Four steps to take the sting out of SARS

As in anything in life, challenges will always be around us, and the scariest challenges or mountains to climb, are the ones that are totally out of our control or the unknown. For many of us, taxes fall within this category!

If you are feeling annoyed, sceptical or even unsure about your recent or past experience with SARS, don’t feel discouraged.

There is a way to feel better and to safely climb this mountain. All you need are the necessary climbing gear (the knowledge or tools).

The bottom line is that we all need to comply with our country’s Income Tax Act. While it is unavoidable, it doesn’t necessarily have to be stressful. You can take the sting out of SARS by being prepared!

Do your homework

Before you do anything, first establish whether you need to submit a tax return. The criteria for submission of tax returns are listed on the SARS website, http://www.sars.gov.za

Be prepared

Don’t run around at the last minute trying to get all your documents like bank statements, certificates etc. in order. Tax season usually opens on 1 July every year, but you will need relevant info from 1 March of the previous year until 28 February of the current year. So, in fact you have from the end of February to July to get yourself prepared for tax season.

Gather what you need

You will need to do the following:

  • Prepare your travel logbook by the end of February (Financial Year End)
  • Download and prepare your bank statements if you are eligible to claim for your business-related expensesMake a note to request your Medical Aid and Retirement Annuity Certificates closer to the time
  • Sort out your slips
  • And lastly, breathe…

Remember to keep all these documents close-by. In the case of an Audit, you will need to submit these as supporting documents.

Getting help? Make sure they’re legit!

If you want to use a third party to assist you with your tax return submission, please make sure they are a Tax Practitioner registered with a SARS-recognised controlling body.

An accredited individual will have the knowledge and experience to help you effectively.

If you follow these steps and do your homework and prep, then your experience with SARS is likely to be all the more bearable!

Sonja Jordaan is from SimpliFinance Solutions. She can be contacted at [email protected]

  AUTHOR
Sonja Jordaan

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