1. Don’t delay – start today
Filing an income tax return can take more time and effort than you might imagine, so get started with the process right now.

Don’t wait until the absolute deadline to file since SARS offices can be very busy at this time and the eFiling service has been known to fold under deadline demand.

Read more: Top 5 tips for a painless tax season

If you are due a refund, the sooner you file, the sooner you’ll get your money. And if you have underestimated your tax contribution, you may be able to save substantially on penalties and interest payable if you do submit early.

2. Use eFiling
You don’t need to stand in queues or fill in paper-based returns any more, thanks to eFiling by SARS. This service is convenient, secure, easy to use, and is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

If you use eFiling you have until 27 November to submit your return.

3. Get your supporting documents ready

Gather all your supporting documentation so that you have it on hand to file and can produce it if SARS asks for it in an audit.

Supporting documents may include:
•    Your IRP5 tax certificate from your employer
•    An income tax certificate from your medical aid scheme
•    A list and the receipts of medical expenses not covered by your medical aid scheme
•    A tax certificate for your contributions towards a retirement annuity fund
•    A detailed logbook specifying your business trips and travel costs for the period

4. Be honest
It is illegal to lie on your tax return by inflating your expenses or not declaring your correct income, and the penalties for false declarations on tax returns are steep.

Read more: Tax returns freaking you out?

Since the inception of eFiling, SARS has increased the number of random audits it performs and the risk of getting caught is bigger than ever before. It’s just not worth taking the chance to save a few rand.

5. Tax professionals can help you optimise your tax return

SARS has tried to make life easy for the tax payer by simplifying the paperwork and process of paying tax, but tax affairs can still be complicated. Rather contact a professional tax expert at Legal and Tax to ensure you do your return correctly the first time than risk getting something wrong.

The Legal and Tax consultants may also be able to help you to identify legal ways to reduce the amount of tax that you pay each year. 

For professional assistance to submit your tax return contact Legal & Tax on 0860 587 587 or visit Legal&Tax. You can also email them at info@legalandtax.co.za. Follow us on Twitter or join us on Facebook to keep up with Legal & Tax news and views.