Paying income tax
Personal income tax is the money you pay to government from your salary or wages, to help pay for roads, schools, hospitals and other government services. The South African Revenue Services (SARS) manages the collection of taxes and ensures that all working citizens contribute fairly. The 2016 Tax Season for individuals kicked-off on 01 July 2016.
What happens during Tax Season?
The Tax Season runs from July to November every year. For provisional taxpayers who submit via eFiling, it runs until January of the following year.
During Tax Season, you need to submit an ITR12 form (which is your official Income Tax Return) so that SARS can calculate your tax on your income and the tax-deductible expenses for the year being assessed (01 March 2015 - 29 February 2016).
If, after considering all your income and expenses, SARS determines that you’ve paid too much tax, you’ll receive a refund. If you haven’t paid the full amount due, you’ll be asked to pay the outstanding amount.
For information on how to fill in your ITR12 form correctly, please see:
The important 2016 deadline dates are:
Here’s what you need to know before you get started on your tax return this year.
The amount of personal income tax that you pay depends on:
To get ready to submit your tax return, you'll need to gather all your supporting documents which may include the following:
Read more about the complete list of supporting documents you may need.
Who qualifies to pay personal income tax?
For the 2016 year of assessment (1 March 2015 - 29 February 2015) you need to pay income tax if you earn an annual salary of more than:
If you earn less than R350 000 a year, you don’t need to submit a tax return if:
How do I register to pay income tax?
Register for income tax at a SARS office by completing an IB- IT 77 form. You’ll need the following:
PAYE, or Employees’ tax, is the tax that employers must deduct from the employment income of employees – such as salaries, wages and bonuses – and pay over to SARS monthly. It is withheld daily, weekly, or monthly, when these amounts are paid or become payable to the employees.
It ensures that an employee's income tax liability (amount of tax owed) is settled on an ongoing basis, while the income is being earned. The advantage of this is that the tax liability for the year is settled over the course of the whole year of assessment.
The amount of PAYE you pay depends on how much you earn and is calculated using tax tables issued by SARS.
Once a year, your employer will give you an IRP5 tax certificate that shows the total amount that you earned and the total tax that was deducted.
You need to register with SARS before you complete a tax return. If you’ve already registered, your tax return forms will be sent to you in the post.
What is eFiling?
eFiling is an online tax return and submission service. You can register for eFiling if you’re already registered as a taxpayer.
You’ll receive detailed instructions on how to complete the tax return with the forms. When you submit your return, SARS will check that you’ve paid the correct amount of tax.
SARS helps you eFile
What is Help-You-eFile?
SARS has introduced a mobile app that allows you to:
Find out more about the SARS mobile app and how it can simplify your tax returns this year.
Don't fall for scams
Don't be fooled by emails asking for your personal information. SARS will never
Not paying tax that you owe to SARS has severe legal implications. You can be fined or imprisoned if you’re found guilty of:
For more information:
- Income Tax and the Individual (Public Information)