Personal investing

To file or not to file a tax return

The South African Revenue Service’s (SARS’) 2019 tax season for non-provisional individual taxpayers officially started on 1 August 2019, with those filing via eFiling and SARS’ MobiApp being able to do so from 1 July 2019. Branch filing closes on 31 October 2019 and eFiling or MobiApp filing closes on 4 December 2019.

Most salaried taxpayers pay tax through Pay As You Earn (PAYE), which is deducted from their salary by their employer, who pays the tax over to SARS. SARS reconciles the amount of tax paid by the employer during the tax year with the taxpayer’s income tax return submitted during tax season. If too much tax was paid, the taxpayer will receive a refund. If too little tax was paid, the taxpayer will be required to pay the difference to SARS.

But not all income earners are liable to pay income tax and not all taxpayers are required to file an income tax return.

Who is liable to pay income tax?

Individuals who receive taxable income of more than a specific amount (known as the “tax threshold” amount) in a year of assessment are liable for income tax. The tax threshold amount for the 2019 year of assessment is: 

Who is required to file an income tax return?

South African tax residents

1. Those who do not need to file a tax return
Individuals who are South African tax residents do not have to file tax returns (even if their gross income exceeds the tax threshold at which income tax becomes payable) if their gross income consisted only of one or more of the following categories of income:

2. Those who only need to file a tax return if their income is more than the tax threshold
Individuals who are South African tax residents must file tax returns if their income is more than the tax threshold and one of the following applies:

3. Those who need to file a tax return, irrespective of the amount they earned
Individuals who are South African tax residents must file a tax return (irrespective of whether the amount of income earned is less or more than the tax threshold) if:

Non-residents

1. Those who do not need to file a tax return
Individuals who are not South African tax residents do not have to file a tax return if they received dividends from a South African source and were a non-resident for the duration of the 2019 tax year.

2. Those who need to file a tax return
Individuals who are not South African tax residents must file a tax return if:

The financial services, products or investments referred to on this website are not available to persons resident in jurisdictions where their availability or distribution would contravene local laws or regulations and the information on this website is not intended for use by these persons. This website is for information only and does not in any way constitute a solicitation or offer by Allan Gray Proprietary Limited or any of its associates or subsidiaries (collectively “Allan Gray”) to buy or sell any financial instruments or to provide any investment advice or service.

By selecting one of the countries below I confirm that I have read and understood the above and that:

(a) I am not a South African citizen; or 
(b) I do not reside in the Republic of South Africa; or 
(c) I am not otherwise a person to whom the communication of the information contained in this website is prohibited by the laws of my home jurisdiction; and 
(d) I am not acting for the benefit of any such persons mentioned in (a),(b) and (c) and 
(e) I confirm that any investment with Allan Gray is based on my own initiative and not due to any offer or solicitation by Allan Gray.