Apart from death, the Tax Man is probably the one ‘figure’ many people fear the most and try to avoid at all cost. There is however no need to run away from the Tax Man when your affairs are in order. Don’t try to avoid paying taxes or be dishonest when disclosing your figures. You will not be able to get away with it forever. The Tax Man is getting cleverer every year by obtaining valuable information from a variety of third party sources. Facing the consequences when getting caught for dodging paying tax is not worthwhile. Tax avoidance can have serious repercussions for your financial wealth and your reputation later on in life.

The e-filing system that SARS has implemented makes completing and filing your tax return much faster and more convenient than before. If you are not familiar with the system or with taxes in general, get a tax practitioner or financial coach to assist you. Ensure that the person assisting you is registered and has the necessary expertise to assist you.

The e-filing system usually opens in July for individual tax return submissions and the deadline is in November. The tax year runs from 1 March to 28 February every year. You should thus complete your return with your income and expenses for that period. Complete your tax return rather sooner than later; don’t wait until the last minute just to realize you don’t have all the required documents. Keep to the submission deadline to avoid unnecessary penalties and interest.

You are no longer required to submit all your documentation on the e-filing system unless you are selected for auditing purposes. You should still keep all your documents as proof for at least 5 years after submitting your tax return. Make sure you request all your documents well in advance although most banks, medical aids, investment houses will send it automatically to you or have it available on their websites. Most employers submit their employees’ IRP5’s automatically and it will already be loaded on the e-filing system. The documents you will need, if applicable to your situation, include: IRP5 / IT3(a) employee tax certificate (payslip), investment income certificates, medical aid certificates, pension fund / retirement annuity contribution certificates, S18A tax certificates for any valid donations made, proof of any other income you have earned or expenses incurred in earning that income, a logbook if you want to claim for travel expenses, proof of any capital gains as well as proof of rental income received and related claimable expenses.

Rather keep your affairs in order and pay your taxes due, than to be sorry at a later stage for running away from the Tax Man.

Written by Ronel Jooste

CA(SA), Financial Consultant and Coach, Blogger and Speaker

Contact Ronel: ronel@financiallyfitlife.co.za

For more information about my financial wellness programmes visit the website


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