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Tax payers urged to cough up

The South African Revenue Services (SARS) is only a phone call away.

Who must pay tax?

If you are a South African citizen, residing in the country, you are liable to pay tax.

 Non-residents who have lived in South Africa for over 21 days or  915 days over five tax years also have to pay tax. So too non-residents who own homes in South Africa.

 If you earn over R350 000 per annum - whether in the form of a salary, commission or fee - you must pay income tax.

How do I pay tax?

  • Paying tax is easy. Visit your nearest SARS branch where the friendly staff will ask for your ID document, address and banking details. You can then do everything else online.
  • The next step is to file your tax return. This is done  annually and is not as scary as people think. The tax season runs  from 1 March to 28 February every year. Tax payers must then submit their tax return, usually between July and November.
  •  It is easy to claim for deductions,  which are usually noted on your pay slip and can be used as proof that your taxes are up to date. Remember to detail your deductions on the right forms and you might get a pleasant surprise at year end.
  •  If you have to pay any money to SARS you can pay electronically, at a bank,  or via  the SARS eFiling system. There are friendly consultants at every SARS branch who will assist you to fill out correct forms.

Avoid penalties

SARS spokesperson Sicelo Mkosi said South African tax payers must pay their taxes on time to avoid penalties, interest or criminal charges.  There are about 236 000 people who could  suffer  these consequences if they do not settle their debt.

SARS urges those who are unable to meet their financial obligations to speak to a branch consultant or someone at the call centre (0800 00 7277)
to make payment  arrangements.