When it comes to listing our fears, many people might cite spiders, thunderstorms and clowns as their top three. But for many of us we have to deal with SARS more frequently than clowns, however ironic that may sound, and dealing with SARS can be quite a scary thought! During the next tax season, which started at the beginning of this month, The South African Revenue Service intends on collecting nearly R1trn.

Dealing with SARS does not have to be a stressful, fear-filled exercise. In fact, over 50 000 taxpayers filed their tax returns within the first few hours of July 1 and received their refunds within a day of submitting via eFiling.

SARS has gone to extreme lengths to build a fast, efficient and user-friendly tax return filing process that can be done from the ease of your own lounge on your home computer or laptop.

In our research we have found five tips for filing your tax returns in a stress-free manner! (From fin24.com)

Collect and keep all your supporting documentation

All income (such as salary, extra income or interest from investments), as well as qualifying expenses (such as medical certificates, retirement annuities and pension fund contributions), should be accurately filed on the return. In addition taxpayers are required by law to safely keep all supporting documentation for 5 years.

Submit your tax return early

Don’t wait for the last minute. If you have a problem submitting your return, whether manually or electronically, you don’t want to stand in the line at a SARS office and be part of the last minute rush.

Only use a registered tax practitioner

Taxpayers must take responsibility and ensure their tax practitioners are accredited and registered to submit their tax return. Only an accredited tax practitioner will be able to complete and submit tax returns on behalf of taxpayers, update and maintain taxpayer registration details and register taxpayers for new taxes.

Do not offer or agree to a contingency fee

Taxpayers are prohibited to pay a contingency fee to a tax practitioner, calculated as a percentage of the refund paid by SARS. This practice is not approved and may expose you to either under-declaration of income or inflated deductions.

Deadlines to remember

– The deadline for manual tax submissions is September 26 2014
– The deadline for all non-provisional taxpayers is November 21 2014
– Provisional taxpayers submitting returns via eFiling is January 30 2015

If you have any questions or need assistance with filing your return, email me now at markw@synergy.za.com.

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