In one of his first statements after taking over the running of the South African Revenue Service on 1st May, 2019, our new SARS Commissioner, Edward Kieswetter announced that if people earned less than R500 000 per annum it would not be necessary for them to file tax returns.

Since R500 000 is a substantial salary, in South African terms, this has excited a large group of people!

However, this is not as simple as it seems – there are some provisos:

  • Total employment income may not exceed R500 000
  • The employee has no other form of income, e.g. rental or taxable interest income, or income from another job
  • The employee has no financial benefits, such as travel expenses, retirement funding
  • The employee does not have any additional taxable income claims, such as travel allowances, medical expenses, retirement annuities

It is important to note that all of the above need to be true before deciding not to file your return.

How will SARS know?

Employer filing season ended on 31st May, and by this date all employers were obliged to send in tax return information for every employee.  This included details of earnings, benefits, and deductions that impact tax calculations, as well as tax deduction details.

Additionally, institutions such as medical aids, banks and retirement fund companies send in returns for all their members.  This information is consolidated by SARS for every tax payer in South Africa.  If you file a return, you will notice that your information is pre-populated in the SARS systems, and just needs to be checked that all your relevant information from the different employers and companies is included, and upload any specific claims (e.g. confirmation of business travel).

The personal income tax (PIT) filing season starts on 1st July for those who do eFiling or use the SARS MobiApp (yes!  SARS has a MobiApp called SARS eFIling, available in the App and Play stores), and on 1st August for those who file at a SARS branch.

The closing dates for 2019 PIT are:

  • 31st October for those who file manually at a SARS branch
  • 4th December 2019 for those who are not provisional tax payers, and who file electronically
  • 31st January 2020 for provisional tax payers who use eFiling to submit returns.

It seems that positive changes are happening at SARS again!


Links, References and Notes

Accsys provides people management solutions i.e. Payroll, Human Resources (HR), Time and Attendance as well as Access Control/Visitor Management.

The company develops, implements, trains and services our solutions.  We provide readers, turnstiles, booms and CCTV.

We run both on premise and in the cloud, as well as mobile options for ESS.  Recruitment, online education and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) are part of our offering, too.

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