South African taxpayers with disabilities are entitled to various deductions from their income tax in terms of changes to the tax regulations which were announced by SARS for the 2009/2010 tax year.
However, many taxpayers who are disabled are either not aware of these concessions or do not realise just how much they could save on their income tax by making full use of them.
With the 2012 tax season underway, disabled taxpayers should be in the process of assembling all the necessary documentation to file their annual returns. If you or someone close to you is disabled, you may find the following facts about SARS tax concessions relevant to the returns you’ll be filing very soon:
- In 2010, only 27 000 taxpayers out of a total 4.2 million taxpayers received deductions related to disabilities. This is in contrast to approximately 214 000 taxpayers who should have claimed deductions as a result of being disabled.
- A large number of taxpayers who are disabled claim far fewer deductions than they should, paying unnecessary taxes each year.
- SARS allows deductions to be claimed in three main areas – Medical Aid contributions, medical expenses that were not covered by medical aid and expenses directly related to the disability which are incurred throughout the year.
The new SARS regulations have also made it possible to claim deductions for a wider range of disabilities than was previously the case.
According to the Income Tax Act, a disability is defined as “a moderate to severe limitation of the ability to function or perform daily activities as a result of a physical, sensory, communicative, intellectual or mental impairment.” The condition must have lasted at least a year, and should be diagnosed by a member of the Health Professions Council, which includes doctors, speech therapists, and psychologists among others.
If you would like further guidance in claiming tax deductions for a disability, contact us today and our team will guide you through the process.