SARS releases draft income tax forms for public comment

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Pretoria - The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has called on taxpayers and practitioners to comment and give feedback on the draft versions of all income tax forms for the 2009 Tax Season.

"The forms have been updated and improved as part of the ongoing work to simplify the income tax process and taking into account feedback received and lessons learned during Tax Season 2008, " SARS said on Monday.

One of the biggest changes was to the Income Tax Return Request form (ITRR). "The ITRR now includes the taxpayer's details from their previous income tax return.

"This means that most taxpayers whose tax affairs have not changed since last year will only have to sign the ITRR and submit it," the statement said.

SARS said taxpayers registered for eFiling and those who choose to submit a return via a SARS branch do not have to request an income tax return.

"eFilers simply create their own return using a helpful wizard while those submitting via a branch simply arrive at their nearest branch with their supporting documents and SARS staff will create and complete a return for them on our system," SARS said.

On the Income Tax Return for Individuals (ITR12), the SARS said the improvements include combining and simplifying the farming and business income sections, adding additional verification information under banking details for security purposes and introducing a new medical aid code (4040).

This code, it said, will distinguish between contributions made via an employer (code 4005) and those contributions not reflected on an IRP5.

SARS also encouraged practitioners and taxpayers to access the draft forms and comment via the SARS website at http://www.sars.gov.za.

The organisation would also like to remind taxpayers and practitioners of the timetable for Tax Season 2009 as announced by the Minister of Finance in February's budget.

The 60 day Pay As You Earn (PAYE) reconciliation period for employers will begin on 1 April and end on 30 May and the filing period for individual income tax returns will follow from 1 July.

This year the deadlines for submission of income tax returns for individuals and trusts are 18 September for manual filers and 20 November for electronic submission.

"SARS is hoping that Tax Season 2009 will build on the gains of the past two years which have shown an impressive switch to electronic submission of returns and the resultant improvements in efficiency for taxpayers, practitioners and SARS."

Last year, over 86 percent of all returns submitted during Tax Season 2008 were done via either the SARS eFiling system or electronically at the SARS branches.

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