There’s no question that tax year end is a highly stressful time for businesses across the board, as well as the employees whose job it is to manage their Payroll and HR. Extra pressure and overtime become the norm in the weeks leading up to tax year end and most wish they could avoid it altogether.

But despite the fact that it’s a universally unpopular time, it is something that every business has to be prepared for, like it or not, as this will help keep the stress and overtime to a minimum.

To be better prepared, training is a good place to start, as it helps reacquaint the team with the various processes that need to be followed and will bring them up to speed with any changes in legislation that might have happened since the last period. Understanding the process, being able to complete the requirements and knowing what new regulations might need to be incorporated, is half the battle.

Staying organised, and ensuring that all records of receipts, expenses and payments are up to date, is another way to keep on top of things, as SARS often needs supporting documents to substantiate any claims by the company. Ensure everything is organised in a way that is simple and accessible, as this will dramatically reduce the pressure on the HR and payroll staff. Also, keep all employee data, tax numbers and similar up to date, to avoid any hiccups that could set you back.

Get management teams and business leaders involved too, by informing them of your plans and processes in advance. This will keep disruption to the business to a minimum and will ensure there is help on hand if needed. Bear in mind that tax year end means having to go through a year’s worth of payroll data, so sometimes a few extra pairs of hands are welcomed to ensure that nothing is neglected or overlooked.

Last, but definitely not least, do not procrastinate. We all know that ‘procrastination is the thief of time’, so unless you want to turn an already stressful time into a nightmare, do not wait until the very last minute to prepare and file taxes. Every year SARS reports that many companies wait until the last minute, and many more end up having to ask for an extension, and end up paying penalties.