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.

Last Updated: 19/03/2015 3:20 PM     print this page
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