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Important Announcements Regarding Tax Returns for the 2018 Season

The 2018 tax season for non-provisional individual taxpayers kicked off at the start of July. SARS announced that people who do not have to submit tax returns will receive personalised letters to notify them of such. The intention is to reduce the administrative load and bottlenecks experienced at SARS offices regarding people visiting their offices to submit unnecessary tax returns.

SARS also announced that they intend to provide more specific verification letters regarding the documents needed in support of deductions. This will be applicable to taxpayers that have been noted for specific risks. The idea is to give the taxpayers sufficient time to respond in a timely manner and to ensure that they have the relevant supporting documents for the deductions claimed on their tax returns.

Accordingly, only the information needed will be stated, instead of the individuals having to submit all their supporting documents. This will help to reduce the administrative load regarding tax returns and prevent situations where taxpayers have to upload numerous documents.

SARS has furthermore announced that they intend to limit repeat audit cases in instances where no risk was noted in the previous tax periods, in order to reduce the volume of work associated with such audits.

Individuals who have earned no more than R350 000 for the period from March 2017 to February 2018 from a single employer and have not received additional income do not have to submit tax returns. This is provided that they do not want to claim any additional deductions for the period. Dormant companies also do not have to submit tax returns, which certainly makes it easier for owners of companies that are no longer operational.

The Service Charter was released at the beginning of July 2018 stipulating the minimum level of service that SARS intends to give to taxpayers. SARS, in addition, requested that tax consultants and individual taxpayers make use of the e-filing system for submission of tax returns. With many tax practitioners still visiting branches to submit the tax returns of their clients, the offices are placed under tremendous administrative pressure.

For individuals who are brave enough to submit their returns on their own without professional tax practitioner assistance, SARS has the Help-You-eFile service, which provides a direct connection between a taxpayer and the assistance of a SARS agent.

However, to avoid pitfalls regarding individual tax returns, we highly recommend making use of our professional services. You will save time and frustration, in addition to being sure that your returns are submitted on time and are accurate.

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