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Tax season is here again. This means submitting documents to the South African Revenue Service (SARS). Many private individuals and companies use accounting software to calculate their expenses and income. However, you also have the option of hiring a tax consultant to track and put together your return. Whether you decide to go with a high-tech or traditional solution, it’s important to be aware of the benefits of each.

Software Advantages

There’s something to be said for the independence that comes from using an accounting program. You can prepare everything in your own time, from the comfort your office or home, and even submit your return online via SARS eFiling.

If you decide to submit your returns yourself, you can find accounting software that will help you to:

  • Save money – It’s universally agreed that for a small to medium-sized business, investing in a software package costs less than retaining the services of a professional. This difference can be a good incentive to learn what you can yourself, before you your business becomes so complex that you need help.
  • Perform quickly and with ease – Top-quality software is simple to use and shows at a glance the documents required, and the details relevant for your return. After that, you simply compile and submit your income tax data before the deadline.
  • Take control of your finances – As long as your taxes are prepared by a third party, they’ll remain a mystery to you. By calculating them yourself, you’ll learn fundamental facts about how to make the most of your deductions, investments and benefits.

Outsource the Stress

If, on the other hand, you’d prefer to hand the responsibility of submitting your tax returns over to someone else, there are numerous benefits to doing so. For instance, you can remove some of the risk of error involved in calculations by using a reliable accounting service with extensive experience.

Additionally, if you choose an accountant, your company can benefit financially from:

  • Good advice – As useful as software is, it can’t make suggestions on how to save money on your taxes. However, an accountant who is well aligned with your goals can anticipate ways to decrease deductions, reduce taxes and preserve capital.
  • Time saved – Quite simply, you may be too busy to deal with SARS. If you outsource your tax tasks you can redirect efforts to areas of the business where they‘re more valuable, such as strategy or the acquisition of new customers.
  • Audit aid – If SARS selects your company for a routine or random audit, having an accountant who can explain your returns in detail will smooth the process considerably. These professionals are familiar with the procedures, and know exactly what to expect.

The Best of Both Worlds

At the end of the day, it’s your company’s circumstances that determine how best to submit your return. If you’re a hands-on person, but new to tax, you could even combine the two options by first preparing your return with easy accounting software before having it checked by an accountant. That way you’re ensured of the most accurate results.


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