Monthly Archives: July 2014

SARS: Procedure to change banking details for Personal Income Tax (Individuals)

A1SARS is responsible for protecting taxpayers against unauthorised changes to their personal details. Taxpayers wishing to register or change their banking details must visit a SARS branch in person and present the documentation required for verification before SARS will process any changes to their banking details. 

Requirements for different types of bank accounts

  • Own bank account:
    –  The account holder must visit a SARS branch in person with the documentation set out in point 1, 2 and 3 below.
  • Joint bank account:
    –  Both account holders must visit a SARS branch and each of them must take with them the documentation set out in point 1, 2 and 3 below.
    –  SARS will verify both account holders’ details before registering or changing banking details.
  • Third party bank account:
    –  The main account holder must visit a SARS branch in person and take with him/her the documentation set out in point 1, 2 and 3 below.
    –  If a refund is due to the taxpayer who is the third party, he/she will have to open their own bank account. SARS will not pay the refund into the account of the main account holder.

Can I send someone else to  the SARS branch on my behalf if I give them power of attorney?

No. The taxpayer must still visit a SARS branch in person to register or verify his/her banking details except for certain exceptional circumstances set out in the following paragraph.

The exceptional circumstances where SARS will allow registration and verification of banking details by someone else than the taxpayer, provided that the other person has power of attorney, are when the taxpayer is:

  • An estate due to death or sequestration
  • Incapacitated or terminally ill
  • A non-resident (emigrant/expatriate/foreigner/temporarily outside South Africa)
  • In jail
  • Under 18 years of age 

Documentation required for verification of banking details

  1. Proof of identity:

Original and valid ID document/Passport/Driver’s Licence/Asylum Seeker’s Permit plus one certified copy thereof

  1. Proof of banking details:

2.1  Copy of bank statement with original bank stamp or ABSA eStamped statement

  • Not more than three months old
  • Must confirm account holder’s details:
    –  Legal name of account holder
    –  Account number
    –  Account type
    –  Branch code

or

2.2  Taxpayer opened a new bank account but have not received a bank statement yet

  • Original letter stamped by bank on bank’s letterhead confirming:
    – Legal name of account holder
    – Account number
    – Account type
    – Branch code
    – Date on which bank account was opened
  1. Proof of residential address:

Copy of any one of the documents listed below.

3.1  Document not older than three months:

  • Municipal account
  • Student fee account
  • Co-op statement (farmers)
  • Medical aid statement
  • Telephone account
  • Court order
  • Subpoena
  • Traffic fine
  • Documents relating to UIF or pension payout

3.2  Document not older than six months:

  • Mortgage statement from mortgage lender

3.3  Document not older than 12 months:

  • Motor vehicle licence documents
  • Life assurance document
  • Short-term insurance document
  • Health insurance document
  • Funeral policy document
  • Statement from share, portfolio or unit trust investment
  • Current and valid lease/franchise agreement

3.4  If none of the above documentation is applicable/available, the taxpayer must complete and submit Form CRA01.

  • If proof of residence is in the name of a third party, the taxpayer must submit together with CRA01 a certified copy of the ID document/temporary ID/passport/driver’s licence of the third party. 

Tips

  • Make sure you have all the required documentation when you go to SARS otherwise SARS will not update your banking details. You will need to get all the documentation together and go to a  SARS branch again.
  • Make sure that the following stamps appear on all certified copies of documents:
    –  “True Copy”
    –  Commissioner of Oaths
  • Ensure that copies are certified by a person authorised to do so, for example SAPS/SAPO/attorneys.
  • SARS does not permit credit card/mortgage/foreign bank accounts for refund purposes.

SARS is taking their responsibility to protect taxpayers’ banking details seriously. Despite the inconvenience, it is to the taxpayer’s benefit to confirm their banking details with SARS to ensure that the taxpayer entitled to the refund will actually be the person to receive the refund. 

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or ommissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your financial adviser for specific and detailed advice. 

References:

  • IT-ACM-06-G01 – Change of Banking Details for Personal Income Tax – External Guide
  • GEN-BR002 – Changing Your Banking Details – External Brochure

Red flags: Financial reasons why small businesses fail

A2Many people dream of starting their own business. Few of the dreamers get as far as actually starting a business. Even fewer of the businesses survive in the long-term. Too often small businesses fail due to reasons, financial and otherwise, that could have been managed or altogether avoided. Continue reading to see if you recognise any of these red flags in your business. 

Lack of financial skills, financial planning and financial management

Have you done any financial forecasts for your business? Never?

Do you control spending with a budget?

Do you know how much income (revenue) and profit (no, they are not the same thing) you are making on each transaction? Are you focused on the products that generate the most profit?

Are you aware of the cycles (e.g. seasonal cycles) in the business sector you operate in and do you plan your cash flow according to the effect these cycles will have on your income and expenses?

If you answered “No” to any of the above questions, that could be a red flag popping up. 

Not enough cash reserves/savings

The minute any business starts to struggle with cash flow, a red flag immediately goes up because no cash means no business.

Something bad or unforeseen is bound to happen to your business from time to time – that’s life. The question is, when it happens, is there enough cash available to recover from the setback or challenge? No? There’s that red flag popping up again.

Some other sources of potential cash flow problems worth looking into are:

  • Falling behind on payments of day-to-day expenses e.g. suppliers, rent.
  • Borrowing money without a realistic plan or the means of repaying it.
  • Paying suppliers COD but selling to clients on credit. Does your business have enough cash reserves to pay suppliers immediately and wait for payment from your clients for possibly more than a month? Ideally the business should be able to pay suppliers on time and coordinate these payments with cash inflows from clients.
  • Uncontrolled personal use of business money – in other words: raiding the business’s cash register whenever you need money for private purposes.

Poor accounting

You can’t control and manage your business if you don’t know what’s going on with the finances. Business decisions need to be based on accurate, up-to-date financial information otherwise you are flying your business blindfolded. Remember: you can’t manage what you can’t measure. 

Lack of awareness of the relationship between different functions of a business

Consider the following statement: Without money there is no business and without business there is no money. Or to put it differently: If you neglect sales, there will be no money flowing into the business and if you neglect managing the money, you will not be able to pay for the products or services you need to generate sales.

There is a fairy tale idea that an established business will just run itself. If there were any truth to this idea, there would have been a lot less small businesses going out of business or failing for various reasons. If you want to ensure that your small business will thrive now and in the future, there are certain things you have to do. It is never too late to start doing cash flow planning or draw up a budget. Remember that even a mature plant needs to be watered so keep those forecasts rolling!

If the above article raised any questions in your mind or you need professional guidance on this topic, please do not hesitate to contact a business consultant who can assist you in the planning of your business. 

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or ommissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your financial adviser for specific and detailed advice. 

References: