FAQs for Tax Relief on Excise Duty

See our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the Payment Deferral of Excise Duty Payments on Alcohol as included in the 2021 Tax Relief Measures:

What is this about?

National Treasury announced a fiscal package, outlined by President Cyril Ramaphosa on 25 July 2021, in response to the continuing COVID -19 pandemic. The relief is applicable to tax compliant businesses in the alcohol sector who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown restrictions.

What type of relief is available?

 SARS will provide deferrals of up to three months for excise duty payments by tax compliant licenses in the alcohol sector. The relief is intended to assist businesses that are under pressure in terms of cash flow and their payment obligations towards SARS.

Do I automatically qualify for excise payment deferral?

There is no automatic qualification.  Tax compliant licensees in financial distress due to COVID-19 that satisfy any one or more of the criteria as set out in rule 105.02(a)(i-iv) of the Customs & Excise Act no.91 of 1964, will be considered for payment deferral.

What must I do to be a tax compliant licensee?

In order to qualify for the emergency tax measures, you must be tax compliant, which means that you:

  • Are registered for all required taxes
  • Have no outstanding returns for any taxes you are registered for
  • Have no outstanding debt for any taxes you are registered for, excluding
  • Instalment payment arrangements
  • Compromise of tax debt
  • Payment of tax suspended pending objection or appeal.

How do I apply for this relief?

Licensees must apply in terms of rules 105.01 to 105.04 of the Customs & Excise Act no. 91 of 1964 as amended, for deferral of payment and each case will be considered on its merits.  Requests can be submitted to the following mailbox: [email protected]

Can an application in terms of rules 105.01 to 105.04 of the Customs & Excise Act no. 91 of 1964 be refused?

Yes, an application can be refused.

When did National Treasury announce the tax relief measures for the alcohol sector?

On the 28th of July 2021, National Treasury published an explanatory note on the emergency tax measures in response to the continuing Covid-19 pandemic to explain the support that Government is giving to affected businesses.

Where can I get information on other tax relief measures?

Please use this link to read more about other COVID-19 tax relief measures.

PAYE tax relief period

The tax relief for PAYE is available to qualifying businesses for the three month period from 1 August 2021 to 31 October 2021. The first deferment can be claimed in your August 2021 EMP201 return, which is due by 7 September 2021.

To claim tax relief for PAYE:

  • Complete the EMP201 as per normal with the full PAYE Liability (the form will calculate the PAYE payable at 100%, you cannot change this value)
  • Calculate the Total Payable as 65% of the PAYE Liability plus SDL Payable plus UIF Payable.


  • SARS will issue a Statement of Account, reflecting the tax relief (deferred amount) for PAYE and the total amount payable for that respective period
  • If your payment is made late, you will forfeit the benefit of the tax relief for PAYE and SARS will impose penalties and interest on the calculated Total Payable.
  • Check your Statement of Account after 48 hours of submitting the EMP201 to make sure that SARS has not revoked the discount due to non-compliance

 PAYE deferral months

For period

File in


August 2021

September 2021

* month 1 of relief

September 2021

October 2021

* month 2 of relief

October 2021

November 2021

* month 3 of relief

Payment of the deferred PAYE liability

After the 7th of November 2021, SARS will determine the four equal payments for the total amount that you have deferred and include it in your monthly Statement of Account. Payments will be made over a four month period that will commence on 7 December 2021 with the last payment due by 7 March 2022.

Excise compliant clients who have been financially impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic can apply for instalment payments as per criteria set out in rules 105.01 to 105.04 of the Customs & Excise Act no. 91 of 1964.

Who falls within the alcohol sector in relation to the tax measures that were announced?

Licensees of Customs and Excise warehouses for traditional African beer, beer, wine, vermouth, other fermented beverages, spirits and spirituous beverages.

When does the tax relief start?

Applications in terms of rules 105.01 to 105.04 of the Customs & Excise Act no. 91 of 1964 as amended, for the deferment of excise duty payments can be submitted with immediate effect from the time the announcement was made on 28 July 2021.

Once the deferral committee has considered the application and if it is approved, the committee will confirm the period of the payment deferral for the taxpayer.

What happens if I had 0 sales in July 2021 due to alcohol sale restrictions, does it mean I will not make any payments to SARS?

If there was no activity on the July 2021 excise account and no excise duty needs to be brought into account, then a nil excise account must be completed and submitted for the month of July 2021.  A nil excise account would mean that no excise duty is payable.

What will the repercussions be if I did not pay my June 2021 excise account which was due on 29 July 2021 on time and my application for deferment of excise duty payments is refused?

If a licensee submits an application for deferral on 29 July 2021, and the application is approved they would not be liable for penalties and interest. However, if the application is refused the licensee will be liable for penalties and interest.

I had a payment due on Friday, 29 July 2021, am I expected to pay?

June excise duty account payments which were due and payable on the 29th of July 2021 remain due and payable.  Applications for deferment of these payments which are received prior to or by 29th July, may be considered.

Can I do the application for deferment of excise duty payments for the next three months or do I have to do a separate application each month?

A licensee can make an application for the next three months if they can motivate why such an extension is needed.

Please note: it is of that utmost importance that you, as the licensee, familiarise yourself with Rules 105.01 to 105.04 of the Customs and Excise Act No.91 of 1964, with regard to applications for deferral of payment of excise duties.

See Rule 105 of the Customs and Excise Act, 1964, is outlined on pages 811 to 814 on the link. 



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