The early bird gets the worm! Why submitting your tax return bright and early gives you wiiiiings

Would you look at that … We’re already in May and tax season is around the corner. We’ve collected some nuggets for you on how to prep for tax season, get that delicious “rebate-worm”, and #WinAtTax.

Up at sparrow’s fart

Taxpayers who earn income will need to submit their tax returns from July to October. Far away, right? And, gee, you have 4 months to submit it… what’s the stress?

July may feel like an age away, but in reality, getting the correct documents together can be more time-consuming (and stress-inducing) than you imagine.

(PS Here are two lists of some of the docs you’ll need to submit. Notice how knowing exactly what you as an individual need to submit is tricky? More on that later.)

[S]ubmit all your information and supporting documentation to your tax practitioner as early as possible. Most people wait until the last week or two before the deadline and this often causes delays in getting your return submitted.

At your earliest convenience

Taxpayers who collect and submit the relevant information early enjoy a faster turnaround on their refunds. SARS is more likely to process your case quickly and cleanly early on in the tax season when most people have not yet submitted. Tax practitioners are also less likely to be overworked and overwhelmed at the start of tax season compared to the end of October (Hallowe’en is extra scary for tax consultants).

But there’s more to it than that: As you probably already know, SARS has introduced auto-assessments (read this if you’re not sure what this means, why it matters and how it can be detrimental). SARS is auto-assessing people earlier and earlier – and it sometimes gets it wrong.

“If you disagree with “the estimated assessment, [you] will be able to request… an additional or reduced assessment, by submitting an original return with relevant details within 80 business days from the date of assessment”.– SARS

Leave your submission late, leave your objection late and you may feel like you’re headed for an early grave.

Beat the rush

A serious downside to rushing your return is that you won’t catch all those juicy worms. Things like medical expenses you didn’t realise were a production of income, charitable contributions and payments made towards life insurance. In order to make SARS work for you, find out which documents you need, how to gather them and the best way to make your case.

If you’ve left everything until the last minute, you’ll feel pressured into accepting that less-than-accurate (and lucrative!) auto-assessment

Ready to catch that worm? Contact us 

Follow us on Social Media