Do I have to submit an Income Tax Return (ITR12)?

The tax season opened on 1 July 2013 and the first question is – do you have to submit an Income Tax Return (ITR12)?

If all the following apply to you then you do not have to submit a Return.

  1. You earn only a salary and from one employer.
  2. You don't have any other income e.g. taxable interest or rent or income from another job.
  3. Your total salary for the year before tax is not more than R250 000.
  4. You don't have any tax deductions to claim for medical expenses, retirement annuity contributions or travel expenses.

If all the above are applicable to you then your employer would have deducted the correct amount of PAYE from your earnings and paid this to SARS and have issued you with and IRP5 or IT3(a) Certificate as well as having filed a return of your earnings to SARS.

If you have to file a return then the following dates are applicable:

  1. For a manual return: 27 September 2013.
  2. To file a return electronically at a SARS branch: 22 November 2013.
  3. Non- provisional taxpayers using efiling: 22 November 2013.
  4. Provisional taxpayers using efiling: 31 January 2014.

If you were not in a position to file your Tax Return in July or August it is not recommended that you follow the route of doing it manually or electronically at a SARS branch because this can be a time consuming exercise by having to take time off from work, queue to get into the SARS branch and then wait for an appointment to see a consultant. There is an innate tendency for taxpayers to leave their tax returns to the last minute and consequently the queues at SARS' branches can be inordinately long. It can take you a whole day to queue to see a SARS consultant.

The easiest way to file your tax return is by efiling but if you cannot do it yourself make a point of seeing a Registered Tax Practitioner as soon as possible but not later than the end of August so that your return can be filed by efiling before the end of September. A Registered Tax Practitioner will be familiar with SARS' requirements and will tell you exactly what documentation is required of you to complete your Tax Return. Most Tax Practitioners fees for their services are competitive but will obviously depend upon the complexity of your affairs, but it will be painless. The important thing is to get your return filed before the due date otherwise administrative penalties for non-compliance will be imposed and your track record will be tainted.

1 July 2013 is also the date by which Tax Practitioners must have re-registered with SARS as either full or affiliate members of one of the appointed professional accountancy institutes. In the past practitioners were not required to be a member of an accountancy institute but from 1 July 2013 this is now a compulsory requirement and only these members will be able to provide taxation services. The driving force behind this change is that the Tax Practitioners will now be subject to their institute's disciplinary control. SARS had found that previously the tax affairs of a large number of tax practitioners were in arrears.

It will now be illegal for anyone to provide a service dealing with any aspect of Taxation unless that person or organization is registered with SARS under the new requirements. It is therefore important that in your dealings with a Tax Practitioner that you have their registration number and the Institute of which they are a member. If you are unhappy with the service provided or there are financial consequences for example penalties imposed by SARS for late submission of a return for which, in your opinion you are not responsible, then your course of action would be to direct your complaint to the Institute of the Tax Practitioner concerned.

On 30 April 2013 which was two years from the introduction of the Consumer Protection Act and judging from Wendy Knowler's column in the daily press, many businesses, in particular large retail businesses, are abusing the 6 month product protection that the Act provides consumers. In general terms if a product fails because of normal wear and tear then it would depend on what warrantee the supplier has given. For example, if you purchased a printer it might come with a 2 year warrantee so if it needs repairing within a 2 year period from date of purchase you might be held responsible depending on the warrantee for some costs involved in repairing the printer. However, if you buy a product without a warrantee and if it malfunctions within 6 months, then the supplier is entitled to establish why it malfunctioned and if it was not caused by your misuse then it is your decision whether to have it repaired without cost to yourself, replaced or your payment refunded.

Once you get past 6 months your rights to repair, replace or refund fall away. Apparently many organizations have notices at the point of sale stating considerably shorter periods for any returns. This is not in terms of the Consumer Protection Act and as far as packaging is concerned according to Wendy Knowler the Consumer Protection Act does not require you to return the product in its original packaging but merely to produce your invoice to prove when and where you purchased the item. A lot of day to day purchasing takes place where there are no written warrantees and if you don't misuse the product for its intended use then you have 6 months to return it for repair, replace or refund. It will be your decision. Slowly the Act is becoming more accepted and familiar to businesses with many businesses going the extra mile to keep their customers happy. However there are still many businesses that are not up to date with the Act and the daily press is doing a good job in naming them and shaming them.

30 April 2013 also saw the end of the first 2 years of the New Companies Act. There was a bit of a flurry in getting new MOI's (Memorandums of Incorporation) drafted and submitted to the C.I.P.C. (Companies and intellectual Properties Commission) before the end of April 2013 to take advantage of the 2 year period during which the C.I.P.C. fee for new MOI's would be waived. Under the old Act private companies had to be audited.

The situation now is that whether the company has to be audited or not depends of the following factors:

  1. If the company's MOI requires it to be audited.
  2. It's Public Interest Score.
  3. Whether it is owner managed.
  4. Are the Annual Financial Statements compiled internally or independently.

Owner managed in terms of the New Companies Act means that all the shareholders are directors but if one of the shareholders is a juristic person, for example another company or a trust, then the company is not owner managed. This is a grey area and the accounting industry requires clarification on issues surrounding this aspect of the Act. If for example a private company meets all the requirements of not requiring to be audited i.e. all the shareholders are directors, the Public interest Score is within certain limits, the Annual Financial Statements are to be extracted independently and the company creates a subsidiary company where certain of its employees will be given shares in the subsidiary company then that subsidiary company would need to be audited because all the shareholders will not be natural persons. Because the holding company is a juristic person you have a situation where the holding company does not need to be audited but in terms of the New Companies Act the subsidiary company will require to be audited.

It is inevitable that changes to the New Companies Act will surface and already changes are being lined up for 2014 and we look forward to area such as described above being amended.

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Who we are

Denis Jefferies - Center for Management Development

Established by Denis Jefferies in 1983, a professional accountant who holds a B.A. in Economics and Law and an M.B.A. (Cape Town), to date the CMD has trained more than 10 000 persons through public and in-house training programs.

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Our courses are completely realistic. Trainees actually keep a set of books while attending the course.

Step-by-step testing and auditing ensures that trainees are competent before proceeding to the next stage of the course.

All tasks are completed using the VAT system so that trainees are competent in VAT procedures from a practical point of view.

In all courses the language of instruction is English. Every reasonable attempt is made to accommodate people living with disabilities.

Course fees cover all manuals and materials.

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To enquire about or enrol in any of our courses simply contact Mrs Jefferies during working hours.

Bookkeeping to Trial Balance

A foundation course designed for those who want to keep and maintain the daily, weekly and monthly of books of accounts to the Trial Balance level including VAT procedures.

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Advanced Bookkeeping

This Short Learning Program (SLP) follows the Bookkeeping to Trial Balance Course and equips trainees with the skills and knowledge to deal with more complex monthly and year-end procedures.

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Financial Reporting

This SLP integrates with the two previous courses and covers the Financial Statements, Financial Ratios, Business Taxation, Distribution of Profits and Financial Manipulation.

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Payroll Administration

This SLP deals with statutory deductions from the salaries and wages of employees and also statutory returns required by SARS.

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Learn how to enter and process transactions over the 12 periods of the financial year using Pastel Partner software.

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To enquire about or enrol in any of our courses simply contact Mrs Jefferies during working hours on 021 689 1962 or email

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