MONEY CLINIC | Am I exempt from filing a tax return?

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The exemption will not apply if you receive any other form of income.
The exemption will not apply if you receive any other form of income.
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With tax season in full swing, it is important to ensure that you are compliant and know your status, particularly if your circumstances have changed. In some instances, South African tax residents are not required to file a tax return.    

"This will likely apply to normal salaried employees whose only source of income is their salary," explains Ruan van Jaarsveld, tax manager at Hobbs Sinclair Advisory. If you are younger than 65 years old, the tax threshold (i.e., the amount above which income tax becomes payable) is R87 300 p.a.; if you are 65 years of age to below 75 years, the tax threshold is R135 150; and for taxpayers aged 75 years and older, this threshold is R151 100.

Van Jaarsveld looks at the circumstances in which an individual is not required to file a tax return.

Individuals are NOT required to submit tax returns if their gross income consists solely of one or more of the following categories of income:

1. Remuneration paid from a single source that does not exceed R500 000 and PAYE was deducted;

2. Amounts received or accrued from tax-free investments;

3. South African interest income (excluding tax-free investments) less than: 

a. R23 800 for individuals 65 years and younger,

b. R34 500 for individuals 65 years and older; 

4. Any dividends if you were non-resident throughout the year of assessment.

According to Van Jaarsveld, the exemption will not apply if you receive any other form of income, such as taxable interest, rental income, business income, a car or travel allowance or any fringe benefit, and you are not claiming tax-related deductions or rebates i.e., travel and medical expenses, or retirement annuity contributions over and above any pension contributions made by your employer.

Questions may be edited for brevity and clarity.

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