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Personal Income Tax

What’s new?

  • 28 June 2021 – Taxpayers can now request specific Personal Income Tax related services by sending an SMS to SARS on 47277.

    The following additional tax related services are offered to taxpayers via their mobile device. These services can be accessed with or without data/airtime:

    • Request an eBooking appointment
      • Booking (Space) ID number/Passport number/ Asylum Seeker number
    • Confirmation request to determine whether to submit a (PIT) tax return 
      • File (Space) ID number/Passport number/ Asylum Seeker number
    • Request the issuing of the IT150 (Tax Registration Number)
      • TRN (Space) ID number/Passport number/ Asylum Seeker number
    • Request Account related queries (balance statements) and/or provision of Statement of the Account (SOA)
      • Balance (Space) ID number/Passport number/ Asylum Seeker number

    For more detail, see the Guide to SARS Mobile Tax Services.

    Need help?
    If you need help to make use of the SMS service, watch our helpful tutorial video on the SARS YouTube channel by clicking on the image below.

  • 24 February 2021 – Tax Rates changes
As per the Minister of Finance’s Budget Speech on 24 February 2021, for the 2022 year of assessment (1 March 2021 – 28 February 2022), the changes are:
  • R87 300 if you are younger than 65 years.
  • If you are 65 years of age to below 75 years, the tax threshold (i.e. the amount above which income tax becomes payable) increases to R135 150.
  • For taxpayers aged 75 years and older, this threshold is R151 100.
  • 8 December 2020 – Personal Income Tax enhancements implemented

What is it?

Income tax is the normal tax which is paid on your taxable income.

Examples of amounts an individual may receive, and from which the taxable income is determined, include –
  • Remuneration (income from employment), such as, salaries, wages, bonuses, overtime pay, taxable (fringe) benefits, allowances and certain lump sum benefits
  • Profits or losses from a business or trade
  • Income or profits arising from an individual being a beneficiary of a trust
  • Director’s fees
  • Investment income, such as interest and foreign dividends
  • Rental income or losses
  • Income from royalties
  • Annuities
  • Pension income
  • Certain capital gains

Who is it for?

You are liable to pay income tax if you earn more than:

For the 2022 year of assessment (1 March 2021 – 28 February 2022)
  • R87 300 if you are younger than 65 years.
  • If you are 65 years of age to below 75 years, the tax threshold (i.e. the amount above which income tax becomes payable) increases to R135 150.
  • For taxpayers aged 75 years and older, this threshold is R151 100.
For the 2021 year of assessment (1 March 2020 – 28 February 2021)
  • R83 100 if you are younger than 65 years.
  • If you are 65 years of age to below 75 years, the tax threshold (i.e. the amount above which income tax becomes payable) increases to R128 650.
  • For taxpayers aged 75 years and older, this threshold is R143 850.

Top tip:
You do not need to submit a return if ALL the criteria below apply to you:
  • Your total employment income / salary for the year (March 2020 to February 2021) before tax (gross income) was not more than R500 000; and
  • You only received employment income / salary for the full year of assessment (March 2020 to February 2021) from one employer; and
  • You have no car allowance/company car/ travel allowance or other income (e.g. interest or rental income); and
  • You are not claiming tax related deductions/rebates (e.g. medical expenses, retirement annuity contributions other than pension contributions made by your employer, travel).

Still unsure if you need to submit a return? Click here.

The rates of tax chargeable on taxable income are determined annually by Parliament, and are generally referred to as “marginal rates of tax” or “statutory rates”. The rate of tax levied on an individual is set on a sliding scale which results in the tax increasing as taxable income increases. Every year, the Minister of Finance announces the rates to be levied by publishing the applicable tax tables during the annual budget speech.

What steps must I take to ensure compliance?

Step 1: You must register for income tax

If you earn a taxable income which is above the tax threshold (see above), you must register as a taxpayer with SARS.

The various options to register can be viewed on How do I register for for tax​.  All additional tax type registration can be performed from eFiling without having to visit a branch again. You can register once for all different tax types using the client information system.

Step 2: You must submit a return

If you are registered for income tax, you will be required to submit an annual income tax return to SARS. See the Tax Tables.

The 2020 year of assessment (commonly referred to as a “tax year”) runs from 1 March 2019 to 29 February 2020. Every year, SARS announces its Tax Season, a period during which you are required to submit your annual income tax return. The Tax Season for 2020 opened on 1 September 2020. The income tax return which should be completed by individuals is known as the ITR12​ form.

If you have forgotten your password, you can reset by calling our Contact Centre and following a simple procedure.

See the prototype/example ITR12 form.

When should it be submitted?

If you don’t submit your income tax return on time, you may be liable for penalties.

How should it be submitted?

Online: The easiest and quickest way to file a tax return is online, by making use of SARS eFiling or the MobiApp. You must, however, first register for eFiling on the SARS eFiling website or using the MobiApp. 
We have a page where we explain to you in detail how to register for eFiling. Once registered, you can complete the online form to create your return.
Note that you will start by completing the first page of the form which contains several questions regarding the nature of your tax affairs (referred to as a return “wizard”). Completion of this part will automatically tailor the tax return to your specific tax requirements.
In a branch: Tax returns can be submitted at a SARS branch office by making an appointment. To find your nearest branch visit our branch locator.
Top Tip: When completing your return, you will require the following documentation in order to verify the existing, pre-populated information that appears in the return, as well as to complete any remaining portions:
  • IRP5: This is the employees’ tax certificate your employer issues to you.
  • Certificates you received for local interest income earned.
  • Any other documentation relating to income received or accrued, such as remuneration that has not been reported to SARS by your employer, or business or investment income, etc.
  • Details of medical expenses paid and medical scheme contributions made.
  • The relevant certificates reflecting your retirement annuity fund contributions made.
  • A logbook and other documents in support of business travel expenses (if the travel allowance is part of your remuneration or if you have the right of use of a company car taxable benefit).
  • Any other documentation relating to the allowable deductions you wish to claim.

Donations to the Solidarity Fund or to another Public Benefit organisation during the 20/21 Filing Season.

We will help you understand some of the unique features in the 20/21 Filing season, such as the difference between payroll giving and a direct donation; the supporting documents you require and other frequently asked questions.

For more information see the Tax Exempt Institution webpage:

    • See the following important information on the Tax Exempt Institution, Section 18A donations and Solidarity Fund donations:
      • Tax Exempt Institution Fact Sheet 2020/2021
      • Solidarity Fund clarifications 2020/2021
      • Frequently Asked Questions:
        • How do I claim S18A deductions on the ITR12 return?
          To claim donations made by the donor in a personal capacity, the following questions must be answered on the return wizard:
          • Do you want to claim donations made to an approved organization(s) in terms of s18A?
          • How many organizations did you donate to?
            Upon answering these questions, the donation containers for both source codes 4055 & 4011 will open on the return.
        • Which container is applicable for donations made to S18A-approved institutions, other than the Solidarity Fund?  Select source code 4011 (4055 only relates to donations made to the Solidarity Fund during the period April 2020 and September 2020).
        • Which documents are required to support my S18A claim?A valid section 18A certificate provided by a S18A-approved organization. If the donation was made through your employer, the IRP5 certificate issued by your employer will suffice.
        • Where will I see the donations made through my employer on my return?  The amount donated through your employer will be reflected on your IRP5 and will therefore be pre-populated under “Employee Tax Certificate Information [IRP5/IT3 (a)]” on your return
        • How will donations made to the Solidarity Fund during April 2020 to September 2020 via the Employer be indicated on the IRP5 Certificate?  If the donation to the Solidarity Fund was made through the Employer between 1 April 2020 and 30 September 2020, the amount donated will be reflected under the source code 4055 on the IRP5 Certificate and on your ITR12 return on SARS e-Filing. You are not required to capture this amount on your ITR12 return in order to claim a deduction.
        • How will donations made to the Solidarity Fund during 1 – 30 March 2020 and 01 October 2020 to 28 February 2021 via the Employer be indicated on the IRP5 Certificate?  For any donations made to the fund through your employer during  1 – 30 March 2020 and 1 October 2020 to 28 February 2021, the amount donated will be reflected under the source code 4030 of the IRP5 certificate issued by your employer. Please ensure to capture the amount reflected under code 4030 on your IRP5 certificate under code 4011 on your ITR12 return.”
Related Documents

CRA01 – Confirmation of Residential or Business Address for Online Completion – External Form

DT-GEN-01-G02 – Declaration of Dividends Tax via eFiling – External Guide

EMP-ELEC-02-G03 – An Employers Guide to the AA88 Third Party Appointment Process – External Guide

FORM-AD – Request for Tax Deduction Directive Pension and Provident Funds – External Form

FORM-B – Request for Tax Deduction Directive Pension and Provident Funds – External Form

FORM-C – Request for Tax Deduction Directive Retirement Annuity Funds – External Form

FORM-E – Tax Deduction Directive After Retirement and Death Annuity Commutations – External Form

GEN-BO-09-G01-Book an Appointment at a SARS Branch External Guide

GEN-ELEC-11-G01 – Guide to Bulk and Additional Payments on eFiling – External Guide

GEN-ELEC-21-G01 – How to download the new SARS eFiling Browser – External Guide

GEN-PT-01-G01 – Guide for Provisional Tax – External Guide

GEN-REG-48-G01 – Venture Capital Companies – External Guide

IRP3(b) – Application for Tax Directive Fixed Percentage – External Form

IRP3(c) – Application for Tax Directive Fixed Amount – External Form

IRP3(pa) – Application for Tax Directive Freelance Artist – External Form

IRP3a – Application for Tax Directive Gratuities – External Form

IRP6(3) – Payment Advice for the Voluntary Additional Payment of Provisional Tax – External Form

IT-AE-02-G01 – Non Resident Entertainers and Sportspersons – External Guide

IT-AE-36-G02 – Comprehensive Guide to the Income Tax return for Trusts – External Guide

IT-AE-36-G05 – Comprehensive Guide to the ITR12 Income Tax Return for Individuals – External Guide

IT-AE-36-G06 – How to submit your individual income tax return via eFiling – External Guide

IT-AE-45-G01 – Guide to SARS Mobile Tax Services – External Guide

IT-GEN-06-G01 – Guide to the Individual ITR12 Return for Deceased and Insolvent Estates – External Guide

IT-PP-02-G01 – Amounts to be withheld when non resident sells immovable property in SA – External Guide

IT-PT-AE-01-G02 – How to eFile your Provisional Tax Return – External Guide

IT12EI – Return of Income Exempt Organisations – External Form

IT144 – Declaration by Donor – External Form

IT180 – Declaration by Employer to Claim Deduction against Learnerships – External Form

IT3(b) – Certificate of Income Investments Property Rights and Royalties – External Form

IT3(c) – Certificate of Income re Disposal of Unit Trusts or other Financial Instruments – External Form

IT3(e) – Return of Purchases Sales or Shipments – External Form

IT44 – Extract of Income – External Form

IT77C – Application for registration Company – External form

IT77TR – Application for registration Trust – External form

ITR-DD – Confirmation of Diagnosis of Disability – External Form

LAPD-CGT-G07 – Briefing Note on Standard Time Apportionment Calculator

LAPD-Gen-G01 – Taxation in South Africa

LAPD-Gen-G02 – Guide for Tax Rates Duties Levies

LAPD-Gen-G08 – Guide on the Taxation of Professional Sports Clubs and Players

LAPD-IT-G01 – Guide on Income Tax and the Individual

LAPD-IT-G02 – Guide on the Residence Basis of Taxation for Individuals

LAPD-IT-G03 – Guide on the calculation of the tax payable on lump sum benefits

LAPD-IT-G04 – Guide on the Ring Fencing of Assessed Losses Arising from Certain Trades Conducted by Individuals

LAPD-IT-G07 – Guide on the determination of medical tax credits

LAPD-IT-G08 – List of Qualifying Physical Impairment or Disability Expenditure

LAPD-IT-G08a – List of Qualifying Physical Impairment or Disability Expenditure Effective 1 March 2020

LAPD-IT-G09 – Guide on the Tax Incentive for Learnership Agreements

LAPD-IT-G12 – Guide to the Urban Development Zone Allowance

LAPD-IT-G16 – Basic Guide to Income Tax for Public Benefit Organisations

LAPD-IT-G17 – Basic Guide to Section 18A Approval

Frequently Asked Questions

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