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You’ve gotten a SARS auto-assessment. It’s tempting to just accept it and move on, but you shouldn’t do this. Scorpion Legal Protection explains why.
SARS has been sending out auto-assessments again this year. This is when they use information from employers, financial institutions, health schemes, and retirement plan administrators to automatically assess you, without your input. They do this to make things easier for taxpayers since many people see filing their taxes as a chore. If you are chosen to be auto-assessed, you may receive an SMS from SARS informing you that an auto-assessment has taken place and that you can view the results on eFiling.
It may be tempting to just accept it and move on, but SARS can make mistakes, and if they do, you will be held liable for them. The auto-assessment could be inaccurate or incomplete. You must check the assessment yourself and make sure all the necessary documents have been included in your tax calculation. Just accepting the outcome of the auto-assessment could result in you owing tax or receiving a refund that is incorrect. You could then owe SARS outstanding taxes, as well as being penalised for not declaring total income earned.
It's also possible that accepting the auto-assessment without checking means you miss out on a possible refund, as not all your information has been included in the assessment of your taxes. For example, if you have a travel allowance and should submit a logbook or you need to claim for work from home expenses.
You have 40 working days to review your auto-assessment. If you do not take action within this time, the auto-assessment will become your final assessment and it will be very difficult to correct the return later. Scorpion offers its members access to their tax service, where a team of qualified tax practitioners can assist you with your personal income taxes (help and advice on Policy A and Platinum A, advice only on Policies B & C and Platinum B & C).
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* This is only basic legal advice and cannot be relied on solely. The information is correct at the time of being sent to publishing.
Date added: 15 August 2022
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