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What’s a 2024 SARS auto-assessment and how do you confirm it?

With South African tax season officially opening on Monday 15 July 2024 – and running till Monday 21 October 2024 – many will receive 2024 SARS auto-assessment notices. These will be sent via SMS or email to certain taxpayers saying an assessment has been automatically generated on their behalf.

2024 SARS auto-assessment notifications will start going out from Monday 1 July, and will run until Sunday 14 July, ahead of the start of tax season. Interestingly, this window is one-week longer than it was in 2023. However, if you receive one, the deadline has been extended to match the closing of non-provisional taxpayers. Therefore, Monday 21 October 2024.

2024 SARS AUTO-ASSESSMENT

Tax season is nearly upon us once again. Image: File

Only certain taxpayers are eligible for the 2024 SARS auto-assessment, and it’s one of the ways the South African Revenue Service (SARS) predicts this season will be easier and smoother than ever thanks to improved AI technology.

However, the tax experts at Taxtim advise that you DO NOT have to accept a 2024 SARS auto-assessment simply because you received one. Accepting it for convenience sake could negatively impact your chance of a tax refund. Moreover, if the information contained therein is incorrect, you could even face a hefty penalty.

HOW TO CONFIRM AN AUTO-ASSESSMENT

A reminder that you do not have to accept a SARS auto-assessment just because it was generated for you. Image: File

2024 SARS auto-assessments are generated automatically when the tax authority believes no additional input from the taxpayer is required. The assessments are based on data from your employer, medical-aid scheme and any relevant third parties.

Because of this, you MUST check the 2024 SARS auto-assessment. AI is clever but not foolproof.  Therefore, do your due diligence before accepting or rejecting it. No one knows your tax situation better than you, and TaxTim offers a useful auto-assessment decision tree to help you through the process, click HERE to check it out.

For example, your 2024 SARS auto-assessment may be missing tax certificates or not have your most up-to-date information. If your tax includes deductions like travel claims, company car, home office, donations to charities, travel and medical expenses – these will probably not be in there. You will have to input them manually or risk not receiving the full refund you’re due.

YOU CAN REJECT ANY ASSESSMENT

Tax season ends a little earlier this year, in October, for non-provisional taxpayers. Image: File

If you’ve carefully gone through the 2024 SARS auto-assessment and believe it is inaccurate, or missing important deductions, simply click REJECT and submit your tax return as you would normally via SARS eFiling or the SARS MobiApp. A warning, though, if you accept a 2024 SARS auto-assessment that you know to be incorrect, you will not be exempt from penalties or legal action.

It is your responsibility and yours alone to ensure you report all income and expenses accurately to SARS. As with any income tax inaccuracies, SARS has the power to levy a penalty of up to 200% of the tax payable, plus interest. Worse still, you will be audited thereafter to verify any discrepancies.

HOW TO SUBMIT A TAX RETURN

Be sure to note the important dates over the coming months so you’re not left floundering to complete your tax return at the last moment. Image: File
  • If you do not receive a 2024 SARS auto-assessment, you must complete your tax the good old-fashioned way. Make sure you register for SARS eFiling and complete your tax return accordingly online.
  • You can also contact a SARS branch directly where an agent will assist you to make an appointment before visiting a branch. Insure you bring along all your supporting documents.
  • Call the SARS Contact Centre on 0800 00 7277, the centre is open between 08h00-17h00 (excluding weekends and public holidays). Only registered tax users can make an appointment with a representative. Make an appointment HERE.
  • Alternatively, you can SMS 47277 with the following information (note the format): Booking (Space) ID number/Passport number. The SMS service is only available to taxpayers/registered representatives.

HAVE YOUR SAY

Time to have your say … Image: File

This article is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as financial, tax or legal advice. For further details consult the SARS website or get in touch with a tax specialist like TaxTim. Are you hoping to get a 2024 SARS auto-assessment? Be sure to share your thoughts with our audience in the comments section below. And don’t forget to follow us @TheSANews on X and The South African on Facebook for the latest updates. Click the links below to check out trending stories in the last 24 hours on our website …

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