Jan

Who's the Boss?
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SARS tax warning — beware home office expenses

The South African Revenue Service recently published an update on claiming home office expenses, warning taxpayers against applying the tax deduction without considering the full implications.

Its advice on the issue comes after a full tax year where many employees were required to work from home.
 

RedViking

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I have been claiming for almost the past 7 years (maybe a bit less, can't remember which year my income qualified for tax) and have never been audited..... yet.
 

RedViking

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Can anyone link to an official source from SARS website stating these percentages:

  • Wi-Fi and computer expenses — usually 75% to 100%
  • Cellphone and telephone — usually 75% – 100%

I have been claiming 80% all my tax years but simply because an accountant has advised I can, could never find an official source for this. I see it is stated in this article now as well.
 

Tman543

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She also agreed with SARS that it is necessary to calculate whether the potential increase in capital gains tax is worth it.

However, Osche said that for most people, the impact to the capital gains on their primary residence from claiming home office expenses would be negligible
From the article, it is a scare tactic from SARS to pay less people out. Screw them telling us to consider the savings, the savings are minimal in some cases as electricity and water goes up.
 

grok

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So when business claim legit expenses its all ok, but when we as private individuals claim legit expenses (due to be forced to work from home) we are told to be careful and treated as potential criminals?

Seems SARS hasn't really progressed beyond the authority who looked the other way while Zuma was robbing the fiscus blind..

Obviously in Africa it's all about the loot, so GFY with the biggest pineapple you can find you're nothing but the Guptas with a legit .gov front-end.

Steal from the little people to make the politicians rich like with VBS. Vavi! Amanda!

1630302255570.png
 

Speedster

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So when business claim legit expenses its all ok, but when we as private individuals claim legit expenses (due to be forced to work from home) we are told to be careful and treated as potential criminals?

Seems SARS hasn't really progressed beyond the authority who looked the other way while Zuma was robbing the fiscus blind..

Obviously in Africa it's all about the loot, so GFY with the biggest pineapple you can find you're nothing but the Guptas with a legit .gov front-end.

Steal from the little people to make the politicians rich like with VBS. Vavi! Amanda!

View attachment 1136670

Which article are you commenting on? Where was the reference to potential criminality? Or are you just having a bad morning?
 

Petec

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Ahhhhhh SARS... Going after the small home businesses and freelancers.
Way to stifle SME growth... The most constant provider of any countries financial growth and stability.
 

Speedster

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Ahhhhhh SARS... Going after the small home businesses and freelancers.
Way to stifle SME growth... The most constant provider of any countries financial growth and stability.
I don't get this thinking. Is SARS' explanation of the applicable law considered "going after"? Should they allow people to claim deductions without verifying the accuracy and legitimacy of the deductions? You don't think anyone would try to abuse the WFH deductions if SARS simply blindly accepted all deductions?
 

recre8

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I submitted my return 15 July including my first home-office expense claim. Now SARS spams me almost every day with two emails and an SMS saying I've been selected for verification. All documents submitted on eFiling, made sure I comply with all the requirements.
How long does it normally take them to do the audit?
 

Zyk1

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I claimed for HO expense for the first time this year and I got audited.
In all fairness, there was a pop-up message on e-filing that said an audit is likely.
I submitted the following supporting documents thereafter, as requested by SARS:
1. Letter from your employer stating that you are indeed performing your duties at home
2. Proof of address (utility bill)
3. House plans (clearly showing size of the study vs size of the house)
4. Schedule of expenses (an excel sheet documenting the expenses you claimed for)

1 week later and all I get are letters from SARS saying audit in progress. This happens every 2 days.
SARS did state that it would take 21 days to complete though.

As far as I know, you can only claim for telephone expenses and stationary if you earn a commission. Otherwise you should only claim for:
1. Rent (if you are renting) or interest on your bond (if you are paying a bond)
2. Domestic helper
3. WIFI
4. Water, rates and taxes
5. Electricity
6. Home insurance (possibly)

Then apply that formula to calculate the HO claim
 

grok

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Which article are you commenting on? Where was the reference to potential criminality? Or are you just having a bad morning?
Badabing..
He also warned that SARS flagged many tax returns that included home office claims for verification.
Badabong..
“We really want to caution taxpayers to correctly and truthfully complete their returns, as [dishonest] behaviour will be detected,” said Kieswetter.
Seems the bad morning was all had by you, and SARS..
 

Speedster

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Badabing..

Badabong..


Seems the bad morning was all had by you, and SARS..
I still don't see anything alluding to being treated like a potential criminal? Or do you only function in hyperbole?

Or is your expectation that SARS simply takes all taxpayers at their word and never verifies their submissions?
 

G.A.S

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Messages
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Wait... this article now after how many to claim home expenses...

It's not like I didn't see this coming. Because I did.
 

RedViking

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I submitted my return 15 July including my first home-office expense claim. Now SARS spams me almost every day with two emails and an SMS saying I've been selected for verification. All documents submitted on eFiling, made sure I comply with all the requirements.
How long does it normally take them to do the audit?
Verification and Audit not the same thing.
 

G.A.S

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Jul 12, 2007
Messages
589
Can anyone link to an official source from SARS website stating these percentages:



I have been claiming 80% all my tax years but simply because an accountant has advised I can, could never find an official source for this. I see it is stated in this article now as well.
There is no such source. 80% is an estimate, allowing for some private use of the wifi / cellphone / computers.

If you can substantiate 100% beyond a doubt (that is No private use), you can claim 100% for these. But the onus of proof is on the taxpayer.
 

gbyleveldt

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Ahhhhhh SARS... Going after the small home businesses and freelancers.
Way to stifle SME growth... The most constant provider of any countries financial growth and stability.
To be fair, as an SME operating from home for years, I’ve never had any issues with claiming internet, telephony, utilities, and even vehicle expenses from SARS. But obviously it’s a registered business so the same rules don’t apply as would for a WFH employee.

My personal opinion, for which I’d probably be flamed, is that I can’t see the point for claiming internet and phone expenses from tax as a WFH employee. Not that it’s not warranted, but that you are exposing yourself to audits that could delay the payout of claims for extended periods only for a few hundred bucks a year extra.
 
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