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Don't let tax be taxing

As the laggards scramble to file their tax returns on time, consulting a professional is key to avoiding costly mistakes.
The end of the tax season is upon us. If you fail to file your personal tax returns online or at a SARS (South African Revenue Service) branch before Friday, 23 November 2012, be prepared to face penalties every month until those returns are properly and justly filed.

The problem is tax can be so darned confusing with countless complexities to wrap your head around. Too often, incorrect returns are unwittingly filed that result in large sums of money being owed to SARS.

When it comes to business tax the thin ice is even thinner as an incorrect return may lead to an audit, which could result in your business owing SARS more money than your budget allows. This can all be avoided by simply consulting with a tax professional.

The 23 November deadline does not apply to companies. Businesses need to file their returns 12 months after their financial year end.

Whether you're an individual or a business, you can't leave your tax in the lurch. Seeking the expert help of a professional tax consultant may cost you far less than filing your taxes incorrectly.

There is a host of tax specialists out there but none are more qualified and in tune with modern-day financing than your local chartered accountant.

CAs(SA) play a pivotal role in measuring and creating value for the organisations they serve as accountants, auditors, business and tax advisors, financial managers or directors. Currently, CAs(SA) head up over a third of JSE-listed businesses. And when it comes to tax, they are the experts.

SAICA (South African Institute of Chartered Accountants) recently made it easy to source your nearest CA(SA) with its new Tax Suite offering. Tax Suite is an in-depth subscription-based resource that provides both SAICA members and the general public with knowledge, insight and advice on all things tax - from court case analysis to the latest tax news.

One feature Tax Suite offers is the tax specialist referral system. Managed by SAICA experts, this system links need to capability at the touch of a button. While it does not offer specific advice, it does refer you to the relevant tax specialists in your area who can.

If you are hurrying to file your tax returns, don't let haste cloud your judgement. Find your local tax specialist on and make sure your tax is up to scratch.

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