Skills Development Levy

What is SDL?

SDL is a levy imposed to encourage learning and development in South Africa and is determined by an employer’s salary bill.

The funds are to be used to develop and improve skills of employees.

Who must pay SDL?

SDL is due by employers who have been registered. You can register once for all different tax types using the client information system.

Top Tip: Where an employer expects that the total salaries will be more than R500 000 over the next 12 months, that employer becomes liable to pay SDL.

What steps must the employer take?

If an employer becomes liable, they need to register for SDL.

The following employers are exempt from paying SDL—

  • Any public service employer in the national or provincial sphere of Government. (These employers must budget for an amount equal to the levies due for training and education of their employees).
  • Any national or provincial public entity, if 80% or more of its expenditure is paid directly or indirectly from funds voted by Parliament. (These employers must budget for an amount equal to the due  for training and education of their employees).
  • Any public benefit organisation (PBO), exempt from paying Income Tax in terms of Section 10(1) (cN) of the Income Tax Act No.58 of 1962, which only carries on certain educational, welfare, humanitarian, health care, religion, belief or philosophy public benefit activities or only provides funds to these  PBO and to whom a letter of exemption has been issued by the Tax Exemption Unit (TEU).
  • Any municipality to which a certificate of exemption is issued by the Minister of Higher Education and Training.
  • Any employer whose total remuneration subject to SDL (leviable amount) paid/due to all its employees over the next 12 month period won’t exceed R500 000. If this is the reason for exemption, these types of employers are not required to register to pay SDL.

How much do you need to pay?

1% of the total amount paid in salaries to employees (including wages, overtime payments, leave pay, bonuses, fees, commissions and lump sum payments).

The amounts deducted or withheld by the employer must be paid to SARS on a monthly basis, by completing the Monthly Employer Declaration (EMP201). The EMP201 is a payment declaration in which the employer declares the total payment together with the allocations for PAYE, SDL, UIF and/or Employment Tax Incentive (ETI).

A unique Payment reference number (PRN) will be pre-populated on the EMP201, and will be used to link the actual payment with the relevant EMP201 payment declaration.

How and when should it be paid?

It must be paid within seven days after the end of the month during which the amount was deducted. If the last day for payment falls on a public holiday or weekend, the payment must be made on the last business day before the public holiday or weekend.
The following payment methods are available:
  • eFiling
  • Electronic payments through the internet (EFT)
  • At a branch of one of the relevant approved banking institutions.

What happens to the SDL Levy?

The levies are distributed via SETA.

Need help?

Call the SARS Contact Centre on 0800 00 SARS (7277)

To access this page in different languages click on the links below:

  • Sesotho
  • IsiZulu
  • Afrikaans
  • Sepedi
Related Documents

EMP-REG-03-G01 – Guide for completion of Employer Registration application – External Guide

EMP101DIP – Application for Voluntary Registration of a Foreign Diplomatic or Consular Mission – Externa Form

EMP101e – Application for Registration PAYE SDL UIF – External Form

EMP102e – Application for Separate Registration of Business or Branch – External Form

EMP123 – Application for Cancellation of Registration of a Person iro All His Business – External Form

EMP123T – Application for the Cancellation of Registration of a Separately Registered Business – External Form

EMP128 – Confirmation of Partnership – External Form

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

LAPD-IT-G19 – Comprehensive Guide to Dividends Tax

LAPD-IT-G24 – Guide on Mutual Agreement Procedures

Legal-Pub-Guide-Gen01 – Taxation in South Africa

Legal-Pub-Guide-Gen02 – Guide for Tax Rates Duties Levies

PAYE-GEN-01-G01 – Guide for Employers in respect of Tax Deduction Tables – External Guide

PAYE-GEN-01-G04 – Guide for Employers iro Employees Tax for 2015 – External Guide

PAYE-GEN-01-G12 – Guide for Employers iro Employees Tax for 2017 – External Guide

PAYE-GEN-01-G13 – Guide for Employers iro Employees Tax for 2019 – External Guide

PAYE-GEN-01-G14 – Guide for Employers iro Employees Tax for 2020 – External Guide

PAYE-GEN-01-G15 – Guide for Employers iro Employees Tax for 2021 – External Guide

SDL-GEN-01-G01 – Guide for Employers in respect of Skills Development Levy – External Guide

SPPOA – Special Power of Attorney – External Form

TPPOA – Special Power of Attorney to Tax Practitioner – External Form

Frequently Asked Questions

Table of Contents

Last Updated: