FAQ

FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions 

Abbreviations

  1. What does “CC” stand for?
    Close Corporation.
  2. What does “PTY” stand for?
    Proprietary. Which means Private. It is used to indicate shareholder privacy in the naming of South African private companies, e.g. Bilkovo (Proprietary) Limited. This is often shortened thus: Bilkovo (Pty) Ltd.
  3. What does “AFS” or “AFSs” stand for?
    Annual Financial Statements.

    Accounting / Bookkeeping

  4. What Accounting Package should I use and why?
    QuickBooks. It is easy and flexible to use.
  5. Can Accountkeeper do my accounting/bookkeeping for me?
    Yes. But we prefer for you to do it or to get a local bookkeeper to do it. See next question.
  6. What kind of accounting does Accountkeeper do?
    After you’ve done your own bookkeeping, you may send us your annual total figures (trial balance) which we process tax-efficiently into Annual Financial Statements and Tax Return.

    Accounting Officer

  7. What is an Accounting Officer?
    It is the accounting official in charge of reviewing and signing off a Close Corporation’s books and statements from time to time.
  8. Can I be my own CC’s Accounting Officer?
    Yes. If you qualify. You will know if you qualify. If you don’t, you will need to use someone who does.

    Accountkeeper Ability

  9. Can Accountkeeper do my books 1000km away?
    Yes. Distance makes no difference. Email, airmail and courier take care of a that.
  10. How well-equiped is Accountkeeper to do my tax?
    With over 135 years of accummulative business experience spanning over 30 business-related disciplines (e.g. accounting, tax, law, management), including several qualified accountants, we are well-equipped to do your tax.
  11. How do I get quality advice from Accountkeeper?
    Use our Q & A service on any of our main webpages.
  12. How can my business pay minimum taxes?
    We always try to help our clients legally pay as little tax as possible.

    Asset Protection

  13. How can I protect my assets?
    By not putting them into your CC/PTY. Keep them in your own name if you are financially stable, or even better put them in a trust.

    Auditors / Auditing

  14. What is an Auditor?
    A chartered accountant who checks the books of private and public companies in South Africa.
  15. Can I be the Auditor of my own PTY?
    If you are a qualified chartered accountant – CA(SA).
  16. How do I get my company’s books audited?
    Send them to Accountkeeper. Use the AFS PTY link on our Services page.

    Business Plans

  17. How do I write a Business Plan?
    Order through the other services link on the Services page.

    Cash Flows

  18. How do I prepare a Cashflow Projection?
    Email us with your request from the Contact page.

    Close Corporations / PTY LTD Companies

  19. How do I register a CC/PTY?
    Go to the other services link on the Services page.
  20. How do I make changes in my CC/PTY?
    Go to the other services link on the Services page.
  21. How do I convert my CC into a PTY and vice versa?
    Go to the other services link on the Services page.
  22. How do I close/deregister my CC/PTY?
    Go to the other services link on the Services page.
  23. How do I get statutory information of any CC/PTY in SA?
    Go to the other services link on the Services page.

    Contact Details

  24. To which Address do I send my books/tax forms?
    To the postal address on our Contact page. This must be arranged first by email.
  25. What do I do if I want to visit your offices?
    You don’t have to. Email, mail or courier your data to us. Otherwise give us a call to make an appointment.
  26. How do I phone Accountkeeper from outside South Africa?
    Use the international number on our Contact page.
  27. When is the best time to phone?
    During office hours Monday to Friday – see our Contact page.
  28. What is your email address?
    Use the Site eMailer link on our Contact page.

    Searching

  29. How can I search your site?
    On our Search page.
  30. Where can I search the Web from your site?
    On our Search page.

    Staffing

  31. How do I appoint subcontractors instead of employees?
    See the Subcontractor Agreement in our Information Library.

    Tax

  32. What is the difference between tax evasion and tax avoidance?
    Tax evasion is when you don’t declare all income – this is illegal; tax avoidance is when you include maximum allowable deductions – this is legal.
  33. When and how do I register as a taxpayer?
    If you receive taxable income you must register for tax.
  34. When and how does my Business register for PAYE?
    If you pay salaries to employees; see the other services link on the Services page.
  35. Where can I get help with my tax?
    On the Services page or email us.
  36. Do I have to submit a tax return?
    If you receive taxable income. Email us for more info.
  37. How often do I have to submit tax returns?
    Between one and three times a year on average. Email us for more info.
  38. When do I have to pay tax?
    Monthly or every six months depending on how you are registered and if you are making taxable earnings.
  39. What about penalties and interest?
    You pay them to SARS if you pay late or submit forms late.
  40. Can I use SARS as my tax consultant?
    You can ask a SARS clerk to help you fill in your tax forms, but this will obviously be done in SARS’s favour. You may end up paying more tax than necessary. Use Accountkeeper to help you fill your forms.
  41. Can I rely on the result of a SARS Assessment – Form IT34?
    Sometimes they are completely wrong and, if not properly checked, can waste you thousands of Rand. Let Accountkeeper check your assessments for you.
  42. Does SARS update their accounting records regularly and accurately?
    Sometimes you have to inform SARS several times over several years to adjust your tax account in your favour. It’s good to have Accountkeeper monitoring your tax account and guiding and advising you.
  43. What will happen to me if I don’t submit my tax returns?
    Eventually you could receive a summons and, if not complied with, you may be arrested.
  44. What are the chances of “The Auditors” coming to audit me?
    Statistically-speaking, it does not happen often, but it can and does happen. If you submit suspicious-looking returns, the chances are greater. When something does not look right, like a VAT claim based on expenses, not capital outlay – this could be legitimate, due to certain adjustments, but SARS may just decide to check it out anyway.
  45. Does SARS deal objectively and fairly in their audits?
    It has been observed that the tax law, where open to interpretation, is interprated against the taxpayer by state auditors. If the taxpayer could afford to take it to court, he might win. This is sad. You basically get railroaded, unless you bring in your tax attorney, etc. In dubious cases, in the interests of good business, SARS should really decide in the favour of their client, the taxpayer.
  46. How can I reduce my taxes?
    Reflect all your expenses. Do your books well. Give us your data. We’ll advise you further.
  47. Can I prepare my own Tax Returns?
    Yes, if you know how to minimise your tax. Otherwise let us do it for you.
  48. Can I prepare my CC’s/PTY’s Tax Returns?
    We do it as a part of the entire AFS/Yearend process.
  49. Can Accountkeeper get money back from SARS for me?
    If there is money due to you from SARS, we can assist you in getting it refunded.

    Trademarks

  50. How do I check if a Trademark is available/clear?
    Go to the other services link on the Services page.
  51. How do I register a Trademark?
    Go to the other services link on the Services page.
  52. When should I use a Trademark?
    Whenever you want to strengthen the legal protection of the use of the mark by other traders.

    Trade Names

  53. When should I use a Trade Name?
    If you trade as a sole proprietor or with a name other than the registered name of your CC/PTY.
  54. How can I check to see if a Trade Name is available/clear?
    Use this Trade Name Search address: http://www.tradename.org.za
  55. How should I use a Trade Name?
    See the Trading as (“t/a”) Names link in our Information Library.

    Trusts

  56. What is a Trust?
    It is a legal entity formed by a donor for the benefit of beneficiaries and managed by Trustees.
  57. Why might I need a Trust?
    To protect your assets. For estate planning purposes.
  58. How can I register a Trust?
    Go to the other services link on the Services page.
  59. How can I effect changes to my Trust?
    Email us for more info.

    Turnstiles

  60. What is the Turnstile Service?
    It is the Accountkeeper service of providing a registered office address and handling of basic tax forms for South African Close Corporations and Companies that operate in other countries.
  61. How do I make my Turnstile payments?
    Email us for more info.

    VAT

  62. When must my Business register for VAT?
    When its turnover exceeds or will exceed R1 000 000 in any 12-month period.

    Yearends

  63. What is a Yearend?
    It is the accounting and tax procedures and reporting required by law for any business.
  64. How do I do my Yearends?
    You may apply to do them through us. See our Annual links on the Services page.
  65. Must I have Annual Financial Statements prepared?
    Yes, if you’re running a business in South Africa or an SA CC/PTY in another country.
  66. Can I prepare Annual Financial Statements myself?
    Because of the ever-changing statutory and practice rules of accounting, it would be best to allow somebody who is qualified to prepare your AFS. CCs/PTYs must use a qualified accountant for this. Use Accountkeeper for all your AFS/Yearend needs.

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