We all know the expression about death and taxes being the only sureties in life.
However, even though we dutifully pay the taxes every year, we seldom ask why?
The reason is that the government has certain expenses that need to be paid. It usually has to do with the services and amenities that we all use. The Parks in the cities and the street lights and the roads belong to all residents. They have to be maintained. Maintenance costs money.
To keep public places and services running smoothly, you need people.
They have to be paid. Your income tax pays them. It also pays government employees such as the police, firefighters, and paramedics.
Of course, the authorities must keep meticulous records of the money they had received and who paid what. Income tax returns have to be filed every time an individual pays. It is necessary to keep up to date on what individual taxpayers earn. To make this process more accessible and easier to understand, the South African revenue services developed a system called eFiling. This online system eliminates the necessity to go to a SARS branch if you have questions or request a tax clearance certificate. In short, SARS eFiling is an online process for submitting returns and declarations related to income tax.
This service is free and enables all taxpayers, practitioners, and businesses to submit returns and declarations, make payments and interact with SARS online on a secure platform after registering.
The eFiling service in South Africa compares well with similar systems worldwide, such as those used in the U.S, Ireland, France, and other countries.
SARS is very serious about maintaining privacy and security.
Information shared on the eFiling platform is protected by the most advanced browser security in existence.
The connection between the SARS’s Service and the taxpayer browser is encrypted to ensure that using eFiling is safe and out of reach for hackers.
To register for eFiling
When you register, you will need:
- Your tax registration number/s
- ID number
- The personal details o iff the taxpayer.
Visit the eFiling website of SARS. You will find it here: https://www.sarsefiling.co.za/
and click on Register
you can get the MobiApp at the SARS website. It also has a register-option.
You can visit the nearest SARS branch to you. They will help you and answer your questions.
You can either simply fill in the application form yourself, or you can take the role of a registered representative or employee paying on behalf of a company.
You also have the option to act as an agent working on behalf of another taxpayer.
Acting as an agent for a taxpayer:
You can do that if you are:
- A registered tax practitioner.
- Or an employee with permission from a registered tax practitioner.
- Or a foreigner performing this action on behalf of an individual or company.
On registration, SARS will verify your information. They will communicate the necessary information to you on your eFiling registration form or by email.
If you have registered successfully, you will be sent a one-time pin or OTP. You can then complete the registration after verifying the OTP. On the other hand, if the registration was not successful, you may visit your nearest branch to get the necessary assistance.
To register as a taxpayer
When you register for SARS eFiling, SARS issues a tax reference number.
To register as a taxpayer, you need a valid South African ID.
Then you have to visit
- Follow the instructions on the page
- Request notice of registration, This action will register your income tax registration number.
What is a tax return?
A tax return is the completed documents returned to a tax authority such as the South African Revenue Services.
This document lists information about income and expenses. A tax return provides taxpayers the opportunity to work out their tax liability or request refunds for overpayment if applicable. It reports income, expenses, and other relevant tax information.
Tax returns should be submitted together with supporting documents such as
- An IRPs/IT3 certificate from your employer.
- Medical certificates.
- Annuity certificates.
- Banking details.
- A travel logbook (provided you receive a travel allowance).
- Tax certificates for investment income (IT3).
- Disability information (ITR-DD), where applicable.
Not every taxpayer needs to submit a return. It is only necessary to submit a return if:
Your total income from employment/salary for the year did not exceed R500 000
You have earned more than R500,000 in the tax year.
You have conducted trade in the country as a South African citizen.
You have received allowances for subsistence, travel, or duties as an office-bearer.
Have assets outside of South Africa that are worth more than R225 000?
- have capital gains or capital losses in excess of R40 000? If
- hold rights in a foreign company?
- Or have received a request from SARS to submit a return.