What Independent Business Owners Need To Know About Tax

Most independent business owners start their companies thinking they just need to earn enough money to cover their living costs and forget about tax returns.  Frequently the initial growth is so rapid and often unexpected that they find themselves struggling to manage the day-to-day needs of the business as the admin piles up.

It all seems to be going so well that they just soldier on, promising themselves that they’ll get to the admin tomorrow, but never seem to have the time. It’s an approach which can be a recipe for disaster.

“There are too many cases of enthusiastic entrepreneurs who think their business is going well, but have failed to provide for tax. At the end of the financial year, when their provisional tax return has to be submitted, the tax liability can cripple the business,” says Ernest du Toit, chairman of the Direct Selling Association.

He suggests getting the right professional advice from the outset. Ask the company you’re representing, fellow direct sales agents or the Direct Selling Association, if they can recommend an accountant who is registered with SARS as a tax practitioner.

“If your expertise is in health and beauty products rather than tax law, it’s worth making a small investment to ensure your tax affairs are covered. It could prevent a nasty surprise later on. It should also pay dividends as the business grows,” says Du Toit.

Some basic tax tips micro business owners should know:

Administrative procedures include things like keeping track of bank deposits and all business-related expenses.

Typically we find that the most successful direct sellers are those who are meticulous about their administration. It’s the attention to detail that sets them apart.

The Direct Selling Association of South Africa is a self-governing organisation that protects the interests of South African consumers and its members, as well as the independent resellers of its members. It ensures that all member companies abide by the DSASA’s strict Code of Conduct and operates in a legitimate, honest and ethical manner. The DSA will respond to any complaint by any member of the public or any of its members, alleging any unethical or unprofessional behaviour. All complaints will be handled and resolved with member companies and all unresolved complaints or complaints about non-member companies will be referred to the National Consumer Commission.  

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