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Online Tax Tools for Small Businesses in South Africa

Tax season for individuals is well underway…With the deadline rapidly approaching, those looking forward to a refund are encouraged not to delay in submitting their returns or they could be hit with penalty charges. Fortunately, the internet has made it easier for individuals to wrap up their income tax submissions sooner rather than later, as this article ‘Online Tax Tools to Make Your Returns a Breeze This Season’ reminded us.

Taxes are also one of the major financial obligations that come with running a business and which entrepreneurs must take care of annually. If you’re a business owner, it can be slightly more overwhelming than filing personal income taxes. Not getting properly organised for business tax season can result in a fine from SARS.

Businesses that are registered as taxpayers are required to submit a return of income twelve months after the end of the financial year in the ITR14.  Your company must also file provisional tax returns six months from the start of the year and at the end of the year. The provisional return must show the total taxable income earned or to be earned for that period. Payment of the tax must be sent along with the return.

You can tackle business tax preparation and filing on your own, or request the help of professional tax consultants. You can also upload forms online to simplify the submission process. That being said, here’s a quick rundown of online tax tools that could be useful for businesses (a list provided by Hippo.co.za, South Africa’s first comparison website that compares insurance and other personal finance products such as Personal Loan products).

SARS e-Filing

E-filing is a user-friendly system administered by SARS, which allows individuals and businesses to report their tax returns online. All you need to do is to register on the SARS site with your tax number where you’ll be asked to complete the relevant fields and attach a few documents online to authenticate your profile. E-filing offers you the facilities to file a variety of tax returns such as VAT, PAYE, SDL, UIF, Income Tax, Secondary Tax on Companies (STC), as well as Provisional Tax.

TaxTim

Many business owners may need help with filing tax returns and expert advice can really prove beneficial at tax time. TaxTim is one of several online services that offer support and assistance to taxpayers.  Throughout the year, business owners can get free advice through informative articles on how to file their returns . Many of these articles explain SARS’ terminologies and processes in layman’s terms. You can find answers to most of the questions you have regarding tax, such as what types of tax you have to pay. TaxTim also offers tax preparation services and, for a fee, will complete and submit your taxes on your behalf.

SME Toolkit South Africa

SME Toolkit is a resource hub that provides free how-to articles, business forms, financial tools, online training, and information resources. If you have any business tax-related questions, you’re sure to find the answers on this useful site. From turnover tax, to registering for tax as a private company to managing your tax compliance status – SME Toolkit gives entrepreneurs access to information and guidance developed by experts that can assist them in overcoming their tax challenges.

 Xero

It’s absolutely crucial that your business keeps accurate payroll tax records. This is one of the legal requirements of being an entrepreneur and failing to do so can result in serious penalties. Having precise figures at hand will give you an accurate picture of your business expenses, and should you ever receive an audit notice from SARS during tax season, receipts and tax records will help you balance your books.

Nowadays, lots of businesses invest in cloud-based accounting software to have everything readily accessible. With accounting software such as Xero, all payroll tax information is automatically encrypted and backed up remotely. Through a host of integrated apps, your business will not only be able to easily capture its expenses but also file sales tax.

Whether this is your first year filing or your fifth, these online tax tools will help you get your head around this year’s business tax season and avoid costly mistakes.

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