In an attempt to streamline the tax return process, SARS has implemented a new Auto Assessment System. In the month of August, many non-provisional taxpayers have begun receiving SMS’s notifying them that they have been selected for the process. The SMS will contain a link directing them to the SARS E-Filling app, where they will be able to view their return, the automated result and have the option to ‘Accept’ or ‘Edit’ the outcome.
Returns which have not been ‘Accepted’ or ‘Edited’ by 29 January will be filed automatically.
The move has left many taxpayers feeling confused or unsure of how the process works, so we have compiled a list of must know facts when dealing with the new system.
I’ve clicked on the link in the SMS, what now?
Once the page has loaded, you will see a clickable option ‘Personal Income Tax (ITR12)’, select this option then click on ‘Request Return’
A pop up will then display the automated results, with the exact figure of how much is owed by you (R100), or owed to you (-R100) by SARS.
Looks good, what next?
If you agree with the stipulated amount, all you need to do is select ‘Accept’ followed by ‘Confirm”
What if you don’t agree?
It is important to review the return and ensure that all taxable revenue streams and deductions are accounted for. When speaking to financial practitioners, they noted that the Auto-Assessment failed to account for all taxable revenue streams, resulting in taxpayers receiving less in their returns, or paying more in tax than they should have.
What the auto-assessments doesn’t account for:
- Rental Income
- Business & Trade Income
- Foreign Dividend
- Foreign Interest
- Foreign Capital Gain
- Donations S18A Organisations
- Travel allowance
- Use of company car
- Out of pocket medical expenditure
If you suspect that your return has been calculated incorrectly, the ‘Edit’ option will allow you or your tax practitioner to adjust accordingly, ensuring all revenue streams and deductions are accounted for.
How long does it take to be paid out?
If you agree with conditions of the rebate, you should receive your refund within three working days. If your return has been edited, it will go under review by SARS. There is no stipulated turnaround time for this review as of yet.
As with all new systems and processes, the SARS auto-assessment system has its flaws. It is important to remember that the onus is still on you, the taxpayer, to ensure that your returns are honest, accurate and that all revenue streams are accounted for. This will help ensure that there are no nasty surprises in the future.