Tax Returns: Pay less and save more

Accounting.
They say nothing’s certain in life, but death and taxes. But there’s no reason why you can’t get savvier with your tax returns and apply savings towards a cushy retirement or other smart investments. We’ll help you better understand your tax liability, ways to reduce your tax bill, and how to save tax-efficiently in a retirement annuity.

Who has to pay tax and who has to tell SARS more about it?
We know how it goes: you start your first job, your company kindly deducts your tax and UIF, and you’re left with, well, what you’re left with. No one ever takes you aside to explain how tax works or the control you can have over it.

First off, let’s look at who has to pay tax.
For the 2018 year of assessment, you have to pay tax if:

  • You earn more than R75 750 a year and you’re younger than 65 years.
  • You’re 65 years of age or older – the tax threshold (the amount above which income tax becomes payable) is R117 300, while for those over 75, the threshold is R131 150.

You don’t have to file a tax return…
If your total salary for the year before tax does not exceed R350 000, provided that:

  • You only have one employer. Remember that if you have two employers or income sources (i.e. late spouse/partner pension income, exam markings income, rental income, moonlighting income etc.) you do need to file, even if the total is still under R350 000.
  • You have no car allowance or other income ¬– such as interest or rent, for example.
  • You are not claiming tax-related deductions like medical expenses, retirement annuity contributions, travel expenses, etc.
  • You received interest from a source in South Africa not exceeding:
    • R23 800 if you are below the age of 65 years, or
    • R34 500 if you aged 65 years or older.
  • Dividends were paid to you and you were a non-resident during the year of assessment.

Benefits of filing a tax return
Here’s a clue: tax refund.

Even if you don’t have to file a return, it’s still a good idea to do so in order to maintain a complete tax record, to obtain a tax clearance certificate should you want to take out a mortgage, and to access your retirement fund one day.

What’s more, you could be due a refund. Depending on your situation, something like working two jobs can trigger a tax refund.

Bringing down your tax burden
While you can’t evade tax, there are some ways you can lessen your income tax liability. For example:

  • Donations: Support a worthy cause like a local animal shelter. You can donate up to 10% of your taxable income to public benefit organisations (PBOs) and claim a tax deduction on this donation, provided these PBOs are registered with SARS and issue a valid tax certificate for all donations received.
  • Medical Scheme Fees Tax Credit (MTC): A fixed monthly amount, which increases according to the number of dependants you have. For the 2017/2018 tax year, you can deduct:
    • R303 per month if you are the taxpayer paying the medical scheme contributions
    • R303 per month for the first dependant
    • R204 per month for each additional dependant
  • (Indirectly) invest in a local start-up: If you want to back smaller, higher-risk trading companies, you can do so by investing in a venture capital company (VCC). Individual investors are entitled to deduct the full amount of their investment from their taxable income in the tax year. The tax relief is 41% for individuals.
  • Tax-free savings: To encourage South Africans to be better savers, SARS allows taxpayers to save a maximum of R33 000 per year and R500 000 in your lifetime tax-free. These amounts have to be saved in a specially designated fund/account without having to pay any tax on capital gains or on the interest or dividends received on these investments.
  • Pension, provident funds and retirement annuities: If you contribute towards your retirement in one of these savings vehicles, you may deduct up to 27.5% of your gross remuneration or taxable income (whichever is higher) in respect of your total contributions to a pension, provident or RA fund, subject to an annual limit of R350 000.

By Indwe Risk Services

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Hulp wanneer die lewe moeilik raak

depression_01

Die eerste sin in M. Scott Peck se boek ‘The road less travelled’ (1978) is: Life is difficult… wat later opgevolg word met: Life is a series of problems…. Hierdie probleme ontlok baie gevoelens soos hartseer, woede, angs, vrees, depressie, eensaamheid, skuldgevoelens, frustrasies en dies meer wat verweefd is in ons lewensverhale. Almal van ons het unieke stories om te vertel – stories oor ons self, ons geliefdes, mense naby aan jou, die gemeenskap en selfs die diverse land waarin ons saam met ander mense woon.

In my praktyk luister ek daagliks na mense se stories – lewensverhale waartydens so baie mense verwond is, die omvang en intensiteit daarvan soms uitmergelend. Die trauma in ons land neem skrikwekkende afmetings aan. Gemoedsversteurings soos hoë angsvlakke en bipolariteit kan jouself sowel as interpersoonlike verhoudings beskadig of vernietig. Persoonlikheidsversteurings soos Borderline personality disorder of Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder meng in met of beperk geslaagde interpersoonlike verhoudinge.. Mediese siektetoestande soos rumatoïede artritis gaan dikwels gepaard met erge fisiese en eventueel ook emosionele pyn en ongemak. Emosionele en/of seksuele mishandeling veroorsaak letsels wat moeilik hanteerbaar is. Die lys van probleme is soms eindeloos.

Hierdie psigopatologiese stories van die verlede kan ‘n mens so gevange hou dat dit jou gesonde funksionering in die hede belemmer. Dikwels veroorsaak dit dat die toekoms donker en uitsigloos word, sonder hoop op geluk en vrede. Soms word ek gekonfronteer met my eie gevoel van magteloosheid – hoe kan ek iemand wat so geheel en al hoop-loos is, tot hulp wees? Totdat ek weereens besef dat die plant van ‘n saadjie van hoop emosionele energie loslaat – dit help mense om uit hul vasgelopenheid los te kom. Hoop is die begin van ‘n nuwe lewe; dis die wete dat daar roetes of paaie is wat lei na emosionle genesing en heelword; dis die wete dat jy die keuse het om óf vasgevang te bly in die probleem-versadigde storie óf om in beweging te kom sodat jy ‘n alternatiewe storie kan skep. Sodoende beweeg jy weg van jou ‘oorversadigde’ probleem in die rigting van die skep van ‘n alternatiewe storie waarvan jy die lewende skrywer is.

Die kliënt kan nie gemaklik terugsit en vir die sielkundige wag om ‘alles reg te maak’ nie. Die sielkundige kan die pad aandui maar slegs die kliënt kan dit in sy lewe laat realiseer. Soms gebeur dit egter dat die persoon se vordering as’t ware tot niet gemaak word wanneer hy/sy teruggaan na sy/haar gesins-sisteem. Dan word die kliënt sover as moontlik bemagtig om ten spyte hiervan, staande te bly.

Sielkundiges is toegerus om hierdie prosesse te fasilteer. Ongelukkig vind baie mense dit moeilik om vir sielkundige hulp te kom weens, onder andere, die stigma daaraan verbonde, die seer om oop te maak en jou verhaal te vertel, asook die vrees om weer verneder te word. Dikwels gebeur dit dat dat mense jare lank eerder die pyn en ongemak van bv depressie verduur as om ‘n sielkundige te kom sien.

Psigoterapie word beskryf as ‘n healing relationship between a client and psychotherapist, the latter using psychological methods to help a person change and overcome problems. Daar is ‘n magdom verskillende psigoterapie paradigmas. Elke sielkundige maak staat op een of meer psigoterapie-benaderings en tegnieke wat as’t ware ‘n padkaart is: dit begelei ons deur die proses om ons kliënte en hul probleme te verstaan ​​en gesamentlike oplossings te vind en te ontwikkel.

Die goeie nuus is dat elkeen van ons oor innerlike sterktes (inner strengths) beskik wat ons deur die jare in staat gestel het om te oorleef en talle struikelblokke te oorkom. Hierdie innerlike sterktes is steeds tot jou beskikking om vandag se hindernisse en probleme te hanteer, en tot hulp te wees tydens psigoterapie. Benewens jou kennis, insig en begrip van jou situasie, beskik jy ook oor innerlike lewenswysheid soos verkry deur jou jarelange en unieke lewenservarings.

‘n Verdere aangename verassing is dat mens nog ‘n uitstekende hulpbron tot jou beskikking het, naamlik jou brein – ons dra as’t ware die wêreld van neurowetenskap in ons rond. Verskillende areas van die brein is nuttig in psigoterapie. So byvoorbeeld is die amygdala as deel van die limbiese sisteem betrokke by die regulering van ons emosionele lewe. Deur te verstaan hoe die brein funksioneer en hoe jou eie ‘hard-wired’ wyse van dink en doen, bydra tot psigopatologie, verhoudingsprobleme, en dies meer, kan dit bydra tot verandering via die vorming van nuwe denke, gevoelens en gedrag. Die brein is nie gemaak en gelaat staan nie aangesien die brein die vermoë het om deur die hele lewensduur te verander in reaksie op nuwe ondervinding of nuwe leer of psigoterapie. Sodoende word nuwe neuro-paadjies ontwikkel ten opsigte van dit waaraan jy wil werk, soos bv hantering van woede of chroniese pyn.

Ten slotte: Sielkundiges moet registreer by die HPCSA (Health Professions Council of SA) om te kan praktiseer. Ons woon verpligte CPD (Continuing Professional Development)  kursusse by ten einde nie slegs ons professionele kennis en vaardighede op te dateer tot voordeel van ons kliënte nie, maar ook getrou te bly aan die etiese standaarde van ons beroep. Registrasie kategorieë sluit in Kliniese sielkunde, Voorligtingsielkunde en Opvoedkundige sielkunde.

Outeur:  Dr Matrié van Niekerk   082 498 3475   Pretoria

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Junk Status, recession and my debt

2b2c5c4b0f734d0e924d87c7ddf1160dWe are all aware that the volatile political landscape of South Africa has had a dire influence on the credit ratings adjusting our status to junk and we are officially also in recession.   We as ordinary citizens cannot do much about it except to vote in the upcoming National Elections in 2019.  However, what we can do is look after our own income with care.

What to do:

  1. Don’t buy anything new if you can have it repaired or bought second hand
  2. Don’t buy anything you don’t need (make a very clear distinction between want and need)
  3. Look out for coupons, discounts and member points
  4. Don’t buy food on an empty stomach
  5. Take your own lunch to work
  6. Make use of a lift club or do all trips at once or make use of public transport where possible
  7. Don’t use credit for essential living expenses
  8. Pay off your more expensive debt first (even an extra R50 per month will shorten the term of the contract)
  9. Don’t skip payments
  10. Don’t ignore letters from credit providers

If you are in trouble what to do:

  1. Make an arrangement with the particular credit provider before they take legal action ( you will be paying for that and additional interest will be added to the contractual balance remaining)
  2. Make an appointment with a debt counsellor to look at your budget, sometimes a fresh eye is all that is needed to allocate funds more efficiently
  3. If legal action has commenced, appoint a lawyer to assist you in addressing the matter, don’t ignore it, it will cost you
  4. Check your credit report regularly
  5. Check your statements regularly
  6. Ask a debt counsellor to look into reckless credit for you if you suspect that there is a possibility thereof

What is reckless credit:

Reckless credit is granted by a credit provider to a consumer who can actually not afford to repay the debt.  If a credit provider has not done an affordability assessment that is reasonable, checked your repayment history with the credit bureaus, asked for 3 months banking statements from you that could be reckless.   If the credit provider did this but it will make it difficult for you to make the payments to all your debt and pay for essential living costs, that might be reckless also.   You can also directly refer reckless credit allegations to the NCR to investigate:   www.ncr.org.za on form 29 emailed to complaints@ncr.org.za or phone them on 0860 627 627.

The court and/or National Consumer Tribunal can make findings regarding reckless credit.  It can be either set aside, interest and costs set aside and you only pay back what actual money you owed or post pone payments to a future date for example.  If you want more information regarding reckless credit, contact a reputable debt counsellor to assist you with this.  Not all debt counsellors are experts in reckless credit, ask to see their court findings re reckless credit before appointing them to assist you with this.  It is your right to ensure that the person assisting you knows what they are doing.  It is time consuming and expert work.

If you are interested in requiring my services as a debt counsellor or to do a motivational talk about debt and the National Credit Act please feel free to contact me on (012) 330 0428, 078 031 4264, renee@dfx.co.za, skype:  reneemarais, Facebook:  Debt Problems Solved and twitter: ReneeNCRDC1780

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Wat mense regtig koop

shopping

Daar word gesê dat die perfekte tydsberekening vir ʼn verkoopstransaksie is wanneer die kliënt ʼn behoefte het en ons besigheid van hierdie behoeftes bewus is en ons ons produk/diens gereed het om ʼn oplossing te bied. Dit is alles goed en wel in teorie, maar hoe laat ons dit in die praktyk gebeur?

Ek vermoed dat die persoon wat hierdie gelaaide vraag kan beantwoord, onmiddellik sukses sal geniet. My voorbehoud is dus dat ek nie voorgee om die antwoord te hê nie, maar wel ʼn paar voorstelle bied om nader aan die antwoord te beweeg.

Mense koop enige produk of diens om hoofsaaklik twee redes:

  • Die behoefte om pyn of verlies te vermy
  • Die behoefte aan genot

As dit waar is, hoe besluit hulle dan om ʼn spesifieke produk of diens te oorweeg en te koop? Dit kom neer op die voordeel/voordele wat hulle sal ontvang en of hierdie voordele die rede(s) waarom hulle in die eerste plek na ʼn oplossing op soek was, sal aanspreek.

Kom ons beskou ʼn paar voorbeelde om die boodskap tuis te bring:

Voorbeeld 1: Jy besit ʼn matbesigheid. Dit is dalk beter om jou produk as iets wat mense help om hulle huise te verfraai, aan te bied; d.w.s. jy verkoop skoonheid, nie matte nie.

Voorbeeld 2: Jy is ʼn besigheidsadviseur. Jy verkoop nie konsultasiemetodes nie, maar eerder verbeterde besigheidsprestasie en verhoogde omset of wins; d.w.s. verbeterde winsgewendheid.

Voorbeeld 3: Jy besit ʼn deli wat op organiese produkte fokus. Jy verkoop nie groente, of organiese kosse nie, maar eerder gesondheid.

Voorbeeld 4: Jy verkoop nie finansiëlebeplanningsprodukte, -dienste of -advies nie, maar eerder welvaart of gemoedsrus.

Hoe om hierdie kennis in ons besighede toe te pas:

Stel ʼn lys saam met al die voordele wat jou teikenkliënt sal ontvang wanneer hy of sy jou produk of diens koop. Kies dan een of twee voordele met die sterkste kliëntewaarde (dit spreek dikwels tot die emosies van mense) en gebruik dit in al jou bemarkings- en verkoopsbedrywighede.

Die antwoord op waarom mense enige produk of diens koop, is dalk ver verwyder van ons perspektief op die besigheid wat ons besit of bedryf.

“Weet wat jou kliënte die meeste begeer en wat jou besigheid die beste doen. Fokus op waar hierdie twee ontmoet.” – Kevin Stirtz, besigheidskrywer en strategiebestuurder (vryvertaling)

Artikel geskryf deur Jannie Rossouw, Hoof: Sanlam Besigheidsmark
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Jakaranda en Louis Botha Kinderhuise beleef tans ‘n noodsituasie

Jakaranda Kinderhuise

‘n Groot struikelblok wat die kinderhuise tans in die gesig staar is die geweldige afneem van befondsing, as gevolg van die wêreldwye ekonomiese krisis, waarvan Suid Afrika nie gespaar is nie, Ons land se Nie Winsgewende Organisasies (NWO’s) ervaar almal befondsingsprobleme, aangesien skenkings, veral van individuele en private skenkers, aansienlik afgeneem het.

Die resessie, die huidige politieke klimaat en verskeie media berigte van korrupsie, het ook die korporatiewe maatskaplike beleggings (CSI) begrotings het verminder. As gevolg van verminderde private en korporatiewe skenkersbefondsing moes daar drastiese planne gemaak word deur verskeie organisasies om te bly oorleef.

Jakaranda en Louis Botha Kinderhuise is ook nie gespaar van hierdie afname in befondsing nie en het sowat 40% aan inkomste ingeboet net omdat individue en maatskappye daar buite eenvoudig nie meer geld het om weg te gee nie.

Alhowel die staat sowat 45% van ons jaarlikse begroting subsidieer is dit nie naastenby genoeg om ons kinders doeltreffend te versorg nie. Soos baie ander kinderhuise het ons geweldige probleme met die verkryging van staatsondersteuning, vennootskappe met maatskappye, die verkryging van befondsing wat ons sal toelaat om ons mandaat ten volle te vervul.

Jakaranda en Louis Botha Kinderhuise is 2 kinderhuise wat regtig omgee oor die welstand van kinders in nood, en juis omdat ons glo dat kinders nie net versorg moet word nie maar ook ontwikkel moet word om hulle plekke as volwaardige volwassenes vol te staan in die samelewing doen ons ‘n beroep op die publiek om opnuut diep in hulle sake te delf om ons te help om hierdie taak van omgee vir kinders namens die gemeeskap te verrig.

Ons hoor toenemend dat Jakaranda en Louis Botha Kinderhuise sogenaamde “ryk” kinderhuise is en hierdie persepsie is baie ver verwyder van die realiteit, maar wat wel die waarheid is, is dat die standaard van dienslewering baie hoog is en dat ons daarna streef om ‘n stimulerende omgewing vir ons kinders te skep.

Ons het die voorreg gehad om te kon uithelp in die tyd wat die staat se maatskaplike werkers onlangs gestaak het, deur vir 65 van die kinders wat daardeur geraak is tydelike heenkoms te bied. In hierdie proses het ons besef wat die waarde van hoë standaard dienste en ‘n stimulerende omgewing t.o.v kinders is. Ons het ook in hierdie uithelp tyd gesien dat die hoë standaard dienste nie noodwendig duurder is as minder goeie dienste nie, inteendeel het ons besef dat dit soms goedkoper is as swakker gehalte dienslewering.

Ons deel graag met u ons finansiële inligting t.o.v kosvoorsiening vir ons kinders by Jakaranda en Louis Louis Botha Kinderhuise:

Kos uitgawe per kind/per dag – R27.10
Kos uitgawe per kind/per maand – R813.67
Gesamentlike kosuitawe vir al ons kinders per maand – R187 146.00 (Jakaranda)
Gesamentlike kosuitawe vir al ons kinders per maand – R69745.83 (Louis Botha)
Gesamentlike kosuitawe vir al ons kinders per Jaar – R2 245760.00 (Jakaranda)
Gesamentlike kosuitawe vir al ons kinders per Jaar – R836 950.00 (Louis Botha)

Daar word deurentyd gepoog om die water en elektrisiteit verbruik by die kinderhuise tot die minimum te beperk, maar hierdie enorme uitgawe beloop R175 000.00 per maand by Jakaranda- en R71 000.00 per maand by Louis Botha Kinderhuis.

Personeel Salarisse was die afgelope finasiele jaar 42% van ons totale uitgawe, wat baie gesond is in vergelyking met ander soortgelyke organisasies wat tot 80% van hul maandelikse uitgawes aan salarisse spandeer.

Kinders hoort nie in Kinderhuise nie, maar by hul ouers. Ongelukkig is die harde werklikheid dat daar kinders is wat nie by hul ouers kan wees nie, en benodig alternatiewe versorging waarvan Kinderhuise so ‘n alternatief is, maar HIERDIE ALTERNATIEWE VERSORGING KOS ONGELUKKIG BAIE GELD!!

M ERWEE
Uitvoerende Hoof – Jakaranda- en Louis Botha Kinderhuise

Christo Louw
Marketing & Fundraising Department
Project Manager: Christmas Light Festival
E-mail address: clouw@jacarandachildren.co.za
Mobile Number: 0835115238

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Make a difference… support the omdatTRUST!

OmdatTrust_logo

How did the omdatTRUST come about?
Steve van Heerden, founder of the omdatTRUST, registered the trust on 03 February 2010. He created the omdatTRUST, because he wanted to give something back to the underprivileged, and because he believed that it’s better to give than to receive. It was especially children with disabilities and also needy animals that caught his attention.

Sadly in 2011, Steve’s short and promising life came to an unexpected end, after he became a less fortunate victim of an armed robbery incident while at his home.

Nevertheless, with the encouragement and support of family and friends, it was decided to continue with the omdatTRUST. The motivation was to complete Steve’s unfulfilled motion of generosity.

Steve leaves a legacy and is an example to us all, because he had a heart of gold, because… this is who Steve was.

Beneficiaries of the omdatTRUST are, amongst:
Steve especially wanted children with disabilities and also needy animals to benefit from the omdatTRUST. Therefore he specified the beneficiaries of the trust, which included organisations which was very close to his heart:

  • The Transoranje Institute for Special Education (TOIBO)
    • Prinshof School for the Visually Impaired
    • Transoranje School for the Deaf
    • Sonitus School for the Hearing Impaired
    • Transvalia School for Epilepsy and Learning Disabilities
    • Martie du Plessis High School for the Cerebral Palsied
  • President Kruger Children’s Homes in Pretoria and Reddersburg
  • The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
  • Any similar school identified and nominated by the omdatTRUST

How you can get involved:

Any donations (clothing, blankets, books, goods, groceries, furniture, etc.) and financial contributions are welcome at any time!

From time to time we host fundraising events; our website has more details regarding specific areas where your help might be needed.

Please like our facebook page (omdattrust) and also have a look at our website (www.omdattrust.co.za) for more information as well as contact details.

Alternatively we can be reached by email: omdattrust@gmail.com.

 

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Ladies, Are You Thinking About Starting Your Own Business?

women-entrepreneurs-starting-your-own-business-850x476If you’ve had a dream of starting your own business, but have been sitting on the sidelines too long, below are some tips for making things happen this year.

When Starting Your Own Business …

Be Confident

Business plans, a strong network and capital are all key ingredients for any new business. However, from my experience, the single most important thing is confidence.

I’ve seen many women blessed with amazing ideas and intelligence, but they lack the confidence to take their ideas seriously and reach for what they want. Remind yourself that you can do this. I believe in you, so believe in yourself, too.

Consider Your Family and Children

If you’re the primary caregiver for your children, you’re probably attracted to self-employment/entrepreneurship, since it’s a way to earn an income while having the flexibility to run the household on your terms. It’s true that when you run the show, you can set your schedule.

However, before jumping into the new business, you need to realistically consider how much time you’ll need to spend on the new business on a daily and weekly basis. Understanding your time commitments ahead of time will help minimize the stress on both you and your family when starting your own business.

Surround Yourself with Positive, Supportive People

Judgmental, envious and other toxic individuals are emotionally exhausting to be around and can take a serious toll on your motivation and forward momentum.

When starting your own business, make a commitment to cut out these distractions and surround yourself with positive people who support you on this new journey. Join a few local business and industry associations; this will give you a strong network of like-minded people who understand your challenges and can help you grow a profitable business.

Learn to Prioritize

When you’re starting your own business, you are busy all the time. However, burning the candle at both ends doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re moving the company forward. During the first year, you need to be ruthless with how you spend your time: don’t automatically say yes to every request that comes your way.

Before you begin each day, you should have a clear vision of your specific priorities for the day, and how they fit into your weekly/monthly/longer-term goals. Then, try as hard as you can to stay committed to those priorities no matter how much extra ‘noise’ comes in during the day.

Focus on Your “Whole” Self

Many women I know have a caretaker mentality; we want to make sure that everyone else around us is happy and taken care of. While this is a noble trait, there’s also the risk of putting your own needs second to everything else.

After experiencing some rather serious panic attacks, I have come to realize just how important it is to make time for myself … to relax, exercise, put my phone aside, and enjoy life. I’m a better mom, wife, and CEO when I don’t try to ‘do it all’ and take care of myself in addition to everyone else.

Create Your Own Definition of Success

It’s easy to compare yourself to others, particularly in this age of social media. You may get disheartened when you hear that someone made millions practically overnight.

But instead of getting jealous and bitter, just remind yourself that there are numerous ways to define entrepreneurial success. For some it’s all about the money, but for others success can be the ability to earn a little money and be able to pick the kids up from school. It’s important to step back and define what success means to you

As you build your business, don’t forget that many, many business ideas need both time and patience to grow. It’s the fact that you’re following your dreams, not the end goal, that matters most!

Open Image via Shutterstock

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