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Follow these three steps when completing your February provisional tax return or you'll be in line for hefty SARS penalties

by , 04 February 2015
The 27 February deadline for making your provisional tax payment is fast approaching.

While it may not be the first time you're paying it, it's easy to make mistakes. Unfortunately, SARS will charge you penalties for them. And as you know, SARS penalties can go up to 200% - and that's the last thing you want.

To avoid SARS penalties, keep these three important steps in mind when you complete your February provisional tax return.

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When you complete your provisional tax return, remember the following three steps

#1: You must complete all the compulsory fields on your provisional tax return (IRP6)
If you don't complete all the fields on your return, SARS will reject it. This means you may be liable for late submission penalties, says Anthea Scholtz, a tax partner at Deloitte.
#2: Verify that the information that pre-populates on your return is correct
If you don't check what's on the return, chances are it won't be 100% correct. And SARS will charge you penalties for this.
In this article, we explain that, to submit an accurate provisional tax return to SARS, check these three items before you complete it:
  • The year of assessment is correct. This way, everything will add up when you make your calculations;
  • The tax period; and
  • Your historical details.
According to Scholtz, if the information that pre-populates isn't correct, 'you can change it, but SARS may need you to submit supporting documents to explain any changes.'
She adds, 'even if a tax consultant completes your return, SARS will hold you responsible for omissions or incorrect information.'
#3: Check the total amount payable
According to the Practical Tax Loose Leaf Service, the system automatically calculates the total amount you owe SARS and pre-populates this amount on the form.
You need to make note of this so you can pay SARS the correct amount. If you under-estimate your tax, SARS could charge you a 200% penalty.

Submitting your tax return doesn't mean it's the end of your tax duties for the tax year

This big mistake could cause you to lose your hard earned cash forever, warns Scholtz.
She says once you submit your tax return, regularly check the status of your tax assessment. You can do this either via eFiling or by phoning SARS. This is important as you need to act on the assessment within set timelines.
If you don't act on time, 'you could end up not being able to dispute your tax assessment with SARS. For example, where SARS incorrectly assesses you or imposes penalties or interest incorrectly,' she says.
There you have it: Remembering these three points when you complete your February provisional tax return will help you avoid SARS penalties.
PS: For more information on how to complete your provisional tax return or calculate provisional tax correctly, check out Provisional Tax 101.

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