SARS Implemented Changes – 3 Reasons You Need to Rethink Submitting Your Annual Personal Income Tax Return Today
This year SARS has not only updated their e-filing platform but also made some other notable announcements. Today we’re looking at what this means for the individual taxpayer and if these changes are something to be worried about. Let’s dig in!
In June this year SARS announced that if you (that would be all personal income taxpayers) earn less than R500,000 a year there would be no need to submit a tax return. This limit was set at R350,000 previously. While this sounded like an announcement to celebrate to most, there are hidden implications that few have thought of when they started celebrating not having to submit returns to SARS anymore. Now it also needs to be said that there are conditions attached to this announcement and this was the first bit of crucial information that I saw neglected as people started sharing this announcement in great celebratory fashion on social media. I had a distinct “uh oh” moment when I saw the comments of course, with total disregards for the conditions accompanying this announcement!
3 Possible Implications
At the moment, there are five possible implications that could be highlighted as concerns. So, why would not submitting a return this year get you into hot water later or have you pulling your hair out?
#1 An unbroken record
If you have been submitting returns for the last few years, you are already in the routine of submitting your returns. So why not continue to do so? Yes, I know you hate dealing with SARS! To tell you the truth very few people find it enjoyable, do they? The thing is, up to date you’ve had an unbroken record, don’t you think it’s worth it to keep it that way? What will happen if SARS suddenly changes their minds…AGAIN? And now you have to suddenly run around, compiling docs because you slacked off with your filing… No, that’s not for me!
#2 Need a Tax Clearance Certificate?
You might need one you. Why? To borrow money! Should there ever be a need for you to borrow money of a long term nature i.e. a mortgage for a property, you will usually be requested to provide a TCC (Tax Clearance Certificate) which can only be obtained if ALL returns are submitted and up to date with no outstanding payments, penalties or interest of course.
#3 You won’t get your refund
I left the most meaningful one (to me and of course all sole proprietors like me) for last. If you have been bargaining on that refund cause you overpaid on tax you won’t receive one cent if you don’ submit that return.
I hope you found this blog informative! Remember if you have any concerns or specific queries please do contact your registered tax practitioner with your questions. Make sure you are informed. Everything isn’t as black and white as it seems. With SARS in any case!
How to Become and STAY Motivated!
Don’t just talk, Just ACT!
Don’t just say, Just SHOW!
Don’t just promise, Just PROVE!
What is the meaning of Motivational?
Relating to the reason or reasons for acting or behaving in a particular way. Promoting the desire or willingness to do or achieve something.
Ways to get and STAY motivated~
- Reviewing one’s goals first thing in the morning and pick one
- Get MOVING!
- Cut your to-do list in half
- Celebrate the little wins, no matter how small
- Getting around the right people
Reviewing one’s goals first thing in the morning and pick ONE
Make a decision, a decision to go ALL the way!
Life gets in the way and distracts us from accomplishing our goals or tasks.
Make a decision to review your goals or dreams list on a daily basis. First thing in the morning is best, with a clear fresh mind. This sets the tone for how your day and your life will progress.
Select just ONE of your goals, start putting together a plan that will help you achieve and focus on your goals and dreams.
I came across an acronym not so long ago, S.M.A.R.T!
S = Specific
M = Measurable
A = Attainable
R = Realistic
T = Time-sensitive
Procrastination is the key element to “stealing” one’s goals and dreams. STOP! Procrastinating.
To combat procrastination so that you can stay productive and keep moving forward, MAKE yourself happy.
Ways to make yourself happy:
- Show gratitude
- Surround yourself with positive people
- Celebrate the small things in life
- Be charitable
- Do things that you enjoy
- Put on some loud music and dance around the house
I don’t know what YOUR happy button is, FIND it, it will make the world of difference in your life.
Cut your to-do list in half
Having a long to-do list can be really taxing and energy draining. Cut your to-do list in half. Focus on completing the most important tasks first.
Personally, I tackle one, major to do first thing in the morning, this literally boosts my energy ten-fold and gives me the drive to complete many more tasks than I normally wood. The satisfaction of ticking a major task off your list is astounding.
Celebrate the little wins, no matter how small
Small wins may seem like just that – small. Celebrating these wins can help create positive habits. Think of it this way, small wins are progress points on your way to your goal.
How to celebrate the wins: –
- Notice them
- Get excited
- Communicate your small wins
- Reward yourself
Focusing on the small wins helps you break down a large goal into manageable chunks.
Getting around the right people
Get around people who have direction, people who have goals and plan, people who are going somewhere with their lives and have high aspirations.
Move away for negative and toxic people and environments. You do not want to be around people who moan and wine all the time. Life is too short.
Last but by no means the least, as Zig Ziglar says, “You can’t scratch with the turkeys if you want to fly with the eagles.”
The importance of being consistent
To be able to be a top-notch Virtual Assistant, is it extremely important to make sure that you understand that keeping your clients happy and building loyalty takes time. To build this trust you need to build a foundation for a sound working relationship and you need to deliver a consistently high standard of work on an ongoing basis. As a Virtual Assistant, you need to remember that your client’s confidence in you and VA Connect will only increase if you continue to deliver a high standard of work within the deadlines provided to you by your client.
The road is never smooth and naturally, there will be obstacles that need to be overcome. Your clients will understand and they will forgive an occasional mistake, provided the issue is handled quickly and in a professional manner. Clients need to be confident that you will deliver on your deadlines every time, rather than only when it may be convenient for you.
When it comes to flying the VA Connect flag high, there are a few points you need to remember. One spends a considerable amount of time at work and building healthy positive relationships with your clients through consistently high-quality work helps retain your clients and makes for a happy day at work. Bear in mind that all the work that you do for VA Connect ultimately reflects on the VA Connect brand.
If a chink in the armour develops it is up to you to make sure that the issue is resolved timeously. As a Virtual Assistant, it is imperative that your client’s bad experiences are kept to an absolute minimum, even when your service is not necessarily at its highest level. One needs to remember that your client’s journey with VA Connect begins with many promises and expectations. It is up to the Virtual Assistant to deliver on these promises. Your work ethic and quality of work can make or break your client’s expectations. To put this into perspective, a client will tell people about the great service that they have received from VA Connect, however, they will tell even more people about the bad experience that they had with the service.
As the business world takes on a different working environment, clients have a much larger voice than they did in the past and are therefore a lot more demanding and pay more attention to detail. You simply cannot allow any part of the client experience to be jeopardised, as this will ultimately affect the VA brand as a whole. The only way to ensure ongoing success is to pay attention to detail and to provide an impeccable service on an ongoing basis. All virtual assistants need to make sure that they remain focused on the task at hand and strive to consistently achieve and surpass the high standards and deadlines provided by their clients.
By setting consistent goals you ensure your long term success and in turn manage your client’s expectations.
Tactics to Positively Overcome the Difficult Client
Irrespective of what industry you are in, there is always that odd difficult client that as a result of various factors can leave you feeling frustrated, angry, unmotivated and possibly even full of self-doubt. For some of us, the reaction to a difficult situation can be defensive for others it can be offensive which can have either positive of negative outcomes regardless.
Stepping out of your comfort zone to establish smart habits
The fact remains that there will always be clients that are a little harder to please than others, so the question at hand is, how do you handle those situations in a way that will have a positive outcome for both you and the client? Well, while in my previous role, I had done some research on the topic and I came across an article by Barbara Markway (Ph.D.) who has some excellent insight into handling difficult clients, which I will delve into a little further, but one of the factors she mentions amongst others is going about things in a way that may seem unnatural to you as first. What does this mean? Well simply put, we all have our ways of doing things, and sometimes it works other times it doesn’t but if your finding your not getting the outcome you want from a difficult situation – perhaps its time to step outside your comfort zone, try a new approach and create smart habits.
Some Tactics to be Used with the Client
Out of the many tips given in Barbara’s article, the following tactics on how to handle a difficult client stood out to me:
- Listen & Stay Calm. Listening is the number one step in dealing with “unreasonable” people. Everyone wants to feel heard, and although staying calm can be extremely difficult in an emotionally charged situation, real progress can’t take place until the other person feels acknowledged. While you’re listening, really focus on what the other person is saying, not what you want to say next. I have often said to people in the past, “I know your hearing me, but are you listening to me? There is a difference”. Taking the time to really listening to what someone else is saying, can give you a fresh perspective and clarity on a situation at hand.
- Reflect respect and dignity toward the other person. You don’t know what the other person is going through. Chances are, if a person is acting unreasonable, they are likely feeling some sort of emotional or mental strain for whichever reason and showing contempt will not help productively resolve the situation.
- Saying, “I understand,” usually makes things worse. Instead, say, “Tell me more so I can understand better.” This for me was an interesting point, because I personally have often used the term “I understand” countless times with clients and looking back it wasn’t always well received, looking at this approach has given me a new perspective on how a client would possible react to the situation differently.
- Saying, “I’m sorry,” or, “I’m going to try to fix this,” while establishing boundaries can go a long way toward defusing many situations. This tip can be quite difficult to follow when you feel your not the one in the wrong and are feeling defensive. Sometimes by being humble in the situation and saying the words “I’m sorry” or “I’m going to fix this” can completely diffuse a situation, and in turn can give you the opportunity to establish the hidden need. The client could end up disclosing what they are really trying to gain or avoid within the project/ task and positive outcome can take place for both parties. Having said that, you will also need to assess the situation, while some of the above tips have encouraged listening and letting the angry person vent, you also have the right to be assertive and say, “Please don’t talk to me like that.” if the situation is gets out of hand.
Some Tactics to be Used with Yourself
Handling a difficult client with some of the tactics, may be draining for you which would defeat the purpose of positively overcoming difficult clients, that’s what there are also a few things you should do:
- Debrief. After the situation is over, talk to someone about what happened, take 5 minutes to make yourself a cup of tea or coffee and just allow yourself to process the situation.
- Discharge your own stress. You had to put your natural reactions on hold for a while. Now is the time to discharge some of that pent-up adrenaline. Go for a run. Take your dog for a walk. Don’t let the emotions stay stuck in your body.
- Give yourself credit for getting through an uncomfortable situation. It takes a lot of energy not to act like a jerk when someone else is behaving badly. Don’t skip this step!
Positive Outlook, Positive Outcome
Remember these tactics are simply guidelines to help you along the way. How you implement these tactics is up to you, and maybe they won’t give you a positive outcome every time, but its all about trying and keeping at it until you establish smart habits that work for you. If you do not have the time or cannot see yourself dealing with difficult clients that’s ok, perhaps consider getting a VA to deal with your Client Relationship Management and can implement strategies for you! I have seen how these tactics have worked for me, and to this day some of the best connections and relationships that I have established in my career have been as a result of a rocky start with some pretty difficult clients. The key to all of this however is to always have a positive outlook, and having said this I will end with a quote by Lailah Akita “Our reaction to any situation will determine the outcome”
How self-love can make you more productive
Love yourself enough to add whitespace to your day and become the productivity guru that get things done!
Whether you’re an entrepreneur, business owner, employee or virtual assistant; we all fall into this trap more often than not. If you don’t know what whitespace is or don’t have whitespace in your day, you’re sacrificing your health, well-being and productivity in a major way. The solution to becoming a productivity guru is easier than you think; all you need is love!
#Love your health
This question is for my virtual assistant friends. Let’s examine our lunchtime health. Are you snacking at your desk? Just meaning to complete that one extra task. I mean an hour ‘wasted’ on lunch could have been a valuable contribution to your income at the end of the month, who can’t do with the extra 20 billable hours?
BUT…at what cost do that extra 20 hours come? You’re carving away at your vitality every day by ignoring the opportunity for increasing your energy and boosting your creativity.
I love this equation from WhiteSpace At Work!
“Lunch – Desk = Vitality”
Don’t eat at your desk! Get out of your office, breath in some non-artificial, non-airconditioned air. Notice the birds outside, notice the cloud formation that day, take a brisk stroll around the block – yes even if it’s 40 degrees outside, believe me, you’ll appreciate your office and desk that much more. Get the spider webs blown out of your mind, don’t spend this time strategizing the accomplishment of your next task. Create that whitespace in which to recharge so when you get back to your desk, it’s with a grateful attitude and a revitalized outlook on the challenges you’re trying to solve.
#Love your business workflow process
Starting out with another question… and be honest, this is definitely time to get real with ourselves. Are you overwhelmed with your business workflow process? Because you either don’t have one or you have one but it’s worth zero because you don’t follow it or it’s so complicated it wastes more time than saving time.
Well, friends, I think it’s safe to say you need to declutter your workflow. No one has the time to do damage control – all the time! You can’t afford to work on a reactive basis all the time! AND that’s exactly what we try and achieve. Every email that comes in has you dropping everything, losing your productive streak to reply to an email that could have waited half an hour. Believe me, emails aren’t the only culprits. You know that as well as I do.
What you want is to get to a point where your workflow process leans itself towards ultimate productivity. Creating whitespace between activities, the opportunity to breath and reflect is not a time waster, but should be seen as a “strategic pause in which you are infused with enthusiasm and creativity” for what you are passionate about. Don’t just go through the motions to get the job done. Love yourself enough to declutter your workflow to truly be productive and efficient.
We need to look after ourselves! Nothing is more true to me than the quote: “Less is more”. Simplify your life, simplify your workflow, love yourself and take care of your wellness. Don’t set yourself up for a love-hate relationship with your well-being and business. You deserve the best! You deserve to love yourself, your business and your life. Best of all, with a little bit of strategic whitespace in your life, you can become a productivity guru that not only get things done but excels at it!