Get ready for tax season and auto-assessments!

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The 2024 tax filing season officially kicks off on 15 July, and the first auto-assessments have already started rolling out as of Monday, 1 July. If the thought of SARS and all their complex systems has you feeling a bit overwhelmed, don't sweat it. As an individual taxpayer, the main thing you need to focus on is your auto-assessment.

Life’s too short to worry about IRP’s at ITA’s right? Not quite! It’s important to know the basics of your assessment. This way, you can make sure your tax affairs are in order and SARS doesn’t owe you any money (or vice versa)!

Here’s what you need to know.

What is an auto-assessment?

To save time and cut down on back-and-forth paperwork, SARS automatically assesses certain taxpayers using data from employers, financial institutions, medical schemes, retirement annuity fund administrators, and other third-party data providers. The assessment therefore needs no input from you. 

How will I know if I have been auto-assessed?

Assessments are conducted - you guessed it - automatically, and you should receive an SMS or email from SARS informing you that you have been selected for an auto-assessment. These notifications can land in your inbox anywhere from today until 14 July. 

I have been auto-assessed — what now?

If you’re happy with your assessment, great! You don’t need to do anything else or file an additional tax return. But, if you’re not satisfied with it, you can still file a tax return the normal way between 15 July and 21 October. 

Filing an additional tax return means you can include all of your possible deductions or extra income. After you submit this return, SARS will issue you an assessment (called an ITA34) showing your new tax refund or the amount you need to pay. If there’s a difference between your auto-assessment and your ITA34, SARS will pay you an additional refund. However, if you report extra income,you'll need to make a tax payment to SARS. 

Quick tip: It’s super important to disclose any additional income you receive because SARS has some pretty clever and effective ways of picking up on this!

How can 22seven help?

Use 22seven’s transaction categorisations to keep track of any additional payments you made towards medical expenses, tax-deductible donations, or expenses related to earning extra income. You can also use the date range filter in the advanced search feature on the Transactions page to set the dates for the tax year in question. Easy peasy!

Tax season doesn’t have to be scary if you know what to expect from your auto-assessment, and have your ducks (and paperwork) in a row. If you have any questions about your tax situation, it’s always a good idea to speak to a certified tax professional or your financial advisor.