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Tax Season for Beginners



Tax season…. probably one of the most daunting times of the year if you are not completely clued up with the whole process. We wanted to help make it a bit easier for you by breaking down the process and giving you a better understanding of what tax season involves. Who knows – maybe you’ll save a little extra cash in your budget this year!


Here’s what you need to know to tackle your returns like a pro:


  1. Do you need to submit a return?

Before you begin this process, it is important to see if you actually need to submit a return or not. SARS makes it easy to determine this with a series of questions that you can answer online. Once that is done – you’ll know if you need to submit anything or not. Time saver!


  1. IRP5

Tax can be confusing for anyone, especially with all the confusing jargon they use! As a salaried taxpayer, what you need to know about the IRP5 (tax certificate) form is that you can’t submit a return without it. It contains all your personal info, details of the money you’ve earned and the PAYE tax you’ve paid over the last year. PAYE stands for “pay as you earn”. It is money taken off your salary monthly. Your company will work our your IRP5 and give it to you every tax season.


  1. eFiling

eFiling is the quickest and easiest way to do your returns each year. It is an online platform that allows you to do all your submitting without you having to go into a SARS office. It’s free and simple to use. All you need to do is register and you are ready to go! Another bonus with eFiling – you can submit the return yourself or get a registered tax practitioner to do it for you.


  1. Submit returns yourself or use a tax practitioner

Whether or not you should submit your return yourself or rely on a tax practitioner to do it depends on a number of factors. These factors include the complexity of your tax situation, how much time you have on your hands, if you can afford a tax practitioner and your access to the internet. If you have income from a single source and no fringe benefits, you’re probably better off doing it yourself via eFiling. If you own multiple properties or receive benefits like a car allowance, you’re probably better off using the help of a professional. Rather get it right the first time than having to go backwards and forwards.


  1. Show me the money!

If you get money back from SARS then well done and job done! Be smart with the money you get back though. Rather put it into a savings account or use it to pay off some of your debts.

Now on to the next tax season!


In the next blog, we will be covering some tax season tips for accountants or small business owners.

Check the blog out here:

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