What is it?
In 2000 the Minister of Finance announced that an Air Passenger Tax (APT) was to be instituted on chargeable passengers on a chargeable aircraft departing from an airport in the Republic to a destination outside the Republic. This is also applicable to charter companies. For more information refer to Section 47(B) of the Customs and Excise Act No. 91 of 1964.
Who is it for?
The tax is not applicable to domestic flights. It is only applicable to chargeable passengers leaving on an international flight. Operators (airline), registered Agents (those acting on behalf of an operator) or charter operator will be liable for the payment of the APT to SARS on a monthly basis after reconciliation of the passenger manifests. Non carrying passenger, airlines (cargo) will be required to register for APT purposes but will not be liable for APT payments.
How to register?
All operators (airlines), duly appointed agents and charter operator have to register for this tax which can only be done at the Customs and Excise Branch Office at OR Tambo International Airport (ORTIA).
- Copy of company registration documents (issued by the Registrar of Companies and Close Corporations);
- Copy of Operating Certificate (issued by the South African Civil Aviation Authority);
- Proof of banking details (letter from the bank confirming the details); and
- Any other documents/information as may be required by the Commissioner.
Once the above has been received, it will be captured on the SARS system and an APT reference number will be allocated to the operator that applied for registration.
When and how should it be paid?
An Operator, duly appointed agent or charter company is liable to pay SARS, within 21 days after the end of the month during which the amount was collected. Where the 21st day is not a “Business Day” such payment must be made on or before the last “Business Day” prior to the 21st to avoid late payment which may incur interest and possible penalties.
If not already registered on SARS eFiling for other taxes it is required from the Operator, duly appointed agent or charter company to register and use the SARS eFiling service when making payment. EFT payment channel will be closed for APT. All APT account payments from 15 September 2023 will have to be made via the eFiling system. The eFiling link is www.sarsefiling.co.za and the payment rules guide link is https://www.sars.gov.za/gen-paym-01-g01-sars-payment-rules-external-guide/.
New APT System from September 2023:
From 15 September 2023 SARS will be implementing a new system for APT wherein the APT201 returns will now be submitted via eFiling including the payment thereof.
With effect from 15 September 2023 taxpayers will be issued with new APT tax numbers which must be used to register the APT client on eFiling and activate the tax type. It must be noted however that submission of accounts via eFiling will initially only be open to those clients that make use the following banks:
- Standard Bank
- First National Bank
- Citi Bank
The rest of the banks will be migrated in due course and SARS will notify clients accordingly.
It is important to note that even if the APT client does not make use of the above banks they are still required to make use of eFiling to make payment. These clients will in the meantime continue to submit their APT201 returns via the email channel to the Customs and Excise APT Team at OR Tambo International Airport as per the below contact details, however it is important note that payment of these accounts must be made through eFiling,
The APT rates are:
- Standard rate (International flights): R190
- Lower rate (BLNS countries): R100
General queries regarding APT can be directed to:
Presentation: Air Passenger Tax (APT) Modernisation Project