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How the 2020 tax season will work

The tax filing season will only be opening as from September 1.

In support of the president’s call to stop the spread of the coronavirus by observing social distancing at all times and limit movement by staying at home, Sars has amended the 2020 tax return submission dates for individuals to the following dates:

  1. September 1 to November 16 2020: Taxpayers who file online.
  2. September 1 to October 22 2020: Taxpayers who are not able to file electronically can do so at a Sars branch by appointment.
  3. September 1, 2020, to January 29 2021: Provisional Taxpayers who file electronically.

Usually, the tax season opens for online tax submissions as from July 1. However, as a result of the amended Sars dates for 2020 tax submissions for individuals, the 2020 tax filing season will only be opening as from September 1 this year.

During August, Sars will be assessing a significantly higher number of taxpayers automatically. Sars will auto-assess based on data they receive from employers, financial institutions, medical schemes, retirement annuity fund administrators and other third-party data providers. If you receive an auto assessment and accept the outcome of such assessment you will not have to file a 2020 tax return at all.

Please note the Sars auto assessment is primarily intended for those taxpayers who are salaried employees and who only receive a single IRP5. However, even if you have a single IRP5, but you may receive a car allowance or wish to claim other deductions not reflected on such IRP5, such as retirement annuities, medical aid etc, it is strongly recommended that you submit your tax return as per normal.

Should you receive more than one IRP5 or have other income such as taxable interest, capital gains, rental income etc, it is recommended that you do a normal 2020 tax submission, even if for some reason Sars performs an auto assessment on your behalf.

Please note that if you accept an auto assessment and Sars later finds out that you have underdeclared other earnings of which it was unaware of, you will be liable for potential interest and penalties. Accordingly, you should only accept a Sars auto assessment if you are fully satisfied that such auto assessment properly reflects your tax affairs for the 2019/2020 tax year (March 1, 2019, to February 29 2020). Should you require any clarification in this regard, we recommend that you speak to a registered tax practitioner.

Furthermore, before the 2020 tax filing season starts, if you have not yet received your IRP5/IT3(a)s and other tax certificates like medical aid certificate, retirement annuity fund certificate and other third-party data that are relevant in determining your tax obligations, you should immediately approach your employer, medical aid scheme, retirement annuity fund or other third-party service providers to make sure that they have complied with their submission requirements. This information was required to have been provided to all taxpayers by May 31 2020.

Global & Local Accounting Services are registered tax practitioners and are available to assist you with your 2020 tax submissions as well as advise you with regards to any tax issues or queries you may have.

Please feel free to contact Global & Local Accounting Services on 011 486 2500 or e-mail Dave Haldane on daveha@globallocal.co.za.

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Michael Haldane

Global & Local Investment Advisors

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