What you need to know about your tax auto assessment
Close to 3 million auto assessments were issued by the SA Revenue Service (SARS) last week. If you were one of those chosen for auto assessment, here’s what you need to know.
First, you can use this link to check if you have been selected for an auto assessment. Joon Chong, partner at Webber Wentzel, says you should download third-party data certificates to check against the auto assessments to ensure that the information recorded in the auto assessments is correct.
The SARS website states that refunds are paid within 72 hours. However, taxpayers have until 23 October to reject the auto assessment and file a completed tax return.
“This means that refunds could be paid to taxpayers before taxpayers have had a chance to file a completed tax return. Taxpayers should check their auto assessments as soon as possible after receiving the SMSes and reject the auto assessment if it is incomplete and file a completed tax return,” she says.
The auto assessment might be incorrect if you received net rental income, had other business income or need to claim section 18A certificate deductions. If there is an error in the data on your SARS return, you can ask the institution that provided the data to SARS to correct it by sending updated data to SARS and yourself.
If you agree with the auto assessment, you don’t need to do anything. If a refund is due to you, SARS will make payment into your bank account within 72 hours. If you owe SARS money, you have to make payment a month after 23 October (30 days from 23 October).
If you have not been selected for an auto assessment, and your SARS assessment shows that you owe SARS money, you have a 30-day period to pay after receiving a notice of assessment.
Supporting documents too big to upload?
The current limit for uploading supporting documents is 5MB and a maximum of 20 files. Chong had the following advice for taxpayers whose supporting documents were too big to upload:
- Print and scan 300 by 300 DPI.
- Use a PDF compressor.
- Split the PDF into smaller files within the 5MB limit, so there are fewer pages in a document.
- Reduce image quality.
- Remove unnecessary pages.
- Take screenshots of relevant pages and paste to a Word document.
- Convert to other file formats such as TXT or RTF. DM