Over the last couple of years SARS has been pre-populating certain information that they receive from third parties directly in individual taxpayers annual tax returns. This is typically your IRP5 information from your employer, contributions to your medical aid and contributions to your retirement annuity fund.
In the 2020 tax year, SARS has extended this to include local investment returns that have been submitted to SARS by financial institutions. This has enabled SARS to issue Auto assessments to certain qualifying taxpayers.
As mentioned in one of our previous articles, taxpayers who have been Auto assessed, have to either accept the Auto assessment or decline it, amend the information and submit their annual tax return as per normal.
The pre-populated information is the information that is used in the Auto assessment, however this is also pre-populated in an individual’s tax return that has not been selected for an Auto assessment.
However, caution must be exercised against blindly accepting any such pre-populated information as we have noted that not all local investment income information is currently being pre-populated in the individual tax returns. This could be due to complications encountered in submissions made by a financial institution. In addition, details in respect of any capital gains transactions are not pre-populated in the returns.
The onus still rests with the taxpayer to ensure that all information is declared to SARS, even if it has not been pre-populated by SARS. It is the taxpayer’s responsibility to accurately capture and declare all information in their annual tax returns.
Regional Divisional Director: Tax, Johannesburg