Taxpayers with car allowances reminded to record mileage

Friday, February 27, 2009

Pretoria - The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has reminded taxpayers who receive a car allowance to record their odometer readings by Saturday.

The end of the tax year for individual taxpayers ends on 28 February.

"Those seeking to claim a business travel deduction in their next income tax return will require their closing and opening odometer reading in order to do so," SARS said on Friday.

Taxpayers are also reminded that as Minister of Finance Trevor Manuel announced in his recent Budget Speech that the coming tax year (1 March 2009 to 28 February 2010) is the last year where the "deeming provision" may be used to calculate a business travel deduction.

"The deeming provision allows taxpayers only to provide their total mileage for the year and are then deemed to have used their vehicle for private travel for the first 18 000 kilometres with the remainder (up to a maximum of 14 000 kilometres) deemed as business travel."

SARS said that this provision was often open to abuse and resulted in excessive deductions which did not match actual business expenses.

From 1 March 2010, taxpayers seeking to claim a deduction for business travel will be required to keep a logbook.

To help taxpayers get into the habit of doing so now, SARS will be handing out free logbooks from its branches countrywide from Monday, 1 March 2009 while stocks last.

Taxpayers can also download an e-logbook from the e-logbook page at www.sars.gov.za.

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