Tax 101: SARS eFiling and Tax Tables Demystified

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Many people wait for the end of June to start counting the days to spring. But it’s also the time that SARS starts to count your money!

Tax season for individuals started on the first day of July and it is time to get your tax ducks in a row before the deadline on 22 November 2013.

You can submit your tax return online via SARS eFiling or at a branch.

You will need the following documents: 

IRP5, the employees’ tax certificate your employer issues to you.
Certificates you received for local interest income earned.
Any other documentation relating to income received or accrued, such as remuneration that hasn’t been reported to SARS by your employer, or other income such as business or investment income.
Details of medical expenses paid and medical aid scheme contributions.
Certificates that show your retirement annuity fund contributions.
A logbook and other documents in support of business travel expenses, if the travel allowance is part of your remuneration or if you have the right of use of a company car taxable benefit.
Any other documentation relating to the allowable deductions you wish to claim.

Submitting your income tax return online via SARS eFiling

If you have access to the Internet, the online option is the easiest and quickest way to file a tax return through SARS eFiling.

If you want to use SARS eFiling, you have to register on the SARS eFiling website before you can complete the online form to create your return.

As you start completing the first page of the form, your answers to the questions about your tax affairs will automatically tailor the tax return to your specific tax requirements.

If you’re not sure if you will be able to do this by yourself, you can get help from the dedicated SARS call centre agents who can help you online by taking you through a parallel step-by-step “Help-you-eFile” process.

Submitting your income tax return at a SARS branch

If you are unable to use SARS eFiling, you can visit your nearest branch of SARS, but be prepared for long queues.

SARS branches also have staff available to help complete tax returns.

[tip title=”moneysmart tip”]Once you’ve registered for SARS eFiling, you can file your return using your cell phone through the SARS mobisite or you can download the SARS eFiling mobile app. The app allows you to file your individual income tax returns quickly and easily with your iPhone, iPad, Android or Android tablet.[/tip]

SARS tax tables

SARS tax tables are issued every financial year to show the tax brackets that indicate how much income tax taxpayers must pay.

This gets calculated based on their salaries and includes rebates or discounts which are automatically deducted from the amount you owe the taxman.

The manual tables and guidelines for employers include weekly, fortnightly, monthly and annual deduction tables and rebates, such as travel expenses and medical aid contributions.

As an individual taxpayer, you can use the tables to calculate if the correct amounts have been deducted for tax.

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About Author

Ina Opperman has an honours degree in Consumer Science from the Northwest University. An award-winning consumer journalist, she is the co-author of "Understanding the Consumer Protection Act" published by Juta. She writes for various magazines such as Finweek and Farmlink. Ina is a non-executive member of the Board of the National Credit Regulator as well as the Board of the Motor Industry Ombudsman.

  • David

    If I invest my tax rebate, will the proceeds be taxed?