Individual taxpayers income tax return deadlines


Individual taxpayers income tax return deadlines

Tax season is upon us, and the deadline is fast approaching for non-provisional personal taxpayers to submit their personal income tax returns.  We thought it would be a great opportunity to clarify some of the questions we are so often asked by prospective clients.

How to know your taxpayer classification with SARS?

So many small business owners are unaware of how they are classified from a personal taxpayer perspective once they leave the world of permanent employment and become self-employed (aka – an entrepreneur who is either a sole proprietor or an individual earning income from a variety of sources).

An individual who is paid solely a salary from which PAYE and UIF are deducted is considered a non-provisional taxpayer.  As you may have guessed, everyone else is then classified as a provisional taxpayer.  SARS defines a provisional taxpayer as “any person who receives income (or to whom income accrues) other than remuneration” Most salary earners are therefore not provisional taxpayers if they have no other sources of income other than their salary.

So how do you know which category you fall into and why does it even matter?

Firstly, it is important to know which category you fall into as the deadlines for the submission of your individual income tax return is dependent on your classification.  It is also important as it determines the level of tax related advice you may require before submitting your annual tax return.

  1. A salaried non-provisional taxpayer has PAYE deducted off their monthly net pay amount before their net salary is paid over to them. This would generally mean that no additional tax should be due on submission of your annual individual income tax return. There are a variety of deductions which can be made when completing your income tax return on eFiling. Making sure you account for all of these results in the most accurate and generally most tax efficient position for the individual.

    Some of the key deductions which can be claimed include those in respect of:

    • Business travel
    • Medical tax rebates
    • RA contributions made during the year
    • Tax-free savings made during the year
    • Home office expense claims

Each of these deductions listed above will need to be supported by the correct tax certificates or detailed supporting documents and depending on your individual circumstances, there may be other deductions which are also applicable to you.

Getting sound advice on this before filing your annual income tax return will ensure that you are claiming all possible deductions and reducing your tax liability where possible.

The deadline for all salaried, non-provisional taxpayers for the 2023 income tax return submissions is 23 October 2023.  Be sure to file your return timeously to avoid any penalties from SARS.

  1. A provisional taxpayer is in essence anyone who has earned an income from which no PAYE was deducted. This may include rental income or income from a side hustle or small business.

    Provisional tax calculations generally require some specialized tax knowledge to ensure that all amounts earned are correctly disclosed and that all possible deductions are considered in the final tax calculation.

    Provisional taxpayers have until 24 January 2024 to file their income tax returns for the 2023 tax year, be sure to get on top of the admin of this submission well in advance to avoid any late submissions and the resulting penalties from SARS.

No matter which personal tax classification you fall into, having a tax professional prepare or review your return before filing will result in the most accurate and tax efficient position for you as the individual.    

PS: Be sure to only engage in the services of a registered tax practitioner if you are wanting professional assistance on anything tax related.  SARS requires that all tax professionals offering any tax related services are registered as tax practitioners.  All registered tax practitioners are issued a tax practitioner number which you are entitled to ask for if you are unsure of their registration status.

Yours in simplifying finance,