TAX EXPERTS OFFER THEIR TOP TIPS FOR SMEs THIS TAX SEASON - Colin Timmis
We are in tax filing season in South Africa, so it is time for small business owners to get their information in order and ready to file. Everybody knows that filing taxes can be extremely time consuming. Small businesses are already struggling, so it’s vital that they get tax filing right to avoid any penalties or nasty surprises. This means understanding how to stay compliant and also what special taxes may apply to them.
Over the past few years SARS has worked to provide digital alternatives to filing in-branch, including eFiling and internet bank transfers. The changes are helping to improve the service-in 2019/2020 81.2% of payments were via eFiling.
It is also crucial that small businesses are aware of the tools and support that is available to them. At Xero we have developed a a new suite of cloud tools to enable SMMEs to prepare, store and eFile VAT returns to SARS all in just a few clicks. These tools improve efficiency, reduce errors and admin-it’s never been easier or faster to efile.
HERE ARE THE TOP TAX TIPS TO SET SMEs OFF TO A STRONG START THIS TAX SEASON
Candice Mullins says ”there is no better sight than hindsight. Many businesses think that tax planning is only applicable to large corporations but they are wrong, it is critical in any small business and tax planning should be done with a reputable and experienced tax professional.”
Candice adds “having a 360 degree understanding of one’s tax risks enables small businesses the opportunity to understand the tax implications of day-to-day transactions. Be as tax efficient as possible, avoid any nasty surprises, manage cash flow to cater for the taxes payable thereby avoiding penalties, interest and other negative consequences and maintain a healthy relationship with the Revenue Services.
GET YOUR TAX-HOUSE IN ORDER THERE IS NOWHERE TO HIDE THIS YEAR
Louis Fourie, warns that “ the days of taxpayer’s compliance status not-being fully tested by SARS are well and truly over. SARS’ Strategic Plan for 2020/21 to 2024/25 also spells it out clearly—there will be increased levels of compliance, higher detection of those who do not pay, and fines or penalties for those who don’t comply”
He also says that small businesses should be working with their accountant now to ensure a timely submission and to work out exactly what they need to be compliant this year.. “SARS is raising auto assessments for certain taxpayers, and you should speak to a registered tax practitioner about these to ensure that SARS is assessing you correctly as you may be losing out on valuable refunds.”
AUTOMATE PROCESSES AND USE THE RIGHT TECHNOLOGY
Nicole Rousseau, Head of PKF Ignite, says “technology is key to taking the pain away from tax filing for small businesses and accountants. We have seen digital developments in recent months that are changing the game. From bank feeds that allow the automated flow of business transactions into accounting software, to being able to snap receipts and upload the information from anywhere.”
She adds, “Using a cloud accounting platform to manage your finances makes it easy to see your finances in real-time and collaborate with your accountant throughout the year. This means that when you come to file, everything is ready and easy to view.”
STAY UP TO DATE ON THE LATEST TAX INFORMATION
You will find advice, such as the upcoming content from our TAX TASK FORCE, as well as tips, ideas and resources that will ensure a smooth-sailing tax filing season on the Xero blog.
XERO is a proud Partner of the NSBC. (NATIONAL SMALL BUSINESS CHAMBER)