He’s done it again. Just when the Rand was starting to get strong again too. Jacob Zuma fires another perfectly capable finance minister. And while we have no real control over the economic ramifications of the cabinet reshuffle, we can at least be grateful for small financial concessions. Like tax deductions.
Are You Claiming For These Tax Deductions?
When tax season comes around, there always seems to be a sense of reluctant obligation in the air. Filing our tax returns, whether we’re e-filing or paying a qualified tax practitioner, either costs us time or money – sometimes both.
The paperwork is done, forms are submitted, and your tax guy (or gal) is paid. Then you sit back and hope the tax man is kind to your bank account this year. That’s normally how it goes.
But it doesn’t have to be crossed fingers and wishful thinking about a big return. When you give your tax returns (and your tax practitioner) due diligence with tracking all those expenses you can claim for, you’ll find yourself looking forward to tax season. But first, you need to know what you can claim for (so you can keep your receipts!).
Suzelle Groenewald, professional accountant and founder of Groenewald & Associates, shared with us some of the common tax deductions that are sometimes overlooked. Or worse: that taxpayers don’t even know they can claim for.
Expenses Claimable For All Individual Tax Payers:
Groenewald says medical aid contributions paid, as well as medicine prescribed by a doctor and not paid by your medical aid, can be deducted. Then percentages of your retirement annuity and pension fund contributions can also be claimed for.
Additional Expenses Claimable For Individual Tax Payers Receiving A Travel Allowance:
“Expenses relating to the motor vehicle used for work travel can be deducted, but a detailed logbook must be kept,” says Groenewald, adding that an example can be downloaded from her site.
Relevant expenses are as follows:
Interest paid on hire purchase agreement
Repairs and maintenance
Depreciation on vehicle
“The total expenses for the year must be adjusted according to logbook details to account for personal use, and this calculation must be submitted to SARS,” she adds.
Additional Expenses For Independent/ Commission Earners
These are taxes claimable for individual tax payers who are independent contractors or tax payers receiving commission where the commission is more than 60% of their annual income:
Expenses relating to the motor vehicle used for work travel (as mentioned above) can also be deducted. Expenses relating to a home office (including water and electricity) can also be considered. This is calculated according to the space used for the home office, only.
Other expenses worth keeping track of include:
All printing and stationery
Telephone and internet expenses
Work-related training (paid by the tax payer)