Get your tax returns sorted

THE tax returns season is here and you're advised to get your taxes in order to avoid repercussions.

If you have just received your IRP5 certificate and do not know what to do next, here are some guidelines on filing your tax returns.

Vedika Andhee, tax director at Ernst and Young, outlined to Sowetan some of the key points to know during this tax season.

"You need to be registered as a taxpayer," Andhee said.

"If you earn above R120000 a year or you have allowances against which to claim a deduction such as a travel allowance, you must register for tax."

"Casual workers who earned below the threshold and had employees' tax of 25percent withheld on their pay, should also file a tax return as they probably will qualify for a refund," Andhee said.

She said that you can obtain a form from the South African Revenue Service website or by visiting a Sars office where you are given a tax reference numbers within six weeks.

"Only once you have received a tax reference number can you file a tax return."

"If you have a computer it is best to register as an e-filing user and submit your returns electronically," she said.

Andhee said that it is easier than before because most of the tax return is already in your IRP5 certificate form from your employer.

The e-filing user tax return should be assessed quickly and if you are due for a refund it should be paid into your account quickly.

The manual method is similar but takes longer.

Information needed to file tax returns include:

l Retirement annuity fund certificates;

l Opening and closing odometer or logbook to claim against travel allowances;

l Bank interest earned on investment products and bank accounts during the tax year may be taxable;

l If you earn rental income, get mortgage information. You can offset the rental received against the expenditure incurred such as levies, water and electricity

If you are submitting manually, you must bring supporting documents.

You may not need them for e-filing.

E-filing closing date is November 26 2010. Manual submissions close on September 30 2010.