In support of the President’s call to the Covid-19 pandemic, that Social Distancing be observed at all times and that we should at most stay indoors and limit movement, SARS is responding by rapidly enhancing its efforts to further simplify the tax return filing requirements for individual taxpayers and removing the need to travel to our Branches. This is great news for blind people, because after many years of struggle, the system is finally accessible for the use with screen reading software. We no longer have to ask around or pay expensive prices to get to a SARS Branch Office to be assisted with the completion and submission of our tax returns. By the use of third-party data, SARS was able to provide approximately 3.2 million Taxpayers with a proposed assessment, which can be viewed on eFiling or the SARS mobile application. After viewing the proposed assessment, the Taxpayer have the option to edit or accept the assessment. Many of you might have received these assessments, therefore I am going to explain to you how to view, edit and submit your return correctly.
ARE YOU A REGISTERED EFILING USER
It is important for persons with disabilities to edit their returns in order to indicate their disability status and claim additional medical- and disability related expenditure. As previously mentioned, the editing of the return can only be done on eFiling or the SARS Mobi App. Therefore, if you are not yet registered as an eFiler, please download the SARS Mobi App from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store, and complete the registration process. Note that the app can only be used on devices running Android 5.0 or later and IOS 10 or later. The registration process is easy to use and 100% accessible for screen reader users. The guides is available on the SARS website.
COMPLETING YOUR INCOME TAX RETURN
Once registered as an eFiling user, you may log in using the SARS mobile application or on the eFiling website. We recommend the use of Google Chrome or the Firefox web browsers to log in on the eFiling website. Once logged in, navigate to the “returns issued” link and press enter. Then press enter on the link labelled “Personal income tax (ITR12). Confirm that the year indicated in the search box is 2020 and press enter on the “request return” button. A pop-up message will be displayed indicating that a return has been generated for you, or that your return has been auto-assessed. Press enter on “okay” to proceed. If the return was auto-assessed, you need to press enter on “continue” and then enter again on “edit return”. Do not enter on “accept”. Your return will now be open. If your return was not auto-assessed, navigate to “my tax return” and press enter. From here, the steps are the same to complete your income tax return. Another pop-up message will be displayed. Note the information provided and press enter on “okay” to proceed. The form frame contains various buttons of which the first one, which will be expanded by default, is the form wizard information to create your personal income tax return. Use the tab key to navigate between the questions and the up and down arrow keys to select the appropriate radio button. Once you have answered all the questions on the form creation wizard, press the letter “b” to navigate to the “Taxpayer information” button. It is important to carefully check all the details in the various categories and sub-categories on the form, and make changes where required. Navigate through the available fields by pressing tab and/or the arrow keys. Many of the fields, including your employee tax certificate information, will be pre-populated on the return. You need to read the pre-populated information to confirm that the details is corresponding with the IRP5/IT3B certificates received. Once you get to the “deductions”, please enter on the “Medical deductions” button to open the container where you will find the “disability” button. Press enter on “disability” and use tab to navigate to the available fields. Please complete all the fields in full, including the ITRDD information and all other details relevant to you. Once done, proceed to complete the rest of your return. You may save the return at any time during the process and complete it at a later stage. Submit the return only once you are satisfied that all the details captured are correct. It is very important that you save scanned copies of the completed and signed ITRDD form and all other expenditure claimed on the return, on your computer, so that you can easily upload the documents if your return is selected for an audit. You will receive correspondence from SARS if supporting documents are required. The ITRDD form can be obtained from the SARS website.
WHAT EXPENSES MAY I CLAIM?
One of the questions most frequently asked by persons with disabilities is regarding the allowable expenses that may be claimed. Our legal team compiled a list, which I will gladly distribute to you. Remember that the expense have to be directly related to your specific disability in order to qualify as an allowable deduction.
To conclude. SARS is committed to improve our service delivery to our clients. Therefore, please do not hesitate to mail me suggestions to further improve accessibility of the digital service channels. You are also most welcome to let me know if I can mail you any of the documents mentioned during the presentation. I will gladly assist.
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