Preparing for Tax Season

Why it’s better to start right now

taxes-financesBetween the 25th and 27th of February next year, SARS offices around the country will be swamped with business owners and accounting professionals as they brave the long lines to submit their VAT and provisional tax returns.

If you’d like to avoid the stress and frustration of late submissions and last-minute paperwork, here are some things you can do right now to prepare for tax season.

Know your dates

SARS has set the following deadlines for tax returns and payments in early 2015. Make sure you diarise these:

  • January 7th – Submission and payment of EMP201
  • January 23rd – Submission and payment of VAT201 for manual registered vendors
  • January 30th – Provisional Tax deadline for eFiling
  • February 25th – Submission and payment of VAT201 for manual registered vendors
  • February 27th – Submission and payment of VAT201 by eFiling
  • February 27 – Submission and payment of provisional tax

Of these dates, the 27th of February is probably the most important. Annual provisional tax returns involve a lot of paperwork, and your company’s financial records will have to be up to date before you file your returns. In order to submit well in advance, it’s essential that you send your records through to the Northwood team in time – and we can help you to do this.

Update your books today

A last-minute rush to update and check your financial records can mean only two things – mistakes and extra frustration.

Whether you do your own bookkeeping or employ someone to keep your records in order, it’s important to have recorded your income, expenses, and cash flow for the period up to December before you close for the festive season.  When you return in January, you’ll need to ensure that the following paperwork is in order:

  • Your bank statements from March 2014 to December 2014
  • Your ledgers or cash flow records for the same period
  • A list of creditors, debtors, and the amounts your business owes and is owed
  • Your inventory records (if you keep stock in your business)
  • Supporting documents, including invoices, statements, and receipts for the year

Plan your tax returns

Once your income and expenses have been accounted for, the process of tax planning can begin in earnest. Your financial advisor or tax practitioner will go over your financial records and ensure that you submit an honest set of returns to SARS, while claiming the business expenses and any tax relief that you are entitled to. When done correctly, this process can save your business tens of thousands (or more) each financial year and avoid any SARS penalties.

Submit well in advance

Finally, one of the biggest advantages of planning your tax returns early is the peace of mind that comes with early submission – the long lines and short tempers that are so common at SARS branches toward the deadline date, will be far from your mind as you focus on other important matters – like making 2015 the best year for your business yet.

To get a head start on your 2015 returns, simply book a tax consultation with Northwood. Contact us today.

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