Cloud services are a global trend that is gaining popularity with locals too as more and more South Africans become comfortable socialising, transacting and backing up their information online. Now the world of tax has entered the cloud as TaxTim extends its offering by launching a new system for taxpayers to keep their essential tax documents and certificates organised in one central place online.
With the July tax season just around the corner, taxpayers can expect to receive various documents from employers and benefit schemes via email or the post. This year, rather than piling these documents into a dusty cardboard box; they can be stored online until they are needed for completing tax returns. Cloud services promote efficiency as they make storage and retrieval quick, can be accessed from any PC, tablet or mobile device and prevent the unintended loss of important data.
“Most of the stress taxpayers face when completing their tax returns is collating all those documents required to describe their incomes and expenses on their tax return. Because the documents are sent out between May and June, they are often forgotten about and people find themselves sifting through old correspondence or making last minute phone calls to the various institutions involved – this can be a painful process,” says TaxTim Director and Chartered Accountant Marc Sevitz. “Creating a system for taxpayers who complete their tax returns online to keep their documents organised was a logical next step for TaxTim to make filing tax returns easier.”
Evan Robinson, Director and CTO of TaxTim says, “It takes users five seconds to forward their documents in an email to TaxTim where they are then stored safely and securely in an encrypted archive for convenient use during tax season. The process is simple, but by keeping good records, taxpayers decrease their chances of attracting penalties from SARS. One in four people are randomly audited by SARS, but being able to provide documents for audits post-filing is straightforward when using cloud storage.”
Documents to look out for and which can be sent to TaxTim for storage include:
- An IRP5 form from your employer(s) indicating your salary and benefits
- Medical aid tax certificates from your medical aid scheme
- IT3(b) / IT3(c) documents declaring your income from investments
- Tax certificate’s received from Public Benefit Organisations / charities for donations made
- Certificates received from retirement, pension and income protection funds
The archive system has been designed and implemented in consultation with sound legal advice so that it complies fully with the coming Protection of Personal Information (POPI) Act. The act limits the way in which South Africans’ personal data can be processed, stored and made use of so as to protect their identity and privacy when dealing with external companies. By specifying that users must be clearly informed of – and give their express consent to – any use of their data, it is hoped that both criminal activities and annoying activities (such as SMS spam) will be massively reduced. The act was signed into law by President Zuma in November 2013.