This glossary describes some of the terms used on the SARS website. While every effort has been made to present accurate and up-to-date definitions, this glossary should be used as an interpretive aid only and not as an authority. SARS will not be liable for any damages of whatsoever nature arising out of the use of, reference to or reliance on any of the definitions contained herein.
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D coded case
Cases registered on the PAYE system for SDL purpose only.

A representation of information, knowledge, facts, concepts or instructions which are being or have been prepared, in a formalised manner and is intended to be processed, is being or has been processed in a computer system or network and may be in any form (including computer printouts, magnetic optical storage media, punched cards and punched tapes) or stored internally in the memory of the computer.

Refers to a business day as contemplated in section 1 of the TAA, unless specified otherwise.

Debit journal

Deputy Chief Operations Officer

Detector Dog Unit

Debt-service cost
The cost of interest on government debt.

The individual act by which the Customs decide upon a matter relating to Customs law (*).

Any natural or legal person who makes a Customs declaration or in whose name such a declaration is made.The declarant may be any natural or legal person who makes a Customs declaration whether in his / her own name and on his / her own behalf or in the name and on behalf of another natural or legal person or in his / her own name but on behalf of another natural or legal person. A natural person is any individual human being. A legal person is a person(s) representing a company, firm organisation, closed corporation etc.

The entity/ legal entity that declared the dividend (also referred to as the issuer of the dividend).

Declaration date of a dividend
The date of declaration of a dividend, whether in cash or otherwise, is the date of payment by a company or close corporation or the date of the prior approval of the declaration by the directors or members.

Declaration of arrival or declaration of departure
Any declaration required to be made or produced to Customs authorities upon the arrival or departure of a means of transport by the person responsible for the means of transport or his / her agent and containing the necessary particulars relating to the means of transport and to the journey, cargo, stores, crew or passengers.

Declaration of origineclaration of origin
An appropriate statement as to the origin of the goods made in connection with their importation or exportation, by the manufacturer, producer, supplier, importer, exporter or other competent person on the commercial invoice or any other document relating to the goods.

For Customs is the act whereby a person indicates (on a single administrative document or SAD form) the wish to place goods under a given Customs procedure such as importation, exportation, removing in bond/transit or moving across the borders between the SACU countries.

Deductive method
Where the customs value is derived from the selling price of the imported goods.

Deemed Property of the Deceased
Deemed Property of the Deceased includes:
  1. Any amount due and recoverable under any policy of insurance which is a life policy issued or payable in South Africa (subject to certain conditions having been met);
  2. Any property donated by the deceased in terms of a donation which is exempt from donations tax, if that property is not otherwise included as property of the deceased for purposes of the Estate Duty Act;
  3. Any amount of any claim acquired by the deceased estate under the Matrimonial Property Act, 1984 in terms of the accrual system; and
  4. Any property which the deceased was competent to dispose of immediately prior to his or her death.
Deferred payment arrangementseferred payment arrangements
Arrangements made for payment to be made at a later date.rrangements are made for payment to be made at a later date.

Departmental transfer
Payment is transferred from one tax type to another.

A sum of money provisionally paid (French : “consignation”), or title deeds, bearer bonds, etc. lodged as security for the payment of such duties, taxes or other sums as may become chargeable.

Depreciation (capital)
A reduction in the value of fixed capital as a result of wear and tear or redundancy.

Depreciation (exchange rate)
A reduction in the external value of a currency.

De-register or de-registration
Refers to the act of removing a taxpayer from the tax register, usually when that taxpayer is no longer liable to pay tax.

Department of Foreign Affairs

Daily gross takings

Department of Home Affairs


The Diplomatic Immunities and Privileges Act, no. 37 of 2001.

Diplomatic employer
Any person in a foreign diplomatic mission who has the authority or is responsible to pay any amount by way of remuneration to a locally recruited staff member under the provisions of any law.

Department of International Relations and Cooperation.

Direct deposits
The deposit of funds directly into a bank account as a form of payment.

A “disability”, as defined in section 6B(1) of the IT Act means – a moderate to severe limitation of a person’s ability to function or perform daily activities as a result of a physical, sensory, communication, intellectual or mental impairment. The disability must be diagnosed by a duly registered medical practitioner, and that disability must have lasted or has a prognosis of lasting more than one year.

Any event, act, forbearance or operation of law which results in a creation, variation, transfer or extinction of an asset (e.g. sale or transfer).
Displaced Employee (for ETI purposes only)
An employee that has been discharged from their service and has been replaced with a qualifying employee with the intention of benefiting from the ETI.
Disposal date
The date on which an agreement is concluded. If there are suspensive conditions in the agreement (such as, the sale is subject to the purchaser obtaining financing from a bank), the time of disposal is when the suspensive condition is fulfilled.

A disagreement on the interpretation of either the relevant facts involved or the law applicable thereto, or of both the facts and the law.
Distinct persons (ITR12T)
Distinct persons mean each person that has taken part in any of the listed transactions (on the first page of the return) at least once.
E.g. Taxpayer A received a distribution from the trust for non-taxable income and has granted the trust a loan. This will be considered to be 2 distinct persons.

Diverting goods
Removing goods in bond to a destination other than the destination declared on entry for removal in bond or delivering such goods or causing such goods to be delivered in South Africa except in the control of the Controller/Branch Manager at the place of destination.

Dividend cycle
A dividend cycle is the period between dividend declaration dates. A dividend cycles begin immediately after the previous cycle has ended. A dividend cycle ends on the date on which a dividend accrues to a shareholder.

Dividend declarant
The entity/ legal entity that declared the dividend (also referred to as the issuer of the dividend).

Dividend declare date
The date on which a dividend is declared by a company.

Dividend declared
Approval of the payment or distribution of a dividend by the directors of a company or by any other person with comparable authority or, in the case of the liquidation of a company, the liquidator thereof.

Dividend declaring entity
The entity/legal entity that declared the dividend (also referred to as the issuer of the dividend).

Dividend in specie
A dividend paid in a form other than cash.

Dividend withholding tax
Dividends tax is withheld and paid to SARS by the company paying the dividend or by a regulated intermediary (i.e. a withholding agent).

A dividend is defined in section 1(1) of the Income Tax Act, and means any amount transferred or applied by a company for the benefit or on behalf of any person in respect of a share in that company (excluding a return of contributed tax capital, the issue of capitalisation shares and certain buy-back of shares by a listed company).

Dividends Tax (DT)
Dividends Tax (DT) is a tax levied on shareholders (beneficial owners of dividends) when they receive dividend distributions from companies.

Dividends tax liability
Dividends tax payable by a company that declared and paid a dividend in specie or dividends tax payable by the beneficial owner in respect of a cash dividend.

Division of revenue
The allocation of funds between the spheres of government as required by the Constitution.

Debt Management

Department of Minerals and Energy

Delegation of Authority

Any medium designed to carry a record of data entries, including magnetic tapes and disks, microfilms, etc. Note: This term is defined in Annex J.1. to the Kyoto Convention of 1974.

Document checking area
The Document Checking Area is a dedicated area within the scanning facility (within the received & sort area) within which the sorting accuracy of pre-sorted documents (received from scanning preparation) will be checked. Documents will be checked against the following criteria: Applicability to the Scanning Strategy; and Document quality and suitability for scanning.

Documentary evidence of origin
A certificate of origin, a certified declaration of origin or a declaration of origin (*). (*) Annex D.2. to the Kyoto Convention of 1974 and Specific Annex K, Chapters 2 and 3 of the revised Kyoto Convention.

Domicilium Citandi et Executandi
Address for legal purposes

Donations Tax
Donations tax is a tax payable on the value of property disposed of by a resident by means of a donation.
Donor/Founder/Settlor of a trust
Is the person who starts the process leading to the creation of a trust and establishes the terms of the trust. The property may be transferred to a trustee to be held in trust or may declare a trust of the property which is already held.

A domesticated ass

Double Taxation Agreement (DTA)
An agreement between two countries to prevent income that is taxed in one country from being taxed in the other country as well.

Department of Public Works

Data Quality Programme

Depository Receipts

When part or all of the import duties are refunded to importers after the following conditions are met: a) importer is registered in terms of the Act - Schedule 5 Part 1; b) goods are manufactured from imported products; and c) End products have been legally exported out of the Customs Union

Drawback procedure
The Customs procedure which, when goods are exported, provides for a refund (total or partial) to be made in respect of the import duties and taxes charged on the goods, or on materials contained in them or consumed in their production (*). (*) Annex E.4. to the Kyoto Convention of 1974 and Specific Annex F, Chapter 3 of the revised Kyoto Convention.

Drop box
SARS managed/owned container for the submission of documents and/or payments to SARS.

In line with Schedule 6 of the Customs and Excise Act, "dry" or "contracted or hired on a dry basis" means that any vehicle, vessel, machine or any other equipment whatsoever using distillate fuel is hired or a person using such vehicle, vessel, machine or other equipment is contracted by a user for the purpose of performing any qualifying activity and the user supplies the distillate fuel from eligible purchases.

Dutch Tax and Customs Administration

Department of Trade and Industry

Dual channel system (red/green)
Simplified Customs control system allowing travellers on arrival to make a Customs declaration by choosing between two types of channel. One, identified by green symbols, is for the use of travellers carrying goods in quantities or values not exceeding those admissible duty-free and which are not subject to import prohibition or restriction. The other, identified by red symbols, is for travellers with goods to declare. Note: The purpose of this system is to facilitate rapid baggage clearance and traveller flow.

Due date
Date on which payment of duties and taxes become due (*).

Dummy number
The VAT/PAYE/UIF/SDL systems historically treated unknown payments or a payment with an invalid reference number by allocating these payments to a tax account with a number commencing with 799/499/U99 or L99, which were the dummy numbers. These payments were then investigated and where possible allocated to the correct taxpayer. This process was replaced over time by the SAP clarification process, where any unknown payment or invalidly referenced payment is held until the correct taxpayer is identified and allocated to the taxpayer.  The dummy accounts concept however remained active for specific invalidly referenced payments and other exceptions. SARS is now standardising the unknown payments process and is in the process to discontinue the dummy account concept in the systems to only resolve invalidly referenced or unknown payments via the standard SAP clarification process.

Duties and taxes
Import duties and taxes and/or export duties and taxes (*).

Any duty leviable under the Customs and Excise Act No 91 of 1964. Subject to the provisions of Section 47B, includes any passenger tax leviable under that section and any environmental levy leviable under Chapter VA.

Duty-free shop
Shops under Customs control, generally located in sea ports or airports at which 'travellers, proceeding abroad, may acquire goods free of Customs duties and taxes. These shops usually have storage areas for the goods and such warehouses and shops are managed by Customs as bonded warehouses.

Means, except where it is used in the supply of commercial accommodation, any building, premises, structure, or any other place, or any part thereof, used predominantly as a place of residence of abode of any natural person or which is intended for use predominantly as a place of residence or abode of any natural person, including fixtures and fittings belonging thereto and enjoyed therewith.
Last Updated: 29/03/2019 2:17 PM     print this page
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