SA’s virtual tax assistant app TaxTim goes vernacular

TaxTim, a new South African virtual tax assistant, has been translated into local languages isiXhosa, isiZulu and Afrikaans to make it “much easier for more people to file their tax returns.”

TaxTim founders say more South Africans will now be able to use the Web-based digital tax assistant, with more than63 percent of the population speaking at least one of English, Afrikaans, isiXhosa or isiZulu.

“Tax is hard enough to understand in your own language. We are delighted to announce that TaxTim has now made it much easier for the majority of South Africans to achieve tax compliance,” TaxTim’s co-founder Evan Robinson told the Bandwidth Blog.

He added that TaxTim, which is aimed at young professionals, “is easy and fast and makes filing tax returns enjoyable.”

Apart from the translation feature, TaxTim has also added a systematic guide to help users get a tax number, use eFiling and access instructions on the tax system.

“Qualified and experienced” freelance translators sourced by the South African Translators Institute (SATI) did the translations, according to the founders.

South African entrepreneurs Marc Sevitz and Evan Robinson founded TaxTim after they were selected for the Umbono programme, an African startup incubator, last year. According to Bandwidth Blog, by July TaxTim had served more than 1,000 taxpayers.

The digital assistant assists employers to help employees to become tax compliant via its Employee-Assist feature, which enables employees to receive prepaid coupons for use of the TaxTim service and a financial welfare programme, including the tax tips and financial advice newsletter.

The service also offers year-round email/SMS notifications to ensure compliance and timely filing of taxes and a vehicle logbook for recording work trips on a mobile phone.

An annual fee ofR199 (US$24) is charged for the service.

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