Tax & Emigration

Top Tip: Do you need to apply for a directive for the relief from South African tax on pension and annuity income or want a refund of tax that was withheld, click here for more information.
An emigrant is subject to the same legal requirements; to the extent it is relevant, as a traveller leaving the Republic.
If you only have personal effects upon your person or in your possession you may leave the Republic at the place where you exit the Republic without declaring on a form DA 331 or TC-01 and TRD1.
You must however declare on form DA 331 or forms TC-01 and TRD1, whichever is applicable, any goods on your person or in your possession that are required to be declared on those forms before leaving the restricted area at the place where you exit the Republic.
Goods other than personal effects e.g. household furniture and other household effects, new or used you must formally clear the goods.
The legal requirements to clear these goods are that:
  • You must be registered as an exporter with customs.
  • Once registered you may then clear the goods in your own name or appoint a licensed customs clearing agent to do the clearing on your behalf.

Top Tip: Have you been asked to submit an ITR12 for the 2016 tax year? Find out more about Tax Season 2016

For further details on the traveller clearance please visit the traveller section of the website.
For further detail on customs registration process and procedure please follow this link.
For further detail on customs commercial clearance process and procedure please call the SARS National Contact Centre at 0800 00 7277 or follow this link
Also look out for SARS Customs posters and signage at the place where you leave the Republic for further information. Non-compliance with the customs and excise laws of the Republic is punishable by law.
So, if in doubt ask the customs officer on duty for assistance.
Bon voyage
You are always welcome in the lovely and sunny South Africa.
Last Updated: 01/07/2016 9:46 AM     print this page
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 Top FAQs

I will be starting to work overseas, but have never worked in South Africa nor registered for tax. Will I need to register and pay tax while working overseas?
South Africa has a residence-based tax system, which means residents are, subject to certain exclusions, taxed on their worldwide income, irrespective of where their income was earned.

Am I required to submit an income tax return if I am a South African resident but I work overseas and I do not earn other income from a South African (SA) source except for exempt interest income from a South African source?
If you are still a resident in South Africa, all residents are taxed on worldwide income irrespective of where the income was earned. If you are a resident,