Tax returns in South Africa are filed with the South African Revenue Service (SARS). If you earn under R120 000 for a full year from one employer (total salary income before tax), receive no travel allowance and have no additional income that you need to declare or deductions for which you want to claim, you do not have to submit an income tax return to the South African Revenue Service (SARS). Below are some tax refund tips which can assist you in this process.

– Keep all tax documents, certificates, IRP5s and invoices organised in one place. SARS randomly selects 25% of all taxpayers for an audit – you do not want to be caught without vital documents later on.

-If you have to travel for work and receive an allowance or a company car, make sure that you keep a logbook. Often taxpayers don’t know that they can reduce their taxes by claiming business expenses, but without a logbook SARS won’t allow this.

-Taxpayers are often unaware that if a computer is used for work and it is owned by them then this can be written off as a deduction over 3 years for the business portion used. If the item costs less than R7,000 then the whole amount can be written off.

-If your banking details have changed during the year,  ensure you have updated them with SARS so as to avoid a delay in your refund being paid out – you can do this via eFiling.

-Make sure you take the time to complete your return correctly and with all the information – SARS is able to impose heavy penalties for incorrect information, even if by mistake.

With increasing efficiency at SARS, once your return is submitted, you should receive your refund within a day or two. The earlier you submit, the earlier you can expect that refund.