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Finance

How to Prepare for 2021 Tax Season

So, what not many people know is that we have already started our 2021 tax season and it is in full swing. We have entered what is called the employer filing season which runs from the 1st of April until the 31st May 2021. During this time employers are issuing IRP5’s and IT3 certificates to employees, banks are sending third party data to SARS for all interest and investment incomes and insurance companies are preparing tax certificates for RA and medical aid deductions. All this information is collected by SARS in preparation of individual filing season and auto assessments.  

Filing season for individuals will open on the 1st July 2021. Submissions of the 2021 tax returns will be available via the SARS website, SARS mobi-app as well as in branch submissions.  

During this time, it is advisable for all taxpayers to prepare for submission.  

  • Collect all tax certificates; which includes IRP5 or IT3; Interest certificates; Retirment annuity certificates; Medical aid certificates and all donations 
  • Proof of any capital gains, which includes sale of shares or property 
  • Ensure you have downloaded your logbook and that it’s correct with business and private mileage allocations and trip description. Find a copy of the SARS logbook here www.sars.gov.za/logbook 
  • If you have been working from home, and have expenses that you could claim have the following available:   
  1. letter from your employer confirming that you worked from home, confirming the date you started working at home and the date you returned to the office 
  2. what equipment was used; personal or business   
  3. ensure that your home office is dedicated office space; working from the dining room table is not a claimable expense 
  4. Calculate the square meterage of your office as a percentage of your home 
  5. Schedule the expenses incurred; these can include WiFi, software subscriptions, electricity, rent or bond 
  6. It is to be noted that if an individual claims expenses for working from home there will be an adjustment made if the primary residence is sold (R2 million capital exemption will be adjusted for the portion that was used for trade) 

Things to watch out for this tax season 

  1. Auto assessments will become more frequent, the taxpayer has to accept or file an amendment; if you accept the auto assessment, please make sure that all the relevant certificates have been generated 
  2. People that received travel allowances could have tax liabilities if they could not travel during various lockdown levels 
  3. Medical expenses can prove to be a problem, make sure records are kept for all consultations and prescriptions claimed for. Make use of a spreadsheet confirming date, patient and reason. All tax invoices, receipts and proof of payments are required 
  4. SARS issues administrational penalties for non-compliance / submission of tax returns and this is a monthly recurring fine to be avoided by the taxpayer.  

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