Tag Archive: tax


The Tax Season commenced on 01 July 2012. Taxpayers can now submit their IT12 Returns for 2012. To avoid fines or penalties, individuals need to file their tax returns within the SARS deadlines, for the period 01 March 2011 to 29 February 2012.

Submission Deadlines

Please take note of the submission deadlines below:

•Manual returns have to be posted or delivered to local SARS branches by 28 September 2012.

•Non-provisional taxpayers may use SARS eFiling until 23 November 2012.

•Provisional taxpayers have more time and may submit electronic returns via eFiling until 31 January next year.

 

Tax Return Guide 

Visit www.sars.gov.za  to obtain the 2012 Tax Season electronic guide to help with submitting your IT12 Returns.

Help-You-eFile

A Help-You-eFile service will also soon be launched by SARS. The Help-You-eFile service is an innovation that will provide taxpayers with access to contact centre agents while the taxpayer is online. SARS Agents are able to see what taxpayers are doing and assist with the completion of the tax return. SARS has also embraced mobile technology and this year individuals with mobile devices will also be able to file their returns through the new SARS eFiling mobisite (sarsefiling.mobi) or a soon-to-be-launched eFiling application for people on the move using smartphones or tablets.

SARS is also enabling taxpayers to view eFiling videos on YouTube demonstrating how to register for eFiling, complete and submit the IRT12 tax form, accompanied by supporting documents if these are required. SARS has said that eFilers will receive their ITA34 assessment and statement of account within a few minutes of submitting the return.

 

eFiling

e@syFile™ Employer version 6.0.4 is available to download from www.sars.gov.za. An updated security certificate is included in this release to ensure successful installation. There are no additional changes in functionality.

Taxpayers who may have forgotten their eFiling login or password will be able to request their login name and reset their password from the login page

 

Find out more from www.pastelpayroll.co.za

Tax season 2012 has been officially launched. To avoid fines or penalties, individuals need to file their tax returns within the SARS deadlines, for the period 01 March 2011 to 29 February 2012.

Manual returns have to be posted or delivered to local SARS branches by 28 September 2012 while non-provisional taxpayers may use SARS eFiling until 23 November 2012. Provisional taxpayers have more time and may submit electronic returns via eFiling until 31 January next year.

Phil Meyer, technology director of payroll, tax and HR software developer Pastel Payroll, part of the Softline Group and Sage Group plc, recommends that individuals begin to get their tax documentation in order now.

“It makes sense to gather proof of contributions to Retirement Annuities or private pensions and medical schemes, investment income, dividends and lump sum payments now. The earlier the return can be finalised and submitted the better. It is less stressful than the panic last-minute rush.”

Meyer adds that taxpayers can obtain the Tax Season 2012 electronic guide from the SARS website www.sars.gov.za

“This year SARS is offering taxpayers assistance with their returns through a number of channels, helping to ensure that tax returns are submitted accurately and on time with minimal effort. A Help-You-eFile service will also soon be launched by SARS.”

The Help-You-eFile service is an innovation that will provide taxpayers with access to contact centre agents while the taxpayer is online. SARS Agents are able to see what taxpayers are doing and assist with the completion of the tax return.

The Help-You-eFile service is an innovation that will provide taxpayers with access to contact centre agents while the taxpayer is online. SARS Agents are able to see what taxpayers are doing and assist with the completion of the tax return.

“Taxpayers will also be able to view eFiling videos on YouTube that demonstrate how to registers for eFiling, complete and submit the IRT12 tax form, accompanied by supporting documents if these are required. SARS has said that eFilers will receive their ITA34 assessment and statement of account within a few minutes of submitting the return.”

Finally, taxpayers who may have forgotten their eFiling login or password will be able to request their login name and reset their password from the login page.

By Rob Cooper, a Payroll Tax Expert at Softline VIP

Rob Cooper

Rob Cooper

Bursaries and scholarships increase value for employers and employees by improving overall skills levels. The South African 2012-2013 Budget made changes to the legislation regarding the taxation of bursaries and scholarships. Bursaries are generally employer deductible and potentially tax free to an employee or their relative.

Bursaries granted by companies can be divided into two groups: Open bursaries are granted to individuals who are not company employees, and closed bursaries are granted to employees or relatives of employees. Open bursaries are not taxable and provide a positive way for companies to make a difference to South Africa’s skills shortage by providing the means for individuals who are not currently employed to gain qualifications and skills.

Closed bursaries, granted to individuals who are employees, or a relative of an employee, can be tax free, partially taxed or fully taxed depending on the bursary amount and the employee’s annual remuneration amount. A closed bursary granted to an employee is exempt from tax if the employee agrees to repay the bursary amount should he/she fail to complete or pass their studies for any reason other than death, illness or injury.

According to the legislation, closed bursaries granted to a relative of an employee are taxable if the employee’s remuneration exceeds R100 000 and if the bursary value exceeds R10 000. To explain:

  • If the employee earns less than R100 000 a year, and the bursary amount is R8 000, then the entire amount is exempt from tax.
  • If the bursary is worth R12 000, then R10 000 of that amount is exempt from taxation while the additional R 2 000 is taxable.
  • If the employee earns more than R100 000 annually, all bursaries or scholarships are taxable.

To calculate the R100 000 limit, the entire income amount must be used and must not be ‘fourth schedule remuneration’.  For example, the income must also include the employee’s full travel allowance.  If remuneration exceeds R100 000 after the bursary is paid, then the untaxed portion of the bursary must be taxed.

From March 2012, the exempt portion of the bursary amount needed to be reported against a new code 3815, and the taxable portion of the bursary as code 3809, which has been re-activated. This enables SARS to see the total value of the bursary on the employee’s tax certificate.

A bona fide bursary may include the costs of tuition fees, registration fees, examination fees, books, equipment required, accommodation, meals or meal vouchers and transport.

The South African legislation regarding the taxation of bursaries and scholarships supports local companies that want to make a positive impact on the South African skills shortage and decrease poverty levels by providing both employees and non-employees with opportunities to study and gain valuable skills. This is an avenue that companies should understand and pursue in order to maximise the impact of their tax deductible contributions.

“The budget speech provided for a few uninspiring tax incentives for small business. But are tax incentives what small business really needs? I would argue that quality infrastructure, less red tape and admin burden and access to finance are far more important. Small business would also like to see local government award contracts fairly; and those lucky enough to win a contract still face the challenge of getting paid on time. As the growth engine for our economy, we need small business. I guess the fundamental question then is how do you start a business without some sort of decent education?”

- Rob Wilkie, CFO Softline and Sage AAMEA 

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan delivered a safe, no real surprises budget [yesterday] ([Wednesday] 22 February) with R9.5-billion personal tax relief achieved by increasing the personal tax brackets. This brings the primary annual tax rebate for individuals under the age of 65 to R11 440, for individuals aged between 65 and 75 to R6 390 and those aged 75 and older to R2 130.

A key feature of the budget is that tax revenue stabilised at about 25% of South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP). Overall revenue was slightly lower than the estimate in February last year and the revised estimate for 2012/13 is R739-billion, which is R10-billion higher than projected last year. Also pleasing was reductions in the rates of tax on small businesses and in the compliance burden on micro businesses.

It is proposed that from March 2014 an employer’s retirement fund contributions on behalf of an employee will be regarded as a taxable fringe benefit in the hands of the employee. Individuals will be allowed to deduct up to 22.5% of the higher taxable income or employment income for contributions to pension, provident and retirement annuity funds to a maximum of R20 000 and an annual maximum of R250 000. For individuals of 45 and over the deductible amount is up to 27.5% with a minimum annual deduction of R20 000 and annual maximum of R300 000.

There is a major change relating to medical aid where from 1 March 2012 the capping system will be replaced with a medical aid tax credit, bringing in equality for all taxpayers under the age of 65 and improved benefits for lower earners, a move in line with international best practice. The medical aid tax credit is R230 a month for the first two beneficiaries (including the principal member) and R154 for each additional dependent thereafter. Taxpayers over the age of 65 will receive their full medical aid contribution as a tax deduction in 2014.

Comments Grant Lloyd, managing director of payroll and HR software specialist Softline Pastel Payroll, part of the Softline and Sage Group plc: “The medical aid tax credit system will likely result in lower earners receiving greater benefits, which is a good thing.”

He adds that the Site tax portion of PAYE will fall away, making payroll administration easier.

“Secondary Tax on Companies (STC) will be terminated on March 31 this year and a withholding tax of 15% on dividends is to be introduced on April 1. The tax will be withheld on payment, not on declaration. South African branches of foreign resident companies are exempt from STC.”

Capital gains tax rates have effectively been increased to 13.3% for individuals, 18.6% for companies and 26.7% for Trusts, effective March 1.

Most individual taxpayers will be affected by the introduction of a 20-cent levy on fuel and an 8-cent levy for the Road Accident Fund.

To assist SME businesses with the changes outlined in the new Budget, Softline Pastel Payroll is incorporating all of the Budget changes to tax bracket values, medical aid benefits, and tax relief rebates.

“Automated Payroll and HR software ensures that payrolls are accurate and legally compliant the moment the new Budget stipulations take effect in the new tax year,” says Lloyd.

To find out how the Budget Speech affects your pocket, visit www.pastelpayroll.co.za and enter your current monthly salary and allowances in the online Pastel Salary Tax Calculator.

ISSUED BY: COPYWISE

ON BEHALF OF: SOFTLINE PASTEL PAYROLL