What is Personal Income Tax?

Income tax is the normal tax which is paid on your taxable income. Examples of amounts an individual may receive, and from which the taxable income is determined, include:

Examples of amounts an individual may receive, and from which the taxable income is determined, include –

  • Remuneration (income from employment), such as, salaries, wages, bonuses, overtime pay, taxable (fringe) benefits, allowances and certain lump sum benefits
  • Profits or losses from a business or trade
  • Income or profits arising from an individual being a beneficiary of a trust
  • Director’s fees
  • Investment income, such as interest and foreign dividends
  • Rental income or losses
  • Income from royalties
  • Annuities
  • Pension income
  • Certain capital gains

Personal Tax

In South Africa, you are liable to pay income tax if you earn more than: R95 750 and you are younger than 65 years. If you are 65 or older but younger than 75 years old, the tax threshold (i.e. the amount above which income tax becomes payable) is R148 217.

What is the difference between income tax and PAYE?

PAYE is a method of collecting income tax that applies to your employment earnings. Amounts subject to PAYE are taxed at the time of payment on the payslip.)

What steps must I take to ensure compliance?

You must register for income tax

If you earn a taxable income which is above the tax threshold (see above), you must register as a taxpayer with SARS.Register for tax

There are three ways to register for tax:

1. Auto registration for Personal Income Tax:

  • When you register for SARS eFiling for the first time and you do not have a tax reference number, SARS will automatically register you and issue a tax reference number.  Note that you must have a valid South African ID.

Follow these easy steps to register on eFiling:

1. Click on Register.

2. Follow the prompts.

You can also register for SARS eFiling on the SARS MobiApp and follow the same steps.

2. Register through your Employer via SARS eFiling: 

SARS eFiling offers the SARS registration function which allows employers to submit employee income tax registrations to SARS.

3. Register at a SARS branch office

You can request a service consultant to assist you to register for tax at your nearest SARS branch office.

Note:  Remember to bring the relevant supporting documents.

Unsure whether you are registered or not?

Ask your Employer, or use the SARS online Query function, or call our SARS Contact Centre on 0800 00 7277.

Tip: SARS won’t provide your tax number to another person unless the person is your tax practitioner or has Power of Attorney (POA) to conduct your tax affairs.

Income tax return filing dates 

Here are the dates and criteria for the 2023 Filing Season:

  • Individual taxpayers (non-provisional): 7 July 2023 @ 20:00 to Provisional taxpayers: 7 July 2023 @ 20:00 to 24 January 2024.Tax Dates

Have you received an Auto Assessment?

Request a Notice of Registration (IT150)

A Notice of Registration (IT150) will reflect your tax reference number. You can request a notice of registration through the following channels:

  • Send us a query. Please ensure your details match our records.
  • You can also request your notice of registration via the MobiApp if you are a registered eFiler.

eFiling has been updated to allow taxpayers to request the Notice of Registration (IT150) under the ‘SARS Registered Details’ menu option.

Between 1 July and 7 July 2023, taxpayers will be notified by SMS or email if they were selected to receive an auto-assessment. Should you receive the SMS, the next step for you would be to review the auto-assessment on the SARS MobiApp or eFiling.

  • If you agree with the Auto-Assessment, you do not have to do anything.
  • If a refund is due, you can expect it within approximately seventy-two (72) hours, provided your banking details with SARS are correct.
  • If you owe SARS, please make the payment before the due date that is shown on your Notice of Assessment (ITA34) to avoid interest charged on outstanding debt.
  • You can make payment via eFiling or SARS MobiApp; alternatively see our payment options.
  • Do not agree with the Auto Assessment? Auto-assessed taxpayers have until 23 October 2023 to amend and file their return on eFiling or the SARS MobiApp if they do not agree with the auto-assessment received.

How is Auto Assessment different this year (2023) from last year (2022)?

Last year you had 40 days to file a return if you were not happy with your auto-assessment, but this year SARS is giving you until the due date of 23 October 2023.  If an auto-assessment has been issued after 23 October 2023 the 40 business days will start on the date of the notice of the assessment.

  • For more info see how Auto-assessment works, on the SARS website.

What to prepare before filing starts?

Make sure that you have received your IRP5/IT3(a) and other tax certificates like medical aid, retirement annuity fund, and any other third-party data relevant to determining your tax obligations.

If you have forgotten your password you can reset it online through the eFiling website by clicking on Forgot Password or Forgot Username.

No need to call

Taxpayers, your tax matters are in better hands when you make use of eFiling or the SARS MobiApp. Register your profile now to ensure a smooth filing experience.  No need to call us, you can register online or download the MobiApp on your phone or tablet.