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Tax filing season is here

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With filing season for the 2024 tax year set to commence this month, the South African Revenue Service as announced that the pool of taxpayers who will be auto-assessed will increase to about 4.8 million this year compared to about 3.8 million taxpayers last year.

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THE SOUTH African Revenue Service (Sars) has expanded auto-assessments for the 2024 tax season. With filing season set to kick off this month, the revenue service will auto-assess approximately 4.8 million taxpayers – an increase from last year’s 3.8 million.

Sars has announced July 15, 2024, as the official start date for the filing season. During this period, both provisional and non-provisional taxpayers are required to file their tax returns.

Auto-assessments for the expanded pool of taxpayers will run from July 1-14, 2024.

“In line with the strategic objective of making it easy and simple for taxpayers to meet their legal obligations, Sars is proud to announce that the pool of taxpayers who will be auto-assessed will increase to about 4.8 million this year compared to about 3.8 million taxpayers last year,” Sars said.

“Taxpayers who agree with the auto-assessment do not have to do anything. If a refund is due, it will be paid within 72 hours. If tax is due to Sars, the taxpayer must make the payment by the due date.”

For taxpayers who do not agree with their auto-assessment, here’s what to do:

– Review your assessment: If you disagree with the auto-assessment, carefully review it. Ensure that all relevant details are accurate.

– Make changes: If necessary, make adjustments to your assessment. Consider additional income, deductions, or any other relevant factors.

– Filing Options: Use the Sars eFiling platform to submit your revised tax return or, alternatively, file via the Sars MobiApp.

– Deadline: Remember, the deadline for non-provisional taxpayers to file their returns is October 21, 2024.

Sars emphasised the importance of keeping contact information up to date during the tax season. If you’ve recently changed your e-mail address, cellphone number or banking details, you must update these details on eFiling or the Sars MobiApp.

By maintaining accurate information, you contribute to fraud prevention and protect against identity theft.

STREAMLINING

Sars Commissioner Edward Kieswetter has reaffirmed the revenue service’s commitment to streamlining the tax process for standard taxpayers. Leveraging big data, machine learning and algorithms, Sars aims to make filing season an “invisible process”, requiring minimal effort from taxpayers.

“The large number of digital platforms available to taxpayers reinforces the trend of a decreasing number of taxpayers needing to visit branches and wait in queues,” Kieswetter said.

COMPLIANCE

The commissioner also emphasised the importance of transparency and accuracy during the tax filing process.

“The use of technology and data has enhanced Sars’ ability to detect instances of non-compliance. Taxpayers must not inflate their expenses and under-declare their income to obtain impermissible refunds. Not including rental income is an example. Such actions will make the taxpayer potentially guilty of fraud,” said Kieswetter.

He also warned about service delays. During the first two weeks of July and October, as taxpayers engage with Sars, there may be longer wait times for service.

Trusts should note that their filing season runs from September 16, 2024, to January 20, 2025.

Taxpayers who are auto-assessed but wish to claim the solar tax rebate must complete their tax return through the normal filing process.

CONTACTING SARS

More information on the solar tax rebate is available on the Sars website at sars.gov.za

Taxpayers can also contact Sars through the Sars Online Query System, which is an easy-to-use online platform on Sars’ website https://tools.sars.gov.za/soqs

Taxpayers can use this service without going into a Sars branch or calling Sars.

The Sars Online Query System enables taxpayers to:

– Submit a payment allocation query.

– Request your tax reference number.

– Submit supporting documents if Sars asks you to do so.

– Report a new estate case.

– Update registered representative.

– Request your tax compliance status.

– Verify your tax compliance status.

– Check if a taxpayer is due for an auto-assessment, which can only be done once the auto-assessment process starts on 1 July.

Additional information in the form of questions and answers can be found on the Sars website Tax Season | South African Revenue Service (sars.gov.za).

Taxpayers can also engage Sars through the Lwazi Chatbot or the Live Agent function on eFiling and the Sars MobiApp.

Taxpayers can learn more about how to use Sars’ digital platforms by visiting the Sars TV YouTube channel for detailed video tutorials, or by visiting the Sars website www.sars.gov.za

Source: SAnews.gov.za

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