With tax season in full swing, individuals are encouraged to submit their tax returns before the October deadline. What is important is to make sure that you are compliant and know your status, particularly if your circumstances have changed as in some instances South African tax residents are not required to file a tax return.
If all the conditions set out by SARS apply, individuals who are South African tax residents do not have to file income tax returns even if their gross income exceeds the relevant tax threshold. “It is likely that this will 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, the tax threshold (i.e.: the amount above which income tax becomes payable) is R87 300, 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.
Individuals are NOT required to submit tax returns if their gross income consists solely of one or more of the following categories of income:
- Remuneration paid from a single source that does not exceed R500 000 and PAYE was deducted;
- Amounts received or accrued from tax-free investments;
- South African interest income (excluding tax-free investments) less than:
- R23 800 for individuals 65 years and younger
- R34 500 for individuals 65 years and older
- Any dividends if you were non-resident throughout the year of assessment.
Furthermore, 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, RA contributions over and above any pension contributions made by your employer.
Regularly updating and checking your online profile will assist you to remain compliant and stay on top of your taxes advises Van Jaarsveld.