The 2018 tax season for individual taxpayers commenced on July 1.

The South African Revenue Service (Sars) surprised taxpayers by bringing the deadline for tax submissions for non-provisional individual taxpayers forward to October 31, 2018. In the past, this deadline was normally the second last Friday of November. This deadline is in respect of taxpayers submitting their tax forms via eFiling. For those who are still submitting their IT12 tax returns manually at a Sars branch or by post, this deadline is September 21, 2018.

If ALL of the following criteria apply to you, you do NOT need to submit an IT12 tax return:

  • Your total employment income (salary) for the year March 1, 2017 to February 28,2018 before tax (gross income) did not exceed R350 000;
  • You received only employment income (salary) from one employer for that tax year;
  • You have no car allowance/company car/travel allowance or other income (such as interest or rental income); and
  • You are not claiming tax-related deductions (medical expenses, retirement annuity contributions other than pension contributions made by your employer, travel, and so on).

Sars makes it easy for taxpayers who aren’t sure whether they need to submit an IT12 tax return or not. Simply call the Sars Contact Centre on 0800 007 277, press 3 (for a tax-related enquiry) and select 1.

Provisional taxpayers

If you receive income other than a salary, you need to register as a provisional taxpayer. If you receive the following exempt income, you do not need to register as a provisional taxpayer:

  • Interest less than R23 800 if you are under 65
  • Interest less than R34 500 if you are 65 and older
  • Income from a tax-free savings account.

The deadline for provisional taxpayers to submit their IT12 tax returns is January 31, 2019.

Provisional taxpayers do their provisional tax payments (IRP6) every six months, at the end of August and February. It is sensible to provide for these payments monthly to prevent having to pay the large amounts and not having saved these funds in a bank account. It is recommended that provisional taxpayers invest a monthly amount in a money market or call account to earn some interest while saving the amount for provisional tax.

If you have an access facility on your bond, this is an ideal place to park your provisional tax money as you are guaranteed a saving equal to your bond interest rate. Please note that this option should only be used once you have ensured that you have access to these funds without having to apply for the funds.