MONEY CLINIC | I was a substitute teacher for 6 months, can I get my money back from SARS?

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Serious woman at home using laptop and holding bills and credit card.
Mladen Zivkovic/ Getty

A Fin24 reader who held a temporary position for six months wants to know if she is able to claim back the deductions from SARS during her employment. She writes:

I was a substitute teacher for six months in 2020. Can I get back the money that was being deducted by SARS?

Fin24 asked two experts for their advice:

Antoinette Mavabaza, Tax Consultant, BDO in SA, responds:

We have assumed that the taxes you are referring to is the PAYE deducted by the school as your employer during this period? 

PAYE should be calculated based on your annualised salary, i.e. as if you worked for the full 12-month period. Therefore, where you only worked for a period of 6 months, it would reason that there would be an over deduction of your PAYE liability, unless the employer used another means of calculating the monthly PAYE.

The PAYE which was withheld from your salary and paid over to SARS would be reported on the employees’ tax certificate (IRP5 certificate) which your employer would have issued to you.

Whether you will be getting back the PAYE paid over to SARS can only be determined once you submit your 2021 income tax return, and your income per the IRP5 certificate as well as your income from other sources or your tax deductions are assessed to tax. Where the PAYE deducted exceeds your tax liability on assessment the excess will be refunded to you.

Ryno Viljoen, Chief Executive Officer of FinGlobal responds:

No, you will unfortunately not be able to claim back the PAYE tax deducted whilst you were employed. 

* This article has been updated with a response from BDO, in addition to FinGlobal.

Questions may be edited for brevity and clarity.

  • Have a money problem that needs solving? Fin24 can help! Send your question to editor@fin24.com

Disclaimer: Fin24 cannot be held liable for any investment decisions made based on the advice given by independent financial service providers. Under the ECT Act and to the fullest extent possible under the applicable law, Fin24 disclaims all responsibility or liability for any damages whatsoever resulting from the use of this site in any manner.

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