Tax returns: Sars warns of penalties if deadline missed

Taxpayers of South Africa have until Wednesday 31 October to file their individual personal income tax returns.

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has issued its final notice informing taxpayers of the looming deadline and warning defaulters of the harsh penalties which await them. Here’s some eleventh-hour information aimed at making the tax return process less daunting.

How to submit your tax return
Knowing how to submit your tax return can ease the burden of stress when it comes to Wednesday’s deadline. It’s important to know that the deadline applies to non-provisional taxpayers and provisional taxpayers who opt to file at a physical branch.

Luckily, SARS has assured taxpayers that its e-filing system is ready to cope with the rush of returners. The first step is to log into SARS’ e-filing system and generate your ITR12 tax return. The electronic tax return system will guide you through the process with questionnaires relating to your employment and income relating to your IRP5 – if you don’t know what that is, get in contact with your employer right away.

Sars

SARS has also introduced a Help-You-eFile contact centre at physical branches across the country. If you’re not tech savvy, or need further assistance, you can head to your local SARS’s branch, where staff will assist you in filing your tax returns.

If you’ve got some extra money, and are hoping to avoid the headache of dealing with SARS personally, you can hire a tax practitioner to do all the legwork for you.

What happens if you don’t submit your return
SARS takes the matter of tax return defaulters very seriously. If you fail to fill in your tax return, or choose to embellish aspects of your income and expenditure in the hopes of receiving an extra pay out, you’re letting yourself in for some serious legal trouble.

According to SARS, failing to fill in your tax return could result in a penalty of between R200 to R5000.

Late penalties, resulting from tax returns completed after 1 November, could result in costs ranging from R200 to R15 000.

SARS has already publically named and successfully prosecuted 18 defaulters this year.

SARS deadline: Useful links and numbers
For more information about tax deadlines, you can view SARS’ own advice sheet.

Naturally, you’d want to check out SARS’ e-filing system, too.

If you’d like to give dealing with SARS a miss, you can contact an online tax practitioner like TaxTim.

You can also find your nearest SARS branch by here or contact the call centre at 0800 00 7277.

Source: eNCA

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