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SARS Compliance | Accounting Services
Tips to Avoid Tax Season Stress
Tinashe Munyati, Chartered Certified Accountant, Fourways

June 26 2019

Do you find tax season stressful?

Maybe you manage your stress much better than others when it comes to tax season, but historically, tax time has most peoples stomach’s turning, mostly because the SARS submissions feels so daunting and takes a lot of extra time to prepare.

Fortunately, we’ve made a list of our top tips to help you through tax season stress, so you can keep calm, keep more of your money in your bank account, and submit tax submissions with confidence.

Tip #1 » Set Up Email Folders to Keep You Organized

Email is a very simple way to stay organized before tax season.

Create a new folder for the following categories:

  • Personal expenses
  • Business expenses (if you own a business)
  • Income received (if self-employed)

Set up the new folders and throughout the day (or week) when you receive an email or receipt for an expense, take a second and drag it into the appropriate folder for safekeeping.

Tip #2 » Get Advice From a Tax Professional

If you use the services of an accountant or tax professional, set up an appointment with them during the offseason to discuss your financial situation. They are usually too busy to see you for an in-depth consultation during peak tax season unless they are helping you with your tax returns. If you want to discuss strategy or get advice on submissions, capital gains, investments, or other tax topics, speak to a professional.

The South African tax code is complicated at times, and there are yearly changes that small business owners need to comply with. We always recommend seeking professional help from a registered accountant first because you may discover new and helpful deductions you were previously unaware of and you can avoid penalties that might result from not following new filing rules.

Tip #3 » Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute to Start Your Tax Return

There’s nothing more stressful than having a short submission deadline looming over you. Get yourself ready to file by pulling together the other documentation you’ll need, such as mortgage and tax statements, receipts, and other deduction paperwork. That way, once you have everything, you can get started.

If you do have a short amount of time left to submit your tax returns, we recommend using a tax professional to avoid last minute mistakes due to rushing to finish in time.

More Quick and Useful Tips:

  • Educate yourself before you file
  • Gather your records in advance
  • Create a yearly tax spreadsheet
  • Consult with a licensed tax expert
  • Double-check your math and verify all numbers
  • Use E-filing for a faster refund

Disclaimer:

This article is for information purposes only and you are advised to seek professional advice from your own accountant as your individual situation will vary.