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What you need to know about 2020 Tax filing season

This year has been a difficult year for many South African businesses and especially the government to ensure that all the key services are rendered to all South Africans. The South African Revenue Service had to make a few significant changes this year and the most noteworthy is the new auto-assessment procedure for non-provisional taxpayers.

SARS implemented 3 phases in order for taxpayers to be compliant with SARS and make it easier to file your 2020 income tax return.

How will it work?

From 1 August 2020, SARS will issue a significant number of taxpayers with a “proposed [tax] assessment without the need to file a tax return”. SARS advised that they “will source from third parties such as banks, employers, financial service companies who administer retirement funds, pension schemes and medical savings and insurance schemes”. According to SARS this will make the filling of tax returns more accurate than ever before!

SARS will communicate to you if you are auto-assessed and you or your tax practitioner will need to validate the tax return by checking your IRP5/IT3(a) and other tax certificates against the information provided on your return.

It is important to note that if you don’t accept the auto-assessed return you will be able to file your tax return electronically as usual via e-filing or the SARS MobiApp from 1 September 2020. This means that all those who will be auto assessed will start their tax season at the beginning of August. 

Remember to ensure that you consider all income and expenses to ensure that nothing is left out as there is a possibility that SARS did not include all your tax certificates and you may miss out on claiming certain deductions.

Summary of due dates:

  Type of Taxpayer   Channel  Due Date  
   Non-provisional and provisional taxpayers  Manually at a SARS Branch  2 October 2020  
   Non-provisional taxpayers File electronically  16 November 2020  
   Provisional taxpayers File electronically   31 January 2021  


August 2020 NEWSLETTER
Employees Working from Home: What Tax Deductions Can You Claim?
Working from home is part of our “new normal” and home offices are predicted to remain a permanent feature of many employment relationships in the future.

Both employees and their employers should be familiar with the tax angles, in particular the opportunity to claim tax deductions. When and how do you qualify for deductions? What expenses can you deduct? We discuss the various ins and outs with a simple practical example to illustrate.

If you own your own home, read our tail ender note on the possible impact of claiming for a home office on your Capital Gains Tax liability when you sell your house.
read more

Protecting your Company’s Reputation When Staff Work from Home
ArticleImage The number of staff working from home has surged with the lockdown, and many office-based employers now plan to keep most or all of their employees working remotely for the long term. There are of course many advantages to allowing those staff members who can work effectively from their own home offices to do so, but be aware also of the business risks that this “new normal” exposes your company to.

One of these is the increased risk of reputational harm to your business, particularly whilst the pandemic and its economic fallout continue to threaten staff morale and uncertainty is the watchword of the day. We analyse those risks and suggest some positive steps you can take to address them.
read more

What Happens if your Driver’s Licence Expires During the Pandemic and You Have an Accident?
ArticleImage If the thought of spending hours or days in a queue to renew your expired driver’s licence fills you with dread, you are not alone. Even before lockdown the testing centres were running behind in renewing licences and testing licence applicants, and the lockdown has naturally caused backlogs to soar. Centre closures as a result of infection scares will continue to compound the problem.

And of course not having a valid licence puts you at risk of having any insurance claims rejected – a prospect to be avoided at all costs. We share details of the recent and very welcome extension in “deemed validity” of driver’s licences, with some advice on contacting your insurer or broker to confirm cover.
read more

POPIA (The Protection of Personal Information Act) is Now Law and the Clock is Ticking
ArticleImage After many false starts over the years (the pandemic causing one last delay this year), the enforcement provisions of POPIA (the Protection of Personal Information Act) have finally become law.

The clock is ticking on the year’s grace period allowed for compliance and every business should be aware of the substantial implications of POPIA compliance, and of the equally substantial penalties and risks associated with non-compliance. 

Read on for a brief overview of how “personal information” is defined, of the eight principles underlying the Act, and of the various practical issues you should know of and prepare for.
read more

Your Tax Deadlines for August 2020
  • 7 August – Monthly PAYE submissions and payments

  • 25 August – VAT manual submissions and payments

  • 28 August – Excise Duty payments

  • 31 August – VAT electronic submissions and payments

  • 31 August – CIT Provisional Tax Payments where applicable

  • 31 August – Personal Income Tax Provisional Payments.


The information provided herein should not be used or relied on as professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your professional adviser for specific and detailed advice.

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