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Thread: 2008 income tax return filing season starts

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    2008 income tax return filing season starts

    The 2008 income tax filing season for employers has begun with a number of changes to the way your returns must be filed.

    The deadline for manual submission of your income tax return is 21 November 5 December 2008.
    The deadline for online submission of your income tax return via eFiling is 23 January 2009.

    Another big change is that returns will have to be requested either online or manually. You can get your tax return by:
    • Completing the tax request form that SARS is sending all taxpayers who submitted a manual return last year.
    • Calling 0800 00 SARS (7277)
    • Visiting your nearest SARS branch
    • Or if you are an eFiler you can build your return online with the help of a wizard

    Additional information is available on the SARS 2008 Tax Season web page.
    Last edited by Dave A; 13-Nov-08 at 05:05 PM.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Quick alert - Employer cancelled EMP501 and have EMP601 as proof of cancellation. Thereafter resubmitted new EMP501. Employee requests personal IT12 - the IRP5 details are duplicated, i.e. cancellation by employer not processed. SARS "looking into this".

    Will hopefully be able to provide update and feedback shortly.

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    Dave A (07-Oct-08)

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    A word of warrning about tax practitioners here.
    Make sure your tax adviser isn't a write-off

    Just because someone is registered as a tax practitioner does not mean he or she is competent to help you fill in your tax return.

    It's tax return filing season and you may be on the lookout for a tax practitioner to help you get your return in on time. But make sure you choose someone who is sufficiently qualified, and who won't leave you in the lurch and in trouble with the taxman.

    Between 14 000 and 16 000 tax practitioners who do not have any tax-related qualifications are among the estimated 23 000 to 25 000 practitioners who are helping taxpayers fill in their returns. Although some of these "backyard" practitioners are highly experienced and may be fit to advise you, some may not be.

    And if a tax practitioner does not belong to a professional body with a disciplinary procedure, you have little recourse if he or she fails to fill in your return on time, fills it in incorrectly or advises you incorrectly regarding your tax obligations.

    Besides the danger of hiring someone who is not qualified, you may also unwittingly engage a practitioner who is unable to keep his or her own tax affairs in order.

    Recently the South African Revenue Service (SARS) found that 9.5 percent of tax practitioners who assist some four million taxpayers are not tax-compliant in that they are either not registered with SARS or their own tax affairs are not in order.
    full story from Personal Finance here
    I suppose the question is - how do you check out your tax practitioner?
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    My 50 cents contribution.......

    1) Professional qualifications and track record (how long in business, etc)

    2) A questionable practice like charging fees on a contingency basis (e.g. fee amounting to 10% of your refund) should raise the alarm bells.

    3) Also fee related - be careful of "el cheapo" - due to his low prices he may attrack a huge client base and then not be able to deliver quality service due to the volume of work on his plate.

    4) Ensure you have a proper signed engagement letter or other such document which must clearly specify scope of work, fees, duration, costs, etc.

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    Dave A (26-Nov-08)

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    I had to go to my local SARS office today to pick up tax clearance certificates. My goodness, the queues were bezerk!

    When I walked through that door, my heart sank. But a quick query as to where to go and thankfully the queue to collect tax clearances was short - very short!

    It's just as well SARS extended the manual return deadline though, by the looks of things.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    The deadline for online filing via eFiling has been extended to 5th February. However, if you are going into a SARS office to file face-to-face, the deadline remains 23rd January.

    Source and more info available from Personal Finance here.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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