“The submission of accurate personal income tax returns on time is important for a seamless filing season. Taxpayers must take control of their own tax affairs to ensure they are aware of their obligations and remain compliant.” (SARS Commissioner Edward Kieswetter)
SARS recently announced the dates and changes for the 2023 Tax Season, which opened on 7 July 2023 for individuals (non-provisional taxpayers and provisional taxpayers), as well as for trusts.
The deadline dates are as follows:
Much stays the same as last year, including that SARS will again issue auto assessments to taxpayers whose tax affairs are less complicated, usually non-provisional taxpayers who are formally employed.
SARS will send an SMS and/or email to inform taxpayers of the auto assessment, which can be viewed on eFiling or the SARS MobiApp. The auto assessments are based on the data SARS collects from employers, financial institutions, medical schemes, retirement annuity fund administrators and other third-party data providers.
If you agree with your auto-assessment – and have confirmed with your accountant that everything is in order – you are not required to file a tax return and you do not need to do anything further. Where your assessment shows that you owe tax to SARS, payment must be made on or before the payment due date displayed on the “Notice of Assessment” (ITA34). If a refund is due, simply wait for the refund, which can be expected within approximately seventy-two (72) hours if your banking details with SARS are correct.
If you are not in agreement with the auto-assessment, you can edit the declaration by completing and filing a tax return, along with the necessary supporting documents, before 23 October 2023, to enable SARS to consider a revised assessment.
SARS has warned taxpayers to not inflate their expenses and/or under-declare their income to obtain impermissible refunds, as this will make them potentially guilty of fraud. In addition, taxpayers who do not adhere to the deadlines of this year’s Filing Season will face administrative non-compliance penalties.
So, even if you have been auto assessed, it is important to make sure that your return is 100% correct and truthful, and that payments, returns and supporting documents are submitted on time.
You need to make sure that you have received your latest IRP5/IT3(a) and other tax certificates like medical aid, retirement annuity fund, and any other third-party data relevant to determining your tax obligations, and that these are correctly reflected on your auto-assessment or return.
Failing to do so may result in paying more tax than necessary as you might lose on deducting amounts in the determination of your taxable income such as home-office expenses, donations to charities, trade travel expenses, medical expenses paid and contributions to retirement funds and medical schemes.
Given this responsibility, as well as the deadlines and changes that have been introduced this year, obtaining advice and assistance from your accountant is highly recommended for a successful 2023 Tax Season.
If you are a provisional taxpayer, your first provisional payment for 2023/4 is due by 31 August 2023.
Disclaimer: The information provided herein should not be used or relied on as professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your professional adviser for specific and detailed advice.