SARS commissioner Edward Kieswetter presented his plans for the 2019 tax season on Tuesday morning (4 June), including the announcement that taxpayers earning below R500,000 are now no longer required to submit returns.
This is an increase from the previous threshold of R350,000. However, SARS said that taxpayers still need to meet the following criteria:
- Your total employment income for the year before tax is not more than R500,000;
- You only receive employment income from one employer for the full tax year;
- You have no other form of income, such as car allowance, business income, rental income, taxable interest or income from another job; and
- You don’t have any additional allowable tax related deductions to claim, such as medical expenses, retirement annuity contributions and travel expenses.
Kieswetter said that the taxman would be especially hard on those that miss their payment deadlines.
“We continue to encourage taxpayers to convert to online filing. This makes the submission of returns simpler and convenient but also facilitates our overall objective of improving voluntary compliance”.
South African taxpayers should beware of simply ignoring their normal tax filing obligations due to the recent tax threshold change, according to North West University professor Herman Viviers.
“People should be very wary not simply ignore filing their normal tax returns as there is always the possibility of getting a tax refund due to additional tax deductions and/or tax credits only allowed upon assessment,” Viviers said.
He added that people should also take into account their retirement annuity contributions and medical schemes when considering filing their tax return, as they will need to declare these to claim back tax on these payments.
“Individuals will lose out on these deductions and tax credits if they do not submit their tax returns,” Viviers said.
He added that if people are uncertain about whether to submit their return, they should consult with a registered tax practioner to determine if they are compliant with the Tax Administration Act.
The tax season will officially start on 1 July for eFiling, and 1 August for other types of filing. Submissions need to be in by 31 October for walk-ins, and 4 December for online filing. For more info about personal income tax, visit the SARS website here, and to register for eFiling, click here.
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