ALL FAQs

How is interest paid to a non-resident from a South African source taxed?
As from 1 March 2015 interest from a South African source paid to a non-resident will be taxed at a final withholding tax rate of 15%.

Where can I find information to help me fill in my ITR12 correctly?
For information to fill in your ITR12 correctly: See Completing your ITR12 ITR12 – Comprehensive Guide is available here Visit the Tax Season webpage for all the latest information.

If the populated information is incorrect on my ITR12 return, how do I correct this?
For manual completion:- If the populated information is incorrect, you can change any populated information by :-Using a black pen to write over the information printed in pink

Can I claim professional subscription fees as a chartered accountant?
A person who earns remuneration income (which is not derived mainly from commission) cannot claim professional subscription fees against the income received.

Why am I not able to change my identity number/passport number/passport country and passport issue date on my ITR12?
SARS checks your Date Of Birth, ID number and Passport number with the Department of Home Affairs (DOHA), who are the official register of all Identification information. Consequently SARS won't allow changes to this DOHA information on the return.

How can I change my identity number/passport number/passport country and passport issue date?
You will have to visit your nearest SARS branch to ask for the changes to be made. The taxpayer identification number (ID) and associated date of birth as well as passport details can only be changed in the SARs branch.

I am using Adobe PDF and I’m not able to Save or File my ITR12 on eFiling?
If you are unable to Save or File your ITR12 on eFiling when using Adobe PDF, and get an error message Follow these simple steps

What must I do if my IRP5/IT3(a) information is not on my Income Tax Return (ITR12)?
The ITR12 has been generated and contains the latest information SARS has on record. If your return doesn't contain all your IRP5/IT3(a) information this means that:

What does "manual intervention" mean when submitting my Income Tax Return (ITR12)?
Manual intervention means that human intervention is needed to finalise your assessment. The system can't finalise the assessment automatically.

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.

Will non-residents be required to declare interest subject to withholding tax on their income tax returns?
Under normal circumstances they will not have to since they are not tax resident in South Africa and section 10(1)(h) exempts the interest from normal tax. However, if the provisions of section 10(1)(h) are not met

How do I get to the Income Tax Work Page to see my Income Tax Return (ITR12)?
If your ITR12 return has been issued, it will appear on the Income Tax Work Page. Follow these five easy steps: Step 1: Log onto eFiling.

Where do I find my Notice of Assessment (ITA34) to see if I owe SARS money?
Your Notice of Asssesment (ITA34) shows if you owe SARS money or if you have a refund due to you for the specific tax year. If you owe money to SARS the due date for the payment will show on the ITA34.

Where do I find my Statement of Account (ITSA) to see my outstanding balance?
Your Statement of Account (ITSA) shows the overall balance on your tax account (including any applicable penalty and interest) as well as your transaction history per tax year.

By when should I pay SARS if I owe money on my Return?
If you owe money to SARS the due date for payment will show on the Notice of Assessment (ITA34). The payment due dates are for eFilers 31 January and

Why must I register for Income Tax?
If your earnings for a given tax year are above the tax threshold, you are obliged by law to register for income tax. You must register for income tax, if you are an individual:

What is remuneration for tax purposes?
Remuneration is any amount of income which is paid/payable to any person whether in cash or otherwise (e.g. fringe benefit) and whether or not for services rendered.

What is the foreign tax credit limit for individuals?
The rebate is limited to the foreign tax payable and may not exceed the result of the folowing formula: Total Normal Tax in South Africa x taxable foreign income / total taxable income.

What are penalties for not submitting my income tax return?
The penalties for not submitting a tax return are set out in Chapter 15 of the Tax Administration Act. They differ according to behaviour of the taxpayer.

Can a registration for income tax be backdated?
Yes

​Must I submit a return if I have multiple IRP5’s but the income for each one is less than R70 700?
Yes, if you have more than one source of remuneration, of which each income is less than R70 700, a tax return must be submitted.

What happens if I don’t have a local bank account?
If you don’t have a local bank account you need to do the following: Select the field for ‘Mark here if you do not have a local savings or cheque account’ on the applicable form Complete the declaration for no local savings/cheque account.

What happens if my employer doesn't send SARS my IRP5/IT3(a) on time?
SARS can't provide you with a populated return nor process your return until your IRP5 tax certificate information from your employer is received.

What if the taxpayer receives a notice of assessment from SARS and realises that excess contributions were not taken into account?
The taxpayer must lodge an objection using the Notice of Objection form either via eFiling or walk-in. See www.sars.gov.za>Client Segments > Individuals > What if I do not agree > Objections

Which grounds must the taxpayer use to object for excess fund contribution?
Excess contributions and or own contributions not allowed as an exemption towards the compulsory annuity income.

Which supporting documents must the taxpayer attach when lodging the objection for excess fund contributions?
Any supporting documents to support the excess fund contributions e.g. Notice of assessment (ITA34) or in the case of a provident fund a letter from the fund indicating the members own contributions from commencement date.

Are there any additional Medical Expenses Tax Credits for the 2015 tax year of assessment?
Yes, ‘Medical Aid Deduction’ is now displayed as part of the Rebate amount. In 2014, only the ‘Medical Tax Credit’ was added to the Rebate amount, and source code 4008 was calculated and displayed as a deduction.

When I retire, is it compulsory to buy an annuity?
No, it’s not compulsory to buy an annuity when you retire. The minimum threshold to purchase an annuity has changed from R75 000 to R247 500.

What are S11(k) annual allowable deductions?
The formula to calculate the maximum allowable deduction has changed from the 01 March 2016. The deduction allowed is now the pension, provident and retirement annuity fund contributions (added together) but limited to the following:

What is remuneration?
Remuneration means any amount of income which is paid or is payable to any person by way of any salary, leave pay, wage, overtime pay, bonus, gratuity, commission, fee, emolument, pension, superannuation allowance, retiring allowance or

What is the impact of Section 11(k) on me as a taxpayer?
Any contribution by an employer to a retirement fund for the benefit of the employee will be taxed as a fringe benefit in the hands of the employee. This will be prepopulated on the ITR12 from the IRP5 submitted by the employer.

Can I edit the fields on my IRP5?
Check your IRP5 and verify if all the information is correct before attempting to submit the return. If you notice any errors which might need to be corrected, kindly advise your employer to rectify it.

I received more than fifteen IRP5 certificates for the year of assessment?
The return caters for a maximum of fifteen IRP5 certificates to be completed. If you received more than fifteen certificates for the year of assessment:

Can I see my refund amount and payment date or the payment due date of the amount owed by me to SARS on eFiling?
The refund date displayed next to 'Electronic refund' and the amount (if a refund) in the 'Transaction value' column on the Statement of Account is the date the amount will be paid into your bank account:

Where do I find SARS payment or bank details to pay my Personal Income Tax via EFT or at a bank branch?
If you owe money to SARS, the Payment Advice on eFiling is pre-populated with a unique Payment Reference Number (PRN). Please refer to your Statement of Account (ITSA).

What is a default Primary User?
A Primary User is a default username that is selected by the user to access eFiling.

Why do I need a default Primary User?
The purpose of a default Primary User is to enforce users to utilise a single username when accessing eFiling. This is mainly for users with multiple profiles linked to their identity number.

How do I create a default Primary User?
Upon first login as of 1st July 2019, a user with multiple usernames will be prompted to select their default Primary username from a list of existing usernames, linked to their identity number.

How will I access my other profiles, once I have created a default Primary User?
All existing profiles, associated with a user’s identity number, will still be accessible when the user logs in with their primary username.

Can I choose not to select a default Primary user?
No. All users will have to select a default primary user in order to use eFiling, Otherwise, they will not be able to access eFiling functionality.

Will I be able to change my default Primary User?
Yes, upon successful logon into eFiling a user may change their primary user to a preferred username by using the “Profile and Preference Setup” function listed under “My Profile” on the left menu pane.

Will selecting a primary user affect my shared access with my clients?
No, all clients on users portfolios with whom shared access is activated will not be affected when users setup their primary user.

What is a portfolio and what are the different types?
A registered eFiler can act in different “roles” on eFiling (e.g. tax administrator). These “roles” are referred to as Portfolio Types.

Can I change my portfolio name?
Yes, users may change their portfolio name by using the “Portfolio Management” function listed under “My Profile” on the left menu pane.

Can I change my portfolio type?
Yes, users may change their portfolio type by using the “Portfolio Management” function listed under “My Profile” on the left menu pane.

Where will correspondence relating to various clients linked to the primary user portfolio be sent?
All taxpayers registered on a users eFiling portfolio have a contact person listed as part of their registration details. The contact person’s details are used to send any correspondence.

If I remove rights or delete user(s) from my portfolio as a Practitioner or Organisation, will the user still have access to my clients?
No. If the rights to clients are removed from the user on eFiling, the user will not be able to see the client’s records nor see the client as part of their client list.

What will happen when I try to login with any of my other usernames once I have created a default Primary User?
Any other username associated with your identity number will be restricted from logging in and you will be directed to login using the Primary User.

What is Portfolio Management?
The Portfolio Management feature provides eFilers with the flexibility of a single login, while being able to transact between their existing usernames which will be called Portfolios.

How will VAT, PAYE or IT tax types located on different profiles be managed with the new default Primary User?
If a client’s tax types are located on different portfolios, which belong to the same identity number, then all tax type will be accessible using the Primary user in the different portfolios.

"I don’t have a South African ID number. Can I register on eFiling?
You can use your passport number if you don’t have a South African ID number.

​Once I am successfully registered on eFiling, will I have to send anything to SARS to activate eFiling?
No you will not be required to do anything further.

Can I request for my eFiling login details from the SARS contact centre?
Yes, a contact centre staff can assist you to obtain login details.

Can SARS branch help me with my login details for eFiling?
Yes you can be assisted at a SARS branch.

Can an income tax form be created for me without having to complete the questions on the first page?
The income tax return will be customised according to answers provided on the first page of the form.

If the Tax Practitioner is submitting my income tax form how do I inform SARS?
The Tax Practitioner submitting your income tax form will answer YES by indicating 'Y' on the first page of the income tax form. The declaration will be added on the form for the tax practitioner to sign.

What if my form already shows that I ceased to be a South African resident?
If you ceased to be a resident and that information has been made available to SARS, the date on which you ceased to be a resident will be filled in on your income tax return.

I worked overseas and I only have rental income to declare to SARS. Must I submit an income tax form for this year?
Yes you will be required to submit an income tax return.

I am now registered on eFiling. Will I be able to complete and submit a tax return form before SARS opens the filing season?
Only in exceptional cases, such as emigrating, can a taxpayer be able to arrange to submit before the filing season opens.

How do I complete my Income tax form on eFiling?
Open your income tax return by clicking on income tax return (ITR12) link on eFiling.

Can I submit last years return on eFiling?
Yes, you will be able to submit for previous years on eFiling.

How many rental activities can I capture on the income tax form?
A maximum of 20 rental activities can be declared.

Why am I receiving a warning message regarding banking details when I open my Income tax form?
The warning message indicates that any changes to banking details will be verified before your banking profile is updated and you may be required to visit a SARS branch for verification.

Can I change my ID number or Passport number on the income tax form?
No,you will have to visit a SARS branch office to change or update identity details.

Is it a must to provide SARS with my partner's (spouse) details on an income tax form?
If you are ‘married in community of property’ certain details, such as their initials, ID number or passport are required.

I am unable to access my emails, how will SARS notify me of my assessment result?
I am unable to access my emails, how will SARS notify me of my assessment result? A registered eFiler can view Notice of Assessments from their efiling portfolio once the assessment is finalised.

Where will I find the country code for South Africa on an income tax form?
You can select 'ZAF' from the drop down list provided.

I do not have a bank account, I use my spouse's bank account. What must I complete on the income tax form?
Select the statement 'I use a South African Bank Account of a 3rd party', under the reason selct 'shared account'.

What happens if I do not have a local bank account?
Select the statement 'I declare that I have no South African bank account'

How will SARS pay me my refund if they do not have my bank details on their records?
Your income tax return will be considered incomplete.

My bank details have changed, will SARS update the new details I captured on the income tax form?
If you change your banking details on the income tax form, SARS will inform you if you are required to visit a SARS branch to verify your bank details.

How many tax certificates can I capture on the income tax form?
A maximum of fifteen tax certificates can be captured on the income tax return.

The information sent to SARS by my employer is incorrect on the tax certificate, how can I correct this with SARS?
If any of the information on the tax certificate is incorrect, you must contact the employer to correct and resend the correct information to SARS.

I worked for seven employers, SARS can only pick up certificates from two employers. How do I make sure SARS has all certificates on my income tax form?
You can indicate the correct number of tax certificates you received by capturing the certificates and information on the form.

Can I apply for an extension to submit my income tax form at a later stage?
No extensions for late submission will be allowed.

Is the assessment result received via the tax calculator one hundred percent correct?
The tax calculator result is merely an estimate of what the assessment outcome could be.

"Will I be able to see a preview of my assessment before I submit my income tax form to SARS?
Yes, by selecting the tax calculator you can view an estimate result of what the assessment outcome could be.

Can I update my address on an income tax form?
Yes, the address can be updated on an income tax return.

Will SARS accept photocopies of an income tax form?
SARS will not accept any photocopies or self-printed forms.

What is the purpose of the “Refresh Data” tab?
By selecting the “Refresh Data” tab you make it possible for fields on the income tax form to be updated with the most recent data supplied to SARS by an employer or medical aid scheme or pension fund.

SARS assist with deletion of information captured on a tax certificate?
SARS cannot amend or delete any information captured by the person who issued the tax certificate.

What can I do if the information on the tax certificate is incorrect?
You will have to request a reprint of the tax certificate from the person who issued the you with the certificate.

My tax certificate is blank on the income tax form, what can I do?
Click the 'Refresh IRP 5 data' button, the information that was supplied to SARS will be populated.

What happens if my employer does not send SARS my tax certificate on time?
SARS cannot provide you with a populated return nor process your assessment until your tax certificate are received.

I have more than fifteen tax certificates for this year, how should I complete my form?
Once you have indicated the number of tax certificates you have, capture the amounts and sources codes displayed on the tax certificates.

The tax certificate information on the income tax form differs to the one I received from my employer. How do I fix this?
Refresh the tax certificate data by clicking the “Refresh” button on the income tax work page. If the tax certificate you have is still different, inform your employer.

I made medical contribution on behalf of my mother, how do I claim that payment (contributions)?
The amount must be declared next to code 4005.

Which amount do I capture for medical scheme contributions made by my employer?
Medical scheme contributions that were paid by the employer will reflect next to source code 4005 on your income tax certificate.

Can I claim for more than one Retirement Annuity?
Yes, you can claim for more than one retirement annuity. Add the contribution made together and claimed under code 4006.

I only received a monthly annuity, do I need to submit a tax form?
Yes, you must submit an income tax return.

I receive interest income, do I need to declare it on the income tax form?
Yes, interest income forms part of taxable income.

Do I need to submit an income tax form if I only earned interest income?
If the amount received is in excess of the prescribed exemption amount you must submit an income tax form.

Should I declare SARS interest?
Yes, use source code 4237

Does the SARS interest get exempted from income?
Yes, the limitation for interest exemption will be proportioned.

How do I convert income measured in a foreign currency to Rands?
It can be converted by using either: The spot rate; or The average exchange rate for the relevant year of assessment."

Where will I complete foreign tax paid on the income tax form?
Complete the gross amount for foreign tax paid next to the source code 4113.

I have received dividend from a source outside of South Africa, how do I declare this amount on the income tax form?
Complete the amount for foreign dividends next to source code 4216.

I sold my house, which amount must I declare on the income tax form?
All capital gain transactions must be declared on the income tax return.

How many capital gain transactions will I be able to complete on the income tax form?
You may capture a maximum of ten transactions on an income tax form, local and foreign capital gain or loss transactions.

What would travel between home and work be classified as?
Travelling between home and work is private travelling, it is deemed not to be a business travel.

What is a unique identifier?
A unique identifier is a number allocated to each property, local business, trade and/or profession as per the information declared on income tax form.

Who provides me with a unique identifier?
SARS will allocate a new unique identifier number.

Who provides me with a unique identifier?
SARS will allocate a new unique identifier number.

​I pressed by mistake the manual submit button on eFiling. How do I correct this?
Use the 'Request for Correction' button.

How do I submit supporting document with my income tax form?
Supporting documents must not be submitted with an income tax return. Should SARS require supporting documents you will be informed.

Do I need to submit supporting documents every time I submit my income tax form?
Supporting documents must only be submitted to SARS when requested to do so.

​There is no option to correct an error on the income tax form, how do I correct a mistake?
By selecting the 'Request for correct button' on efiling, you will be able to make correction and resend the correct information to SARS.

How do I calculate my income tax liability using the tax calculator on eFiling?
Select the 'Tax Calculator' after completing your income tax return.

I received an inheritance, must I declare it to SARS?
Yes you will need to declare the amount received.

Where can I find information to help me fill in an income tax form correctly?
For information on how to fill in your Income Tax Return (ITR12) correctly visit the SARS website, access the Tax Season webpage, alternatively search for the Comprehensive Guide for Personal Income Tax.

Where on can I see the amount I must pay to SARS on eFiling?
The amount payable by you will be detailed on the 'Statement of Account' and/or Notice of Assessment' issued by SARS.

Who can submit the tax return on my behalf?
A tax practitioner that is registered with a recognised controlling body may submit a return on your behalf. Alternatively contact SARS for assistance to complete your personal income tax form.

How do married couples submit the supporting documents?
If you are married in community of property, the certificates received by both you (the taxpayer) and your spouse are required If you are married out of community of property, only the certificates that you receive are required

For how long am I expected to keep the supporting documents?
You are required to keep all supporting documents for a period of five (5) years from the date of submission of the return as SARS may request these documents to verify the information declared on your income tax return.

How is the income received by me treated if I am married in community of property to my spouse?
Income received by (or accrued to) a taxpayer (other than that from the carrying on of any trade, but including investment income and capital gain transactions), is deemed to accrue to the spouses in equal portions.

I worked outside South Africa, in another country, for a South African company, how do I treat my remuneration/income?
Remuneration as a result of services rendered for an employer outside South Africa is exempt from tax in terms of section 10(1)(o)(ii) of the Income Tax Act if:

I received pension outside South Africa, do I pay tax on this amount?
Pensions received by or accrued to a resident under the social security system of another country are exempt from normal tax in South Africa

In the past I was employed outside South Africa, in another country, and I received pension. Do I pay tax on this amount?
Any pension received or accrued to any resident from a source outside South Africa which is not deemed to be from a South African source,

I work for a foreign government in South Africa, what are the tax implications?
In terms of Section 10(1)(c)(iii) any remuneration paid to any person of a foreign diplomatic or consular mission in South Africa is exempt from normal tax in South Africa on condition

I am not a South African resident and I work in South African for a foreign government, what are the tax implications?
The remuneration paid to any domestic or private servants of the employees who work for a foreign government in South Africa is also exempt from normal tax

How does SARS treat insolvent taxpayers?
Based on legislation a person (purely for personal income tax purposes) may be issued with up to three tax reference numbers to finalise his/her estate.

How do I declare investment income on my return if I am married in community of property?
The total amount of your investment income must be declared even if you are married in community of property, as SARS will do the necessary apportionment.

I donated some money to my child who is a minor, do I declare?
You are liable for tax on any income received by/accrued to/in favour of any of your minor children if such income arises from a donation, settlement or other disposition by:

Do I use foreign currency to declare foreign income?
All foreign income must be declared in South African currency.

Does SARS accept the financial statements in foreign currency for the foreign income received?
Although financial statements drawn up in another currency are acceptable as supporting documents, if so requested by SARS it must be translated to South African currency.

What does SARS mean by annual payments?
These are examples of annual payments: the Annual bonus, Incentive bonus, Leave pay (on resignation/encashment), Merit awards.

is a fringe benefit?
Fringe benefits usually refer to non-cash benefits granted to employees, but do not constitute cash payments made. These fringe benefits will be reflected on your tax certificate

What does IT48 stand for?
Income from local Farming Operations.

What will happen if I get disconnected while still talking to the Agent?
You’ll be taken back to the Help-You-eFile screen. Simply, provide your SARS Agent with the same session ID number you provided before to let your SARS Agent re-connect.

Can a registration for income tax be backdated?
The registration for income tax may be backdated to the tax year you were first liable.

Can a taxpayer withdraw a Notice of Objection?
A taxpayer can withdraw a Notice of Objection. The request must be submitted in writing.

I want to upload supporting documents requested by SARS, how do I do that on the mobile app?
Review the letter sent by SARS on the ITR12workpage; select the 'add document' icon; choose location to upload your documents from then select the 'submit documents' icon to submit to SARS.

Do I need to enable fingerprints to complete my income tax form on the eFiling app?
If your device has biometrics capabilities, you may select to enable biometrics. If your device has no biometric capabilities you will select the option 'no thanks' to skip the option of capturing finger prints.

Do I have to log out of eFiling to start the Help-You-eFile session?
You don’t have to log out. You do need to save all your information before you start your Help-You-eFile session.

How do I get a Notice of Registration?
The Notice of registration for individuals (IT150) can be obtained from: - SARS MobiApp; - eFiling; - SARS Contact Centre on 0800 00 SARS(7277); - nearest SARS branch

How long is a tax directive valid for?
A tax directive is only valid for the tax year or period stated on the directive.

Where can one register for eFiling?
Register on the SARS eFiling App downloadable from App stores from your mobile device; the SARS website (www.sars.gov.za) and at the nearest SARS branch office.

Will HYEF work on the SARS eFiling App?
HYEF will not be available on the SARS eFiling App.

On the SARS eFiling App will you have the option to work off-line?
The SARS eFiling App has offline capability.

Will the taxpayer be able to request a Tax compliance status on the SARS eFiling App?
Not at the moment

Can I download the SARS eFiling App for free?
Yes.

Can I update the SARS eFiling App for free?
No, the service data charges will apply for updates.

How will SARS treat cryptocurrencies?
SARS will apply general tax principles and tax the income or capital gains that are received or accrued to the taxpayer.

What is meant by a 'spot rate'?
The term 'spot rate' means the appropriate quoted exchange rate at a specific time by any authorised dealer in foreign exchange for the delivery of currency.

How do I register on the SARS app or SARS MobiApp?
Download our enhanced SARS MobiApp from the Google Play Store (Android) or App Store (Apple devices) and click the 'Register' button.