Win with the Business Partners Business Plan Competition

We are all aware of how tough the economic environment is for young people at the moment. Entrepreneurship is one of the ways we can equip these youngsters to consider their own businesses as an option.

All young aspiring entrepreneurs now have the opportunity to attend a one-day business workshop at no cost, when they enter our 9th Business Plan Competition, but we need your help to spread the message.

The 9th annual Business Plan Competition for young aspiring entrepreneurs is now open for entries.

All entrants will be invited to attend a full-day business planning workshop in centres throughout the country, to empower them to submit a business plan for the second phase of the competition. Everyone is a winner – even before the competition closes.

Regional winners will win mentorship support to the value of R6 000 and enter the national event as finalists, and the national winner will win R12 000 worth of mentorship support and R25 000 cash.

The BUSINESS/PARTNERS-SMETOOLKIT Business plan competition for young aspiring entrepreneurs closes 31 July 2018.

For more information, please contact the Entrepreneurs Growth Centre on tel 0861 763 346, send an email to, or visit the SME Toolkit website at

For ease of reference, find the relevant links:

  1. Competition blurb:
  2. Entry form:
  3. Competition rules:
By | June 20th, 2018|Business Resources|0 Comments

Do you need to do your CIPC annual Return?

When we chat with business owners about their CIPC annual return, we too often get blank stares with a small side of fear.  “Oh no, not another compliance issue we need to take care of” is the reply.

Ok, so let’s put things right here and help lay your fear to rest, a bit.

Yes, every registered business needs to submit an annual return to CIPC. It is not a very tedious task and only takes a few minutes of online work. But it can only be done through a person or business that has a registered account with CIPC.  EM Solutions has such an account.

So, what needs to be done? On or as close to the annual anniversary of the registration of your business a submission needs to be made on the CIPC system detailing your last annual turnover, business email address and telephone number and description of the business.

Payment is scaled according to the turnover and ranges from R100 for turnover less than R1 million to R3000 for a turnover of more than R25 million. There are also late payment fees applicable to anything older than 3 months.

This equates to not a huge amount of money, but by not submitting your annual return could result in your business being listed as deregistered by CIPC. Once this happens, your bank will be notified and soon all your contracts, lease and creditors will become aware of this and you will become personally liable for any outstanding overdraft, accounts payable and surety that has been signed for.

Gulp! So please check when last you submitted your annual return or contact us to check for you directly on CIPC and we will advise you accordingly.

Compliance is just one of those things you need to do to run a sustainable business.

By | June 18th, 2018|Entrepreneurship, Financial Management, Legal|0 Comments

SARS Cuts Tax Deadlines

According to SARS statistics: The 2017 tax season saw 1.6million taxpayers filing tax returns at SARS branches even though they were not required to do so, from 1.8million in 2016. 868,562 taxpayers who are registered eFilers visited branches to file returns even though they could do this online, dropping from 935,269 in 2016. 120,000 tax practitioners visited SARS branches to eFile on behalf of clients (2016:132,000). Employers can register new job-seekers electronically via e@syFile, but still many of these flock to SARS to register manually. A whopping 1 million old returns were filed during 2016, with the number coming down to 733,000 in 2017.

In response to this overwhelming strain on its resources, SARS has shortened the 2018 tax period by 3 weeks. The tax season will start on 1 July and end on 31 October for non-provisional taxpayers. SARS says this will allow them to deal with audits and verifications before the December holiday break. This is also because taxpayers will be unable to attend to any requests send by SARS during the December period, resulting in a technical non-compliance which often results in taxpayers filing objections with SARS. This leads to further traffic in the SARS system.

Non-provisional taxpayers are individuals who earn a salary and do not have any additional income, for example, rental income, interest or any other income. Manual returns will have to be filed by 21 September.

In order to ease the traffic during tax-season, SARS says they have sent direct communication to taxpayers who might not need to file a return informing them of this. However, it is prudent to get a tax practitioner’s opinion before choosing not to file a return as some of these letters have been followed up by letters to disregard the initial directive. It is noteworthy that year-on-year, taxpayer circumstances may change and thus require one to file a return in order to comply.

SARS also promised that verification letters would be more specific; which will make it much easier for taxpayers and tax practitioners. This move will ease tax season headaches as SARS can send two or three verification letters, making it difficult for the taxpayer to understand what exactly SARS wants from them in order to comply.

Provisional taxpayers, however, will have until January 31, 2019, to file their returns.

Well, the goalposts have shifted and we will all have to redirect our aim so that we don’t miss out. The trend has been that most taxpayers procrastinate until the last minute to file returns or send the necessary documents to their tax practitioners and this may result in the late filing of returns, and SARS will not hesitate to charge interest and penalties.

By | June 14th, 2018|Financial Management|0 Comments


The moment that we have all been waiting for is a few weeks away. And yes SARS has announced the opening of the Tax season on the 1st of July and it will run until the 31st of October. Three weeks shorter than what we were all used to.

Taxpayers have to complete and submit tax returns before closing date to avoid unnecessary penalties from SARS. Submitting tax returns gives SARS the opportunity to assess an individual’s income earned, deductible expenses and tax paid over to SARS for the tax period and calculate to see if there is money refundable to the taxpayer or payable to SARS by the taxpayer. It can go either way, after completing the return the taxpayer can request a tax calculation that will show them who owes who money. In some cases, the employee who might have deducted more money in terms of PAYE hence SARS will refund the taxpayer and vice versa.

Now what does this mean for the taxpayer? It simply means the taxpayer has to start preparing to complete and submit tax returns. IRP5’s need to be in place, medical certificates, receipts for medical expenses and all other relevant documents that one needs in order to complete a tax return. If the tax return is going to be done by the taxpayer’s Accountant then all the relevant information needs to get to the Accountant in time. The sooner the tax return is completed and submitted the sooner any refunds can be paid to the taxpayer – time value of money. In the event the tax return is being completed by and Accountant, the taxpayer needs to be available respond to any questions or queries that the Accountant might have regarding the tax return.

By | June 7th, 2018|Financial Management|0 Comments

Financial Management – Two eyes are better than one

During this last week, we were asked to put together a report for a client, comparing the actual expenditure to date against the agreed budget. We pulled the actual information from the accounting package and sent the report to the client. After he looked at it he sent us a number of questions, checking where certain payments, which he was expecting to see, were allocated and clarifying some of the amounts. It made me realise that everyone has a picture in their heads of how they expect their financial reports to look, based on the payments you have made and remember.

Most bookkeepers use logic and a certain amount of guesswork to allocated payments and income to account categories. However, there are times where our logic and the client’s expectation don’t match up. That is why it is so important to check where the transactions are allocated within your financial reports. You want the reports to portray the picture you intended, so you need to control where entries end up. All accounting packages have some kind of transaction listing that shows what transactions make up the total for a category on the financial report. It is your responsibility to check that everything is in the correct place.

Bookkeepers are a bit like artificial intelligence, they learn as they engage. So effective communication regarding where transactions should be allocated will improve the accuracy of the allocations in the future. However, many people only look at the details once a year, if that, so there is no opportunity for growth and learning, and an improved accuracy. Incorrect allocations can have an effect on your profitability and your tax, so don’t brush them off as inconsequential, rather take the time to get it right the first time.

If you’d like someone to walk you through your financial reports and transaction list, and help you to know what to look for, give us a call and set up an appointment.

By | June 5th, 2018|Financial Management|0 Comments