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Tax return submission raised to R500 000

Tax­pay­ers with an annu­al income not exceed­ing R500 000 will no longer be required to sub­mit tax returns.

The announce­ment was made by the South African Rev­enue Ser­vice (SARS) Com­mis­sion­er Edward Kieswet­ter dur­ing the launch of the 2019 tax sea­son on Tues­day. This year’s tax sea­son will begin on 1 July for sub­mis­sions on dig­i­tal plat­forms while walk-ins will com­mence on 1 August.

The dead­line for dig­i­tal sub­mis­sions is 4 Decem­ber while Octo­ber 31 is the final day for walk-ins.

“We have decid­ed to raise the thresh­old from R350 000 to an annu­al earn­ings of R500 000. This means you are not required to sub­mit,” he said. How­ev­er, there are pro­vi­sions.

These include that the taxpayer’s total annu­al income does not exceed R500 000. Tax­pay­ers, said Kieswet­ter, should also only receive income from one employ­er for the full tax year.

“Three; they don’t have any oth­er form of income such as car allowance, busi­ness income, and rental income, tax­able inter­est or income from anoth­er job,” he said.

Tax­pay­ers in this cat­e­go­ry are also required not to have any addi­tion­al allow­able tax relat­ed deduc­tions to claim such as med­ical expens­es, retire­ment annu­ity con­tri­bu­tions and trav­el expens­es.

The Com­mis­sion­er also warned tax­pay­ers who con­sis­tent­ly miss dead­lines to sub­mit returns ear­ly.

“Late sub­mis­sions car­ry penal­ties and we remind you that it is a crim­i­nal offense if you do not sub­mit a tax return at all — vol­un­tary com­pli­ance mat­ters,” he said.

To encour­age vol­un­tary com­pli­ance, the rev­enue col­lec­tor said SARS goes out of its way to assist tax­pay­ers com­ply.

“Dis­hon­est tax­pay­ers who are detect­ed for an audit or a crim­i­nal inves­ti­ga­tion will expe­ri­ence the con­se­quences of their action. Mak­ing pay­ment when it is due is impor­tant as late pay­ments will incur penal­ties and SARS will enforce those pro­vi­sions,” he said.

He also warned tax prac­ti­tion­ers against mak­ing false dec­la­ra­tions, say­ing this was fraud and had seri­ous con­se­quences.

To fur­ther reduce unnec­es­sary trips to SARS branch­es, the Com­mis­sion­er said, tax­pay­ers who are not required to file a return will receive a sim­u­lat­ed out­come from SARS as if they had filed a return.

For the upcom­ing tax sea­son, Kieswet­ter said SARS would be improv­ing on online fil­ing and sub­mis­sions at branch­es by intro­duc­ing inno­va­tions that would make it sim­pler and con­ve­nient for tax­pay­ers. These include the issu­ing of cus­tomised notices indi­cat­ing spe­cif­ic doc­u­ments required in the event of an audit or ver­i­fi­ca­tion and a sim­u­lat­ed out­come issued before a tax­pay­er has filed.

“The revamped SARS Mobi­App will make it even eas­i­er than before to use a smart phone to file a sim­ple income tax return,” he said.

The app will allow sim­pler nav­i­ga­tion and will see the intro­duc­tion of bio­met­ric authen­ti­ca­tion. –

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