Tax season is here. What better time to review your tax claims? According to Numbrfactory, an accounting firm based in Soweto, the national disability prevalence rate is 7,5 percent. That means that about 3,8 million South African have a disability; yet an estimated 331 000 taxpayers with disabilities are not claiming their disability rebates. The accounting firm estimates that up to R40 000 could be claimed back through these rebates.
What is a disability rebate?
The South African Revenue Service (SARS) allows people with a disability to claim back 33,3 percent of all qualifying medical or out-of-pocket expenses made in order for them to work or go to school. These claims are referred to as disability medical deductions or disability rebates.
A taxpayer with a disability as well as a spouse or parent of a person/child with a disability is eligible to claim certain fees back from SARS. Expenses that are considered for this rebate include: personal attendant care expenses, travel expenses, insurance, maintenance and repairs, aids and even service animals.
The claim must, however, be in line with the disability. A person with a mobility impairment, for example, cannot claim for a hand-held GPS if they do not have a visual impairment as well.
How do I qualify?
In order to qualify for this disability rebate, a person with a disability or their caregiver (spouse or parent, for instance) must submit an ITR-DD form. It must be completed by a doctor who specialises in the person’s disability. For example, an optometrist or ophthalmologist would need to complete the form for a person with a visual impairment.
The form must indicate the severity of the disability and whether it is permanent or temporary. It will need to be stamped with the doctor’s stamp and reflect the doctor’s details. It will then have to be submitted to SARS, and it is valid for five years.
Numbrfactory provides education and assistance for tax-related issues for people with a disability, so they’re your best bet if you need further information (0861 66 0007).