Who pays tax?

People who pay income tax are generally individuals who earn taxable income (from a salary, commission, fees, etc.), subject to various exemptions and rebates.

Corporate tax includes tax paid by companies or close corporations, on their annual income. Deceased estates and insolvent estates also pay tax on the income that they earn.  Most of the State’s income is derived from Income Tax (personal and corporate tax), although nearly a third of total revenue from national government taxes comes from indirect taxes, primarily Value-Added Tax (VAT). 


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.  Find out more about the different tax types. 

Top tip: What to do if you need your tax number?

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