By: Brendan Dale

The eFiling tax season for personal tax will open sometime in July and we’ll all have a few months to submit out tax returns and see whether we owe SARS money or better yet get a refund.

The tax year runs from 1 March last year until the end of February this year and it’s somehow always chaotic when it’s time to submit our taxes.

Here are 4 tips to help you get ready for eFiling and avoid the stress and chaos.

Store everything in one place

Instead of frantically searching for all your tax-related documents, rather start finding it all now and store it in one place (in a folder on your computer or print everything out and file it together). You will most probably need the following:-

  • An IRP5 from your employer showing your salary income (although all large employers send this directly to SARS on your behalf)
  • Medical Aid tax certificate
  • Proof of all medical expenses not covered by medical aid
  • Tax certificates from all the banks where you have accounts to show interest you have earned
  • Tax certificates from all investment companies where you have investments
  • Rental income & expenses if you own and rent a property
  • Bond statement for your rental property

If you are unsure of whether you need a tax certificate for an investment then simply call the financial institution which administers your investment and ask! Get everything ready now and keep it together in one place.

Keep all your records up to date

It’s really easy to keep your records up to date throughout the year. This applies to medical expenses, property rentals and any other special circumstances which may apply to you. Just spend 10 minutes each month looking for any tax related documents or transactions and update any spreadsheets or folders. I also keep a note on my phone where I write down anything I need to remember that relates to my tax submission.

Claim back medical expenses

Certain medical expenses are tax deductible and you should keep records of all medical expenses not paid for by your medical aid (even if you are not a medical aid member).

Your eFiling form has a specific section for medical expenses and you can include all expenses incurred by registered medical practitioners. See the SARS website for the exact details.

Consult with a tax specialist

If your tax submission only includes your annual salary and a few investment certificates then you can most probably complete it yourself. If however you have one or more properties, foreign investments or assets, contract work, medical expenses or other tax-related transactions rather consult with a professional tax practitioner. Even though you will pay for their servers you will firstly be assured that you are fully tax compliant, and secondly you may receive a rebate for something that you did not know about.

Prepare now and avoid the rush.

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