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Tax Season: Getting your documents ready

Written by Anni-Mari van Wyk

On Jul 30, 2020

 In my last article, I shared some tips on legally saving on your taxes and knowing the types of expenses you can claim from SARS and now that we’re getting closer to the tax season, I think it would be best to touch on the documents you should keep handy when filing for taxes.

According to SARS, these are the types of documents that may be required of you for filing: Documentation required to complete your return

Supporting documents are required to complete an income tax return. Below is a list of documentation/information that may be needed:

  • IRP5/IT3(a) Employees Tax Certificate (if applicable)
  • Certificates received for local interest income, foreign interest income and foreign dividend income
  • If you are married in community of property, the documents obtained by both you (the taxpayer) and your spouse are required
  • If you married out of community of property, only the certificates that you receive are required.
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 Documents relating to medical expenses such as:

  • The income tax certificate from your medical scheme received for the period 1 March and ending 28 February (if you belong to a medical scheme)
  • Proof of qualifying medical expenses paid by you and not recovered from a medical scheme
  • Completed ITR-DD Confirmation of Diagnosis of Disability form (if you want to claim disability-related costs).

The income tax certificate(s) received from the financial institution to which contributions for retirement annuities were made.

  • If you received a travel allowance or a fringe benefit for an employer-provided vehicle, you must have a logbook to claim the business travel deductions.
  • All information relating to capital gain transactions (local and foreign)
  • Documents and receipts for commission related expenditure including a logbook to claim business travel deductions
  • All data relating to the letting of assets
  • Financial statements for trading and farming activities (if applicable)
  • Any other documents relating to income that must be declared or deductions that may be claimed.

Due to the new COVID-19 regulations set out by the government, when it comes to physically submitting your documents; SARS has made a concerted effort to automate most of their processes.

This means that you no longer need to visit a SARS Branch to file your return. If your circumstances are unique and cannot be catered for by the online processes, you may visit selected SARS branches, but only through making an online booking first. All details are available on their website, and you can read the guide Book an appointment at a SARS branch for more information.

Filing Online: 

Not only is submitting online easy, but it is also cost-efficient and convenient for you, the taxpayer.

Here’s what you need to know about submitting online:

Uploading of Supporting Documents (Relevant Material) on eFiling website:

  • Taxpayers that have to upload supporting documents (relevant material) using eFiling should make sure the documents meet the following standards and best practices:
  • The file type may be .pdf, .doc, .docx, .xls, .xlsx, .jpg and .gif to enable SARS to view the documents.
  • The maximum allowable size per document may not be more than 5MB, and a maximum of 20 files may be uploaded.
  • Once you click the submit button, you cannot submit additional documents, as the supporting document link will no longer be available after declaring that you have submitted all your supporting documents. A new link can only be open by the reissuing of another request for supporting documents, by the auditors or verifiers if they require more documents.
  • Make sure that the image setting on your scanner is set to a 300dpi or less so that the scanning quality is optimal. Your scanner must also be set to black and white and not colour.

Upload failure may be caused in the following instances:

  • Document with a file name containing special characters such as * # @! & > and others
  • Documents with the same name in cases where more than one document is uploaded.
  • Password-protected and encrypted documents from Banks and Funds.
  • These PDF documents may not prompt for a password to open up. However, they still have a password built into them, and you will have to scan it and re-upload it, read more.
  • Spreadsheets with multiple sheets; information should only be on one sheet.
  • Blank or empty documents.

If all this information sounds like a bit of rocket science, then please do get in touch me directly on for information and any tax-related questions you may have.

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