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The taxman has opened an office in Alexandra, which is proving helpful to the township’s businesspeople and workers, particularly as tax season gets under way.
THE South African Revenue Services (Sars) office in Alexandra has helped 395 individuals and businesses with tax queries since it opened earlier this year.

 

MMC Sello LemaoMMC Sello Lemao: Sars office will contribute to growing the City's economy The office opened in the San Kopano Community Centre, on the corner of 12 Avenue and Reverend Sam Mabuti Street, in March. It attends to VAT registrations, income tax, annual tax returns and company registrations.
 

Sello Lemao, the mayoral committee member for economic development, commended the initiative, saying it would contribute immensely to growing the city’s economy.

“Joburg is a city where community development, personal growth and social mobility are enhanced so that challenges of poverty, vulnerability, inequality and social exclusion are fundamentally addressed.”

He said the City’s focus had been on economic development programmes to better equip businesses and create an enabling environment for their survival and growth.

The Greater Alexandra Chamber of Commerce and Industries was instrumental in opening the Sars office, according to its president, Mpho Motsumi. “We initiated the idea and approached Sars, which showed at interest, and that is when this joined venture was born.”

The office is largely spearheaded by Edward Nathan Sonnenbergs, the law firm that provides legal services to the City of Joburg in a developmental capacity.

It could not have come at a better time for the people of Alexandra, who will join millions of other South Africans who are completing their tax returns. The new tax season opened on Friday, 1 July, for the tax year 1 March 2010 to 28 February 2011.

In line with this year’s theme, “Taking the ‘eish’ out of tax-eish-ion”, Sars recently launched an extensive national communications campaign to help those who will be filling in their returns. Taxpayers are advised to file their returns early to avoid the last minute rush, and the taxman has encouraged people to complete their returns in full and file them electronically.

The submission deadline for paper or manual returns via post or hand delivery at Sars offices, is 30 September; the submission deadline for efiling or visiting a branch, where Sars consultants capture their returns, is 25 November.

 

Mpho MotsumiGALXCOC president Mpho Motsumi and staff during opening of the Sars officeProvisional taxpayers who file via efiling have until 31 January 2012 to submit their returns.
 

According to the Sars website, the taxman no longer sends out income tax returns to taxpayers unless they ask for them. However, taxpayers don’t have to wait to receive their returns to submit them.

They can rather visit their nearest Sars branch with their tax documents and personal particulars and a consultant will help them complete and submit their return then and there. In 2010, more than 1,5 million taxpayers were helped this way.

Those registered for efiling can log on to the efiling website. Their customised return will be on their personal efiling profile. In 2010, more than 2,25 million people submitted their returns through efiling.

Those who submit their returns manually can ask for a pre-populated return to be posted to them by calling the Sars Contact Centre on 0800 00 7277.

All tax returns are pre-populated with information that Sars got from employers in the recent tax season for employers, which ended on 3 June. This season, a record number of 235 882 employers submitted almost 15 million employee tax certificates.

For security reasons, the tax service may ask taxpayers who recently changed their banking details, or who want to change their banking details, to visit a Sars branch in person to provide proof of identity. This applies to those who want to submit their details via efiling.

For enquiries regarding the Alex Sars office, call the Greater Alexandra Chamber of Commerce on 011 882 9516.

 

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