Podcast: Tax planning for humans

In Latest, The Fat Wallet by Kristia van Heerden

With Simon celebrating his birthday on the beach, this week’s episode is a tax bonanza. De Wet de Villiers, King of the Tax Elves and Great Guy finally shares with all of you what he shares with me for free every Monday. I love talking about tax, which is why this week’s episode is much longer than usual, and much shorter than it could have been.

He gives us a useful checklist of things all of us should do when we submit our tax returns, among them: 

  • If you earn less than R500,000 per year, you don’t need to file a tax return.
  • You can ask your HR department to factor in your medical aid and retirement contributions, even if you signed up for those services privately. 
  • You should check your details annually, including address, SMS number, email and bank details.
  • Keep a record and declare all income streams available, including directorships and side hustles.
  • Make sure all your investments and bank accounts are included.
  • Provisional taxpayers should keep track of the following expenses:
    • Expenses: Rental property magazine, conferences
    • Side-hustle: Phone calls, data costs, 
    • Business travel: fuel, vehicle expenses
    • Home office: Fibre at home, cleaning costs
  • Don’t accept the auto-assessment. It doesn’t work yet.
  • Check your prior-year tax return to look for things you may have forgotten. This is especially true if your circumstances haven’t changed much.
  • Get a statement of account from SARS from e-filing.
  • Don’t do everything in one go – do a tax recon every quarter so it’s not so overwhelming.

The bleeped show is below:

Win of the week: Jess

Let me start by saying that the Fat Wallet Show and Just One Lap have completely revolutionised the way I think about my personal finances. In fact, I used to avoid thinking about it at all because I found it so overwhelming and confusing. But since listening to your show I actually understand words like “equities” and “diversification” and “All Share Index”. I feel like a brand new person, so thank you for that.

I was working on cruise ships and earning USD but thanks to Covid I had to come home. I am currently working in the public sector but might go back on board for another contract. 

Since listening to your podcast I have corrected some financial errors that the ignorant past-Jess made. Luckily, keeping expenses low and saving money comes naturally to me so I was doing that anyway – but my mistake was saving a lot of cash and being afraid of equities. I have an RA to which I am currently contributing 10% of my income, but other than that all my savings are in cash. Thanks to you, I am now moving my TFSA (currently at max) from cash to ETFs (which I did via EasyEquities much to my financial advisor’s annoyance – now she won’t reap the benefits of my investment). I also have a home loan on a house that I am renting out. The rest of my savings is in cash (32 day account for emergencies, standard savings account, extra payments into my bond and a USD global account) – I know, really silly! 

I want to move more cash to equities but I have a few questions and would like to hear what you think?

  1. Should I contribute even more to my RA (which has high fees and a financial advisor fee) first to get the tax benefits or should I rather buy a discretionary investment with lower fees?
  2. I stopped paying extra into my bond because of the low interest rates at the moment (in order to keep my rental income profits low and reduce my income tax). Is this wise? Or should I rather continue to put extra into the bond and just pay the income tax but get rid of the debt quicker?
  3. Since I have USD I want to open an EasyEquities USD account too. For someone who has no idea where she might live one day, what is a good balance between local and offshore investments? And this might be a stupid one, but what is the difference between investing in global ETFs in ZAR vs buying ETFs via the USD account? 


Can you possibly spend a bit of time on Physical Offshore investment accounts and how these things should be declared to SARS.

I have an EasyEquities USD account, and they withhold 15% of  Div tax, so do I get a credit for that or should I apply for a credit? 

The Fat Wallet Show with Kristia van HeerdenThe Fat Wallet Show is a no-nonsense personal finance and investment podcast hosted by Kristia van Heerden and Simon Brown. Every week we answer questions by a growing audience of finance enthusiasts. Submit your pressing money and investment questions to ask@justonelap.com.

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