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The documents you need to keep for your Accountant to keep SARS happy!

Apr 23, 2018

As professional Accountants we are often faced with issues relating to our clients who have unfortunately not held onto, or asked for, the important documents that they will most likely need to ensure their Accountant can do a thorough job of their tax returns.

We also sometimes get those cases where SARS may not be happy that a tax return shows our client is owed a rebate (I don’t think SARS are ever happy about having to pay out!) and will ask for an audit. Along with this, is usually a request for documentation that may not have been submitted with the return and suddenly clients realise they may not have held onto, or ever requested these documents.

In the interests of always trying to be helpful, as basic as it may be, this article therefor looks at the documents you need to keep for your Accountant to keep SARS happy!

Our clients generally fall into three broad categories which are – Business people, Individuals and Individuals who do receive additional income, e.g. rental income or commission.

Business people

For businesses your accountant and possibly SARS will need to see:

Bank statements – Individuals in business often don’t keep these if they have a bookkeeper. It’s wise that you do

Supplier invoices – Don’t shirk on this, thinking your credit or debit card records will suffice. If there’s an audit, actual invoices will be called for

Logbooks – If travel is claimed, travel logbooks showing distances for business purpose, need to be kept

All cash slips – Depending on the industry, small expenses add up and may lead to an much needed tax saving.


As employees, your situation is somewhat different as your company is liable for your tax deductions, however when doing your returns you will need to produce:

IRP 5 – Your employer to supply

IT 3a – Your bank or investment company to supply

Medical aid certificate – This can be obtained from your medical aid or Medical broker if not automatically sent to you

Pension fund or annuity certificate – These can be obtained either from your employer or from your Financial Advisor if not automatically sent to you

A Logbook if receiving a travel allowance – It will be up to you to keep this to show both your employer and your Accountant, or once again, possibly SARS.

Individuals receiving additional income

These individuals are a little different – and as well as the documentation for individuals they will need to keep:

Bank statements – Self-explanatory, as with business people, showing additional income received.

Proof of expenses relating to the creation of the additional income – In the case of rental income for example, some sort of evidence proving any expenses relating to the creation of rental income. This may be deducted from your rental income to reduce your tax liability.

I hope this article on the documents you need to keep for your Accountant to keep SARS happy has been helpful to enable you to reduce your tax liability. Something to be happy about!

My business, Ratio Accounting’ are professional Accountants and tax practitioners – Ratio Accounting’s goal is to assist our clients in achieving their own business goals by helping them understand their financial status, manage their cash flow and comply with regulations. We enjoy partnering with our clients, helping them to make the most of their businesses.

Our services fall under four main categories which include: Accounting services; Tax compliance and advice, Secretarial services; Payroll services and Independent Reviews. The details of these primary services are available on our website, so contact us to learn more. Please let us know what your specific accounting or tax requirements may be.

Remember we’re here to help you so let’s engage and start talking about your financial well-being!