South African Tax Season Opens On July 1
Wednesday, June 29, 2016
The South African Revenue Service (SARS) launches its 2016 tax filing season
on July 1, although only those individual taxpayers whose total annual salary
before tax was above ZAR350,000 (USD23.000) will need to complete a tax return.
To be exempt from the filing requirement, taxpayers with income below
the threshold must have only received employment income from one employer for
the full year of assessment; have no other form of income, such as car allowance,
business income, taxable interest, or rent, or income from another job; and
have no additional tax deductions to claim, such as medical expenses, retirement
annuity contributions, or travel expenses.
The deadline for individual taxpayers who submit their tax returns manually
or by post is September 23, 2016. The deadline for all non-provisional and provisional
taxpayers who submit returns via eFiling is November 25, 2016, and January 31,
Provisional taxpayers, a small segment of the tax base, are those individuals
with other forms of income, such as investment income, income from business
activities, rent, royalties, or directors' income.
SARS reported that 5.94m returns were submitted to SARS last year, 11.52 percent
higher than in 2014. This included individuals, trusts, and prior year submissions.
Compliance for taxpayers filing on time exceeded 90 percent for the third consecutive
Taxpayers are encouraged to use SARS eFiling as the quickest and easiest way
to submit a tax return. Last year, 99.96 percent of returns were filed electronically,
either via eFiling (51.84 percent), or through electronically assisted filing
at a SARS branch or mobile tax unit. Manual submissions were down to less than
In addition, SARS paid out 1.82m refunds to the value of ZAR15bn during the
2015 filing season – more than 95 percent of these refunds were paid within