FAQ: 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. By contrast, non-residents are taxed on their income from a South African source. Foreign taxes proved to be payable to a foreign government may generally be credited against South African tax payable on foreign income.

To check if you need to register and pay tax follow these steps:

  1. Find out if you are a resident or a non-resident
  2. Register for income tax
  3. Verify if a Double Taxation Agreement (DTA) exist between South Africa and the foreign country
  4. Determine if you need to submit a return
  5. Will any of my foreign employment income be taxable in South Africa?
  6. Register for eFiling.

Should you need more help, please call the SARS Contact Centre on 0800 00 7277 or visit your nearest SARS branch before you leave.

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