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 exit the Republic without making a declaration on a form TC-01 and TRD1.
 
You must however declare on 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.
 
If you have goods other than personal effects e.g. household furniture and other household effects, new or used you must formally clear the 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.

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 refer to the guides below 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: 09/07/2020 12:02 PM     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,

I am currently employed by an overseas company who requires confirmation of my South African residency how do I obtain this?
The country where a SA resident rendered services or received income normally requires a certificate of residence before considering relief of tax at source. The confirmation of tax residency can be obtained in two ways:

How do I know that I fall within the definition of a resident?
a) The definition of resident refers to a natural person who is ‘ordinarily’ resident in the Republic or if that person was ‘physically’ present in the Republic for a certain period or periods. See more information on the definition of a natural

Do I have to be registered for Income tax to obtain a certificate of residence?
A person or partner in partnership (partner) must be registered for income tax purposes. Where the person or partner is not registered for income tax the person or partner in must first