banking details at a SARS branch please bring along the following supporting documents:

  • A valid original or temporary ID, Passport or Driver’s Licence and a certified copy of your ID, Passport or Driver’s Licence
  • Bank statements with the original bank stamp not more than three months old
  • Proof of residential address.

For more information on changing your banking details with SARS visit the SARS website

  • Do the right thing; make your payment to SARS: Did you know that making full payment to SARS – when due – ensures that you don’t incur any interest. It also shows your commitment to the positive growth of our country’s economy which in turn benefits all South Africans. You can easily make payment to SARS via eFiling.

If you are unable to make payment in full to SARS, in certain circumstances SARS can reach an agreement with you to defer your tax debt for later payment or for payment by instalments. Please bear in mind that you will need to discuss your financial position openly and honestly with SARS.

For more information:

  • Call our SARS Contact Centre on 0800 00 SARS (7277) between 08:00 to 17:00 on weekdays, except on Wednesdays when operating hours are from 09:00 to 17:00.
  • Visit a SARS branch.
  • Beware of scams! SARS will never request your banking details in any correspondence that you receive via post, email or SMS. SARS will also not send you hyperlinks to other websites, even those of banks. Please note that the SARS website does not have links to any banks. Should you wish to verify the authenticity of correspondence from SARS, kindly call the SARS Contact Centre on 0800 00 SARS (7277).
  • Do you use a tax practitioner? Please remember that all Tax Practitioners are now required to be registered with a recognised controlling body (RCB) as well as with SARS. You can ask your Tax Practitioner for their SARS and Controlling Body registration details to verify that you are working with a registered and reputable practitioner.
  • A person who is not registered with a RCB and who prepares tax returns on your behalf will now be regarded as a tax preparer. They may not charge you and they may not submit the return on your behalf. In order to submit a return prepared by a tax preparer:
    •  You can register for eFiling and complete and submit the return yourself or
    • You can register for eFiling and obtain shared access from your Preparer and then submit on eFiling the saved return completed by that Preparer or alternatively
    • You can visit a SARS branch to file your return.

Also please take into consideration that even though a Tax Practitioner is completing and submitting your ITR12 on your behalf, the responsibility still rests with you as the taxpayer to make a true declaration and for any outstanding returns, payments and penalties.