Simple guide to tax season — and who needs to register and file a return

2010-07-21 00:00

INCOME tax is something that affects nearly every South African who is formally employed. Every person earning above R57 000 a year has to pay income tax.

Understanding the rules can be difficult because the application of the rules changes with a person’s circumstances. Here are some of the most common questions people ask about income tax.

What is the tax year?

The South African tax year runs from March 1 to the end of February the following year.

Who must register as a taxpayer?

Every person in South Africa who is employed needs to register as a taxpayer with the SA Revenue Service (SARS) as of the 2011 tax year. Every South African employee must be registered with SARS by the end of August 2010.

How do you register as a taxpayer?

If you work for one of the larger companies in South Africa, the company will be able to register you as a taxpayer. If your employer does not use the SARS electronic filing system, you will need to register yourself. You will need to go to a SARS branch with the following documents to register:

• A certified copy of your ID;

• original bank account details;

• IRP5 tax certificates (for the past three years if available); and

• proof of your residential/postal address.

Who does not need to file a tax return?

You do not need to submit a tax return if ALL of the following apply to you:

• You earn less than R120 000 a year.

• Your employer pays your retirement annuity and medical aid, or you don’t have a retirement annuity or medical aid.

• You had no major medical expenses during the year, other than your normal medical aid contributions.

Who needs to file a tax return?

You must file a tax return if ANY of the following apply to you:

• You earn more R120 000 a year.

• You worked for more than one employer during the tax year.

• You are paying your own retirement annuity and medical aid, or incurred major medical costs during the tax year.

What are ‘rebates’?

A “rebate” is a “discount” that automatically gets deducted from your tax liability.

*Johan Swart is tax manager at Legal & Tax.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

CSR Inbound

Cape Town Northern Suburbs
O'Brien Recruitment
R14 000 - R16 000 Per Month

Graphic Designer

Cape Town Northern Suburbs
Creative Sourcing
R7 000 - R9 000 Per Month

Debtors/Creditors Supervisor

Century City
Pro Placements Recruitment Agency
R10 000 - R12 000 Per Month

Property [change area]

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.