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Three Mistakes to Avoid with Filing of ITR12 Individual Tax Returns

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As daunting as the task of filing individual tax returns can be, it is essential to do it right in order to avoid adverse assessments, penalties and even prosecution. Avoid the three mistakes below to ensure compliance with SARS requirements.


  1. Expecting a Refund

Of course, apart from avoiding penalties for late submission of individual tax returns, you may be motivated to complete and file on time because you expect to receive a refund. Keep in mind when it comes to the ITR12 form, it means your income is already above the threshold or you have more than one income stream. Be wary of any person who claims that they can guarantee that you will receive a SARS tax refund. Chances are that they do not complete the forms correctly or take shortcuts that could leave you with hefty penalties to pay, and besides, defrauding SARS is illegal.


  1. Lack of Supporting Documents

You need more than your IRP5 tax certificate when it comes to supporting documents related to the completion of the ITR12. Be sure to keep the supporting documents for individual tax returns ready when completing the ITR12 and store the documents in a safe place. Keep in mind that you must keep these documents for a period of minimum five years:

  • IRP5 or IT3(a) certificate(s) of all your employers in the particular tax period.
  • Retirement annuity and pension certificates.
  • Proof of bank information by means of the latest bank statement, which must not be older than three months and which has been stamped by the bank. If you don’t have a statement, you must provide an original letter from the bank that states your bank details including the name of the account holder, date from which you have the bank account, type of bank account, the account number, and branch code.
  • IT3(b) certificates regarding investment income.
  • Medical aid certificate.
  • Supporting documents such as receipts, amounts claimed, and amounts paid by the medical aid.
  • Travel logbook if you received travel allowance for the particular tax period.
  • If capital gains tax is involved, you must supply complete information regarding transactions.
  • If you have a disability or have a dependant with a disability you will need to submit the ITR-DD form with confirmation and details of the disability.
  • For medical expenses not covered by your medical aid, you need to have proof of diagnosis or prescription and payment of the costs.


Gather the supporting documents listed as relevant before you complete and submit the ITR12 individual tax returns.


  1. Incorrect Source Codes

A third mistake is the usage of incorrect codes. Every source code has a particular tax implication. If you use the wrong one, you may end up receiving a SARS adverse assessment.

Make use of our professional tax and accounting services to avoid the above mistakes when you file your individual tax returns.


Disclaimer: This article is for information purposes only and does not constitute tax, financial and legal advice. Call on our attorneys for legal advice, rather than relying on the information herein to make any decisions. The information is relevant to the date of publishing – January 2018.