Next Year Expect a Large Increase in Medical Aid Prices

A recommended price increase of 5.4% for medical aid members has been put forward by the Council of Medical Scheme (CMS) for 2020. 

Jill Larkan, head of Healthcare Consulting at wealth and advisory business GTC said that whilst medical aid schemes have been cautioned not to go above the proposed increase, South Africans should expect to pay more. Medical aids generally go above these guidelines by 3.4% on average. 

A good part of this increase is mainly due to the differences seen in how medical aid is used, according to CMS data, which shows usage patterns of members of different providers annually. On average, members should expect an increase of 8.8% on their premiums next year. In 2020, both companies and individuals will need to consider their plan types. 

Employers as well as individuals that do not form part of an employer group start their annual assessments in terms of the schemes and plans offered. 

In 2020, salary increase percentages are unlikely to match an 8.8% increase in medical aid premiums. Employers should then assess the best value for money options available to employees who are most likely under increasing financial pressure. 

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Got an SMS from SARS? You Don’t Need to Submit a Tax Return

Did you get an SMS from SARS? If you received a simulated tax calculation from SARS, you could get to skip submitting a tax return. 

The revenue collector has said that it has access to many sources of information about taxpayers, which includes information that is already on the SARS system. 

This means that SARS can make a tax calculation and arrive at an outcome without you having to do anything. The outcome will show if you would receive a refund or if you would owe SARS money if you were to file a tax return. 

The reason that you are getting a tax calculation this year is because last year you filed a tax return when you were not required to do so.  The tax calculation was introduced as a way to assist taxpayers so that they can avoid unnecessary visits to branches during tax season. 

According to SARS, if your financial circumstances haven’t changed since February 2018 then you will not be required to file a return. If your circumstances have changed then you may file a return still, however, it is a good idea to use the eFiling system or the SARS MobiApp to avoid the queues. 

No Refunds Under R100

Also, SARS went on to say that they are only allowed to refund an amount, which is more than R100 according to the terms of the current tax legislation. It’s not cost effective to collect or refund an amount that is below R100 as usually a cost is involved when doing this. However, the tax debt doesn’t just vanish, but rather it remains due by or to the taxpayer and is carried forward and will be added to a future a tax refund of more than R100 or is offset on future tax debt. 

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