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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Tax Administration Act (Act No. 28 of 2011)

Tax Administration Bill

Tariff ceiling
Any pre-set value or quantity, authorized for importation or exportation of given goods, during a specified period, with a reduction of the normal Customs duties, and beyond which the granting of the said tariff reduction may be suspended until the end of the period in question.

Tariff classification of goods
Determination of the tariff subheading in a tariff nomenclature under which particular goods should be classified.

Tariff description
Description of an article or product in accordance with the terminology used in the tariff nomenclature.

Tariff heading (or subheading)
The textual designation in a tariff nomenclature of a single commodity or a single group of related commodities. Notes : 1. For ease of reference, each tariff heading (or subheading) is identified by a code number which is used, inter alia, for the purposes of Customs declarations. For those countries or Customs or Economic Unions using a tariff based on the Nomenclature of the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (generally referred to as the Harmonized System Nomenclature), this code number may be the heading or subheading number in the Nomenclature of the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System. 2. In certain countries the term "Tariff item" is used instead of "Tariff heading".

Tariff Nomenclature
Any classification and coding system introduced by national administrations or Customs or Economic Unions to designate commodities or groups of related commodities for Customs tariff purposes. Notes: 1. At present, a majority of countries base their tariff nomenclatures on the Nomenclature of the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (generally referred to as the Harmonized System Nomenclature), which comprises General Rules for its interpretation, Section and Chapter Notes and a list of headings arranged in systematic order. 2. Some countries and Customs or Economic Unions combine in one system the requirements for Customs tariff and for external trade statistics.

Tax Act
As defined in section 1 of the TAA means the TAA or an Act, or portion of an Act, referred to in section 4 of the SARS Act, excluding the Customs and Excise Act.

Tax Affairs
The tax obligations of a taxpayer. For example, the returns due for all types of taxes (e.g. PAYE, VAT, STC, etc.) are submitted, deferred arrangements are in place for outstanding taxes, registered details are up to dated, etc.

Tax Clearance Certificate (TCC)
A tax clearance certificate (TCC) is issued by SARS to validate the tax status of a taxpayer, specifically with regard to compliance.

Tax deductible receipt
This is a specific receipt that is issued to a donor by an organisation that has been approved by the Commissioner under section 18A of the IT Act. A taxpayer making a bona fide donation in cash or of property made in kind is entitled to a deduction from his taxable income if the donation is supported by the necessary tax deductible receipt.

Tax Directive
A tax directive (IRP 3) is issued by SARS to instruct the employer / fund how to deduct employees' tax from certain payments where the prescribed tax tables do not cater for certain remuneration or other payments.

Tax offence
In accordance with the definition thereof in section 1 of the TAA, it refers to an offence in terms of a tax Act or any other offence involving fraud on SARS or on a SARS official relating to the administration of a tax Act.

Tax period (Employer)
In relation to any employer, as a period of 12 months ending on the last day of February of the relevant tax year or at the option of the employer, an alternate period, in respect of which remuneration is paid or has become due. In relation to an employee, a tax year (1 March to 28/29 February of the next year) or any unbroken period during the tax year —during which the employee was employed by one employer in the Republic in standard employment; or during which any annuity was paid or became payable to him/her by one employer; or such period as the Commissioner considers appropriate in the circumstances, where the Commissioner has in relation to the employment of any employee, issued a ruling to the employer.

Tax period (VAT)
There are five different tax periods. Category A–2 monthly (ending at the end of every odd month) e.g. January, March, May, July, etc.; Category B–2 monthly (ending at the end of every even month).e.g. February, April, June, etc.; Category C–monthly (taxable supplies greater than R30 million per annum); Category D–6 monthly (certain farmers only); Category E–annually (only in exceptional circumstances for connected persons with only one transaction per year); and Category F– four monthly. Due to a change in legislation from 1 July 2015, the four monthly tax period will no longer be available. Vendors that were registered under Category F will be migrated to, either Category A or B.

Tax Practitioner
A natural person who provides tax advice for reward or who for reward completes or assists in the completion of any documents for submission to SARS.

Tax Return Wizard
Refers to the online version of the ITRR that consists of a series of questions used to determine the personalised containers to be created for that particular income tax return.

Tax supplies
Standard-rated and zero-rated goods or services.

Taxable amount
The amount on which tax is payable.

A person or entity who is liable to pay tax.

Taxpayer representative (Contact)
A person who acts on behalf of a registered taxpayer/trader without being registered as a tax practitioner.

Tax Clearance Certificate

Application for a Tax Clearance Certificate in respect of Tenders & Good Standing

Telephone Configuration System

Transfer Duty

Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement

Team member: treasury
Team member in revenue accounting at head office level

Temporary admission
The Customs procedure under which certain goods can be brought into a Customs territory conditionally relieved totally or partially from payment of import duties and taxes; such goods must be imported for a specific purpose and must be intended for re-exportation within a specified period and without having undergone any change except normal depreciation due to the use made of them (*).

Temporary storage of goods
This is the storing of goods under Customs control in premises and enclosed or unenclosed spaces approved by the Customs pending lodgement of the Customs declaration and obtaining release. The purpose of a temporary storage facility is to provide for the storage of goods until customs formalities have been complied with and release of the goods has been granted. All temporary storage facilities must be approved by Customs, which reserves the right to request security in an acceptable form.

Tenders include written quotations, proposals and bids

Terms of trade
An index measuring the ratio of export prices to import prices.

Tax Exemption Unit
Transfer Duty Receipt

The carriage of goods coastwise procedure
Some countries and Customs or Economic Unions combine in one system the requirements for Customs tariff and for external trade statistics.

The Republic
The Republic of South Africa

The universal postal union
The inter-governmental organization founded in 1874 by the Treaty of Bern as the “General Postal Union” which, in 1878, was renamed the “Universal Postal Union (UPU)” and which since 1948 has been a specialized agency of the United Nations (*). (*) Specific Annex J, Chapter 2 of the revised Kyoto Convention

Third party
Any person who deals directly with the Customs, for and on behalf of another person, relating to the importation, exportation, movement or storage of goods (*). (*) General Annex, Chapter 2 of the revised Kyoto Convention.

Third party data
Data obtained for use from third party organisations

This Act
Includes any proclamation, government notice, regulation or rule issued or made or agreement concluded or deemed to have been concluded there under, any agreement contemplated in Section 49 thereof or any taxation proposal contemplated in Section 58 thereof which is tabled in the National Assembly.

The level of income or money earned above which people or companies must pay tax, or must pay a higher rate of tax.

Taxpayer Interface Officer

Tobacco Industry of SA

Trans-Kalahari Corridor

Team Leader

Team Member

Tariff Management System

Tollies and Heifers
Young bulls and cows that have never bred

Training Outside Public Practice


Third Party Appointment

Technology and Process Division

Taxpayer Services

Taxpayer Service Centre

Trusts return category

Trade balance
The monetary record of a country’s net imports and exports of physical merchandise.

Trade facilitation
The simplification and harmonization of international trade procedures, including activities, practices, and formalities involved in collecting, presenting, communicating, and processing data required for the movement of goods in international trade’ Note: This concept refers to the WTO definition of trade facilitation.

Someone registered or licensed in terms of the Customs and Excise Act, such as an importer or warehouse licensee.

Traditional African Beer
Non clear beer made from sorghum or malt within alcoholic strength of usually less than 5% per volume.

Transport unit
Any means of transporting goods suitable for use in a Customs transit operation or under Customs seal. Notes 1. The term transport-unit means : (a) containers having an internal volume of one-cubic metre or more, including demountable bodies; (b) road vehicles, including trailers and semi-trailers; (c) railway coaches or wagons; (d) lighters, barges and other vessels; and (e) aircraft (*). (*) Specific Annex E, Chapter 1 of the revised Kyoto Convention. 2. Approval of transport-units for transport of goods under Customs seal is dealt with in various international instruments, for example, the Kyoto Convention of 1974 (Annex E.1.), the Customs Convention on Containers, 1972, and the Customs Convention on the international transport of goods under cover of TIR carnets (TIR Convention), 1975.

With respect to dividends, a transaction is defined as the declaring of a dividend, the receipt of a dividend from a declaring company or regulated intermediary and the passing of the dividend to a regulated intermediary or the payment of a dividend to beneficial owners.

Transaction period
A transaction period relates to the month in which a dividend was paid or became payable. Each transaction period will have an associated transaction due date. The transaction due date will always be the last business day of the month following the date the dividend was paid or became payable. E.g. if a dividend was paid to a beneficial owner in May, the transaction period will be May and the transaction due date will be the last business day of June.

Transaction year
The tax year during which the employer deducted and paid employees’ tax in respect of remuneration paid or payable to an employee. This could include employees’ tax on remuneration which accrued during a previous tax year.

The Customs procedure under which goods are transferred under Customs control from the importing means of transport to the exporting means of transport within the area of one (1) Customs office (control area) which is the office of both importation and exportation.

Refer to definition “removal of goods in transit”.

Transit bond - note
National Customs document providing authority for goods to be conveyed in Customs transit without prior payment of import duties and taxes, generally containing all the particulars necessary for the assessment, where appropriate, of import duties and taxes, and an undertaking, covered by security, to produce the goods at the Customs office of destination with Customs seals intact.

Transit shed
A storage facility, approved by Customs, normally situated within a Customs controlled area at the place of entry / exit for the purpose of temporary storage of unlearned goods until due entry has taken place in terms of Section 38.

(1) Any person who temporarily enters the territory of a country in which he or she does not normally reside (“non-resident”) or who leaves that territory; and (2) any person who leaves the territory of a country in which he or she normally resides (“departing resident”) or who returns to that territory (“returning resident”) (*). (*) Specific Annex J, Chapter 1 of the revised Kyoto Convention.

Traveller card
A form used by persons upon arrival in and departure from South Africa to declare possession of restricted or prohibited goods, goods in excess of the duty free allowance (DFA), currency held and goods intended for commercial trade.

A function within Revenue Accounting.

Any trust fund consisting of money or other assets which are administered and controlled by a person acting in a fiduciary capacity, and the person is appointed under:
  • A deed of trust or
  • By agreement or
  • Under the will of a person that has died.

See more information on the different types of trust.

In addition to every person appointed or constituted as such by act of parties, by will, by order or declaration of court or by operation of law, includes an executor or administrator, tutor or curator, and any person having the administration or control of any property subject to trust, usufruct, fideicommissum or other limited interest or acting in any fiduciary capacity or having, either in a private or in an official capacity, the possession, direction, control or management of any property of any person under legal disability.

Turnover Tax

Taxpayer, Trader, Tax practitioner and Taxpayer representative

Turnover tax
A form of presumptive tax which is calculated on the tax liability of a taxpayer based on certain assumptions. Presumptive taxes are used mainly in developing countries where formalisation and accurate record-keeping are difficult for a large portion of the businesses.


Last Updated: 20/07/2016 2:03 PM     print this page
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