TAX SEASON 2016 FOR INDIVIDUALS

1 July 2016 is the start of the 2016 Tax Season for Individuals. Be ready. We’re ready, South Africa. Let’s make our country great.
 
During Tax Season, you need to submit your income tax return (ITR12) so we can reconcile the  tax on your income and the tax-deductible expenses for the year of assessment (1 March 2015 - 29 February 2016). This may, in some cases, result in a refund.
 
Tax Season runs from July to November every year. For provisional taxpayers who submit via eFiling, it runs until January of the following year.  

Important due dates

  • 25 November 2016 -  At a SARS branch (non-provisional)
  • 25 November 2016 - eFiling (non-provisional)
  • 31 January 2017 - Provisional taxpayers via eFiling

Supporting Documents

To get ready to submit your tax return, you will need to gather all your supporting documents which include the following: 
  • IRP5/IT3(a) certificate(s)  from your employer or pension fund
  • IT3(b) certificates for investment returns
  • Financial statements, if applicable e.g. business income
  • Medical aid contribution certificates and receipts
  • ​Retirement annuity fund certificates
  • Certificates you received for local interest income earned
  • Logbook and other documents in support of business travel expenses
  • Completed confirmation of diagnosis of disability form (ITR-DD), if applicable
  • Any other relevant income and deduction information.
  • Bank account details
For a complete list of supporting documents, click here.
 
Top tip: Even though you will be using the supporting documents  to complete your return, you mustn't send them to SARS. You must keep them safely for a period of five years should SARS require them in future.
 
Remember, if you're filing at a SARS branch you must bring all the documents applicable to you, plus original proof of identity (ID, temporary ID, passport or driver's licence).
 
Top tip: Check your IRP5 and verify if all the information is correct before attempting to submit the return. If you notice any errors which might need to be corrected, kindly advise your employer to rectify it.  You will not be able to change these prepopulated fields on the return.

Not everyone needs to submit an income tax return

You don't need to file your return if your total salary earned during 1 March 2015 - 29 February 2016 for the 2015/2016 year of assessment is not more than R350 000 (before tax), provided:
  • You only have one employer (but remember if you have two employers or income sources e.g. late spouse / partner pension income, exam markings income, rental income, moonlighting income etc you do need to file even if the total is still under R350 000)
  • You have no car allowance or other income (e.g. interest or rent)
  • You are not claiming tax related deductions (e.g. medical expenses, retirement annuity contributions, travel expenses etc)
  • You received interest from a source in South Africa not exceeding -
    • R23 800 if you are below the age of 65 years;
    • R34 500 if you aged 65 years or older
  • Dividends were paid to you and you were a non-resident during the 2016 year of assessment.
 
Top tip: Trusts are required to submit an annual Income Tax Return (IT12TR), as well. 

Forgot your tax number? Don’t worry; SARS is ready to help you

Your income tax reference number is a unique 10-digit number issued by SARS to a taxpayer on registration.
 
If you are registered, you can find your tax number on your:
  • Notice of registration from SARS (only available at a SARS Branch and not via the SARS Contact Centre)
  • Employee Tax Certificate (IRP5/IT3(a))
  • Income Tax Workpage on eFiling, if you're a registered eFiler.

Forgot your eFiling login name and password?

 Follow these easy steps:
  • Visit www.sarsefiling.co.za
  • Click on Login button
  • Click on the question mark icon for a reminder of your login name or to reset your password
  • If you have forgotten both your login name and password, you will need to first complete the “I forgot my login name” process
  • We'll send it to your SARS registered email address or cell phone number
  • Use the details to complete the process.
 
Top tip: If you’re not registered yet for eFiling, follow our simple and easy steps to register.

Make accurate claims

Make sure you have the correct documents and proof for every claim you make.
  • Only use info and figures that reflect on your supporting documents
  • Use ONLY the amounts reflected on your contribution certificates from your retirement annuity fund, income protection scheme, medical aid etc.
  • Make sure you keep an accurate logbook and do not fabricate kilometres travelled
  • Don't inflate the value of your vehicle.
  • Declare all income you received during the year of assessment like rent, interest and income from your part-time job
  • If a deduction does not exist - do not claim for it!

Be honest on your tax return

Overstating the number of dependants or expenses for medical claims is a criminal offence.
  • Only claim for the actual number of dependants registered on your medical aid
  • Don't overstate your out-of-pocket medical expenses because SARS will ask for your receipts
  • Medication that has not been prescribed may not be claimed for.
For more info on Medical rebates, click here.

Don't fall for scams

Don't be fooled by emails asking for your personal info
  • SARS will never request your banking details or personal details in any communication that you receive by post, email, phone or SMS
  • SARS will also not send you any hyperlinks to other websites - even those of banks
  • There are no links to any bank on this website.

Why queue when you can be first in line with eFiling?

eFiling is the quickest and easiest way to submit your return
  • Visit eFiling to register and submit your return online
  • Need help? Click on the Help-You-eFile icon on eFiling (when filing from your computer) and follow the prompts to get access to a friendly SARS Contact Centre agent
  • If you need help, just click the Help-You-eFile icon on eFiling and a friendly SARS agent will help you every step of the way.
  • Save time – let us call you back: Click on the Help-You-eFile icon and select “Call Me”. One of our agents will call you back to help you step by step with eFiling.

Top tip: ITR12 form availability - All Practitioners, Executors of Estates and Individuals wanting to submit an ITR12 tax return for the 2016 year of assessment  are advised that the 2016 - ITR12 form will not be available between the 17 June and the 1 July 2016.  All other ITR12 forms relating to other years of assessment will operate as normal.

Need help?

 
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Last Updated: 27/06/2016 9:34 AM     print this page
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 Top FAQs

How is interest paid to a non-resident from a South African source taxed?
As from 1 March 2015 interest from a South African source, paid to a non-resident will be taxed at a final withholding tax rate of 15%.

Where can I find information to help me fill in my ITR12 correctly?
For information to fill in your ITR12 correctly: See Completing your ITR12 ITR12 – Comprehensive Guide is available here Visit the Tax Season webpage for all the latest information.

If the populated information is incorrect on my ITR12 return, how do I correct this?
For manual completion:- If the populated information is incorrect, you can change any populated information by :-Using a black pen to write over the information printed in pink

Can I claim professional subscription fees as a chartered accountant?
A person who earns remuneration income (which is not derived mainly from commission) cannot claim professional subscription fees against the income received.

Why am I not able to change my identity number/passport number/passport country and passport issue date on my ITR12?
SARS checks your Date Of Birth, ID number and Passport number with the Department of Home Affairs (DOHA), who are the official register of all Identification information. Consequently SARS won't allow changes to this DOHA information on the return.