Personal Income Tax

What’s new?

  • 25 October 2022 – Filing Season 2022 for individuals
    Thank you for submitting your income tax return on time. Filing Season for non-provisional taxpayers is now closed. The deadline for Provisional taxpayers is 23 January 2023. Not sure if you are a provisional taxpayer?   See the provisional tax definition here.

  • 3 June 2022 – Filing Season 2022 for individuals 
  • 23 February 2022 – See the changes in Tax Rates as announced by the Minister of Finance.

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 taxable income is determined, include the following –
  • 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 profit 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 2023 year of assessment (1 March 2022 – 28 February 2023)
  • R91 250 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) is R141 250.
  • For taxpayers aged 75 years and older, this threshold is R157 900.
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) is 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) is 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.

SARS mobile services

You can send us a query via  SARS Online Query System (SOQS) if you have forgotten your tax reference number, to submit supporting material and more. The SARS Online Query System (SOQS) assists taxpayers who wish to raise queries with SARS without going into a SARS branch. To initiate a query, you will simply need to complete the online form by selecting a Query Type. For more information, see SARS Online Query System – External Guide.

Taxpayers can 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 or see our tutorial video on how to use the SMS services.


What steps must I take to ensure compliance?

When should it be submitted?

Step 1: You must register for income tax

If you earn 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 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 based on the Gazette. See the Tax Tables.
The year of assessment (commonly referred to as a “tax year”) runs from 1 March to 28 February. Every year, SARS announces its Tax Season, a period during which you are required to complete and submit your annual income tax return. The income tax return which should be completed by individuals is known as the ITR12 form.

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.


In July 2022, SARS will assess a significant number of taxpayers automatically. These will be original assessments based on an estimate, and will be based on third-party information readily available to SARS. The information may be received from multiple institutions such as banks, fund administrators, insurers, medical aid schemes and employers. An individual who receives an estimated assessment from SARS has 40 business days from the date of the assessment to submit his or her original return if he or she does not agree with the assessment raised by SARS.

An individual who is auto-assessed, will be notified by short message system (SMS) – so there will be no need for the individual to call SARS or to visit a branch. The SMS will direct the individual to eFiling or the SARS MobiApp to view the Notice of Assessment if he or she is an eFiler. If the individual is not registered for eFiling, an SMS will be sent communicating the summary of assessment results and, in addition, the comprehensive Notice of Assessment will be sent via mail.

An individual who disagrees with the estimated assessment, will be able to request SARS to make an additional or reduced assessment, by submitting an original return with relevant details within 40 business days from the date of assessment.

An individual who is unable to submit an original return within 40 business days after the assessment was made, may request an extension to file the return. SARS may extend the period to submit if SARS receives the request for extension, together with reasonable grounds for requesting the extension, before the expiry of the 40 business days. 

A request for extension that is received after 40 business days from the date of the estimated assessment, may only be granted if –

  • the individual’s request is submitted to SARS within 21 business days after the expiry of the 40 business days, and outlines reasonable grounds for not requesting the extension in time; or
  • the individual’s request is submitted to SARS within three years after the expiry of the 40 business days, and outlines exceptional circumstances for not requesting an extension in time.

The period of any extension that is granted by SARS is within SARS’s discretion, but may not exceed a period of 40 business days, or the date that the original assessment prescribes, whichever is longer.

An individual who has not been auto-assessed during July has not been selected to participate in the auto-assessment programme and, if required to file a return, must proceed to do so.

A business day is any day that is not a Saturday, Sunday or public holiday.

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.
Related Documents

Administration of Deceased Estates – SARS 2022

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

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

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

IRP3(a) – Application for Tax Directive Gratuities – External Form

IRP3(c) – Application for Tax Directive Fixed Amount – 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-AE-46-G01 – How to submit your individual Income Tax return via the SARS MobiApp – External Guide

IT-AE-47-G01 – How to register for the use of the SARS MobiApp – External Guide

IT-AE-48-G01 – How to make payments to SARS via the SARS MobiApp – External Guide

IT-AE-49-G01 – Services offered by SARS via the SARS MobiApp – 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 of a 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-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

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