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Don’t say Yes to that Auto-Assess

This year, as disruptive as its been, SARS have decided to shake it up some more by changing the tax season dates, including a new auto-assess option.

2020 has been a rough ride. No one needs to receive a SMS from SARS stating they owe thousands of Rands in tax, especially as a +70-year-old, for the first time ever (true story). Yet this is what is happening. We are receiving calls from sh*t scared taxpayers fearing SARS is going to come knocking.

Calm down to a panic. In August you will probably receive correspondence from SARS with an auto-assessment. Don't press the button!

The new auto-assess option is designed to make it easier for taxpayers to submit their income tax returns (ITR12’s), which is required annually. However, this system is not ‘all-knowing’ and is only as good as the data it has received.

Where you earn no other income (ie. only a salary from one employer) and your IRP5 has been submitted by your employer, it is likely that the auto-assess will reflect a R Nil due/refundable.

Where you have a pension, retirement annuity and/or medical aid fund which was not run through Payroll for the full 12 month period, it is likely there is a refund due to you.

Where you receive interest, taxable dividends, rental income, other income etc. you may need to pay additional tax and possibly have to register as a provisional taxpayer.

It is always advisable to chat to a tax practitioner who will assist you with your options and compliance requirements.

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