Clarification – Filing threshold and dates

Pretoria, Thursday 6 June 2019 – The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has noted that the criteria for taxpayers who may not be required to file an income tax return has been wrongly interpreted. 
What filing season is actually about
  • Tax Season is about filing an income tax return to ensure that an individual taxpayer’s tax affairs are in order.
  • Most salaried taxpayers have already paid tax through Pay As You Earn (PAYE) that is deducted off their salary by an employer who pays the tax deduction over to SARS.
  • If such taxpayers are required to file a return, such as those who earn above R500 000 per year, it is generally required of them to confirm what SARS already knows about their income and financial status.
  • However other taxpayers who may earn below the filing threshold, are required to file a return because they need to declare other sources of income, such as rental income or business income, or to claim tax related deductions such as medical expenses not covered by their medical aid, retirement annuity contributions and travel expenses.
  • SARS then reconciles what was paid over by the employer with what the taxpayer declares on their income tax return
  • After this reconciliation, the assessment or tax calculation may result in the taxpayer needing to pay in additional tax to SARS, or is due a refund or neither, i.e. neither the taxpayer nor SARS owes anything.
  • Tax Season is not about refunds and filing a tax return does not guarantee you a refund. 
The threshold of R500 000 and criteria for those not required to file
  • The threshold refers to those who are not required to file a tax return, it does not refer to who must not pay tax. 
  • The filing threshold is not the same as the tax threshold to pay tax or have Pay As You Earn (PAYE) deducted. (You have already paid over tax through the PAYE deducted from your salary if you earn more than R79, 000 per year for those under 65 years for the 2020 tax year).
  • The threshold of R500 000 is not the only condition.  All the following conditions must also apply before you can cross yourself out for filing a tax return:
    • Your remuneration is paid from one employer or one source (if  you changed jobs during the tax year, or have more than one employer or income source, you must file)
    • You have no car or travel allowance, a company car fringe benefit, which is considered as additional income
    • You do not have any other form of income such as interest, rental income or extra money from a side business such as selling Tupperware or baked goods
    • Employees tax (i.e. PAYE) has been deducted or withheld 
SARS Tax Calculations
SARS will do a tax calculation for those taxpayers not required to file as though they did file.  This will provide the taxpayer with written confirmation that they are in good standing with SARS.
Tax Filing Dates
• eFiling opens on 01 July and closes on 04 December 2019
• Branch Filing opens on 01 August and closes on 31 October 2019.
• Provisional taxpayers have until 31 January 2020 to file via eFiling.
Tax Education workshops
A full schedule of tax education workshops at our branches is available on the SARS website at Learn about Tax.
Mobile Tax Units
Mobile Tax Units are like mobile branches which go to outlying areas. To see the schedule of the dates and regions that mobile units visit, click here.
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