What is WTI?
Interest paid is taxed at a final withholding tax rate of 15%.
What exemptions or reduced rates apply for WTI?
- The payor (the person paying the interest)
- The instrument (the instrument giving rise to the interest, e.g. the debt or the investment)
- The foreign person (the recipient of the interest).
- The Government of South Africa (national, provincial or local sphere)
- Any bank, including the South African Reserve Bank (SARB), Development Bank of South Africa or Industrial Development Corporation or
- A headquarter company relating to financial assistance where the headquarter company directly or indirectly holds 10% of the equity and voting rights.
- In connection with listed debt, e.g. bonds listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE)
- Interest payable to any foreigner that is a client, to whom a regulated person provides securities services, acts as an agent for another person about those services in which case it will include the agent or exclude the other person, if the contractual arrangement between the parties shows this to be the intention.
- They are a natural person who was here in South Africa for a period more than 183 days in total during the 12 months before the date when the interest is paid; or
- The debt claim for which interest is paid is effectively connected with a permanent establishment of the foreign person who is registered as a taxpayer in South Africa.
Top Tip: The WTID – Withholding Tax On Interest Declaration must be kept for five years, by the payor, as you may be asked to send it to SARS. As with Dividends Tax, SARS prescribes the content of this declaration. It is the responsibility of the payor to make sure that the declaration made by the foreign person is in the form as prescribed.
When and how should it be paid?
WTI can be paid to SARS only electronically via eFiling, see how to pay via eFiling.
A payor must submit the Return for Withholding Tax on Interest (WT002), which is a summary of the total of all interest payments made and tax withheld during a month, to SARS. The WT002 and the payment must be submitted to SARS before the end of the month after the month in which the interest was paid.
Top Tip: If the last day of the month is a public holiday or weekend, the payment must be made on the last business day before the public holiday or weekend.
What else is needed?
- An IT3(b) – Certificate of Income from Investments, Property Rights and Royalties must be completed and given to the foreigner and SARS.
- Submission of the IT3(b)s to SARS can be done using one of the Third Party Data Submission Platforms. Follow the guidelines for the submission of Third Party Data as set out in the SARS External Business Requirement Specification (BRS) – IT3 Data Submission (2014 version 2.0.3) for submissions periods starting 01 March 2021 and afterwards use the updated SARS IT3 BRS i.e. SARS_External BRS_2020_IT3s_v3.0.0-32.
- IT3(s) – Tax Free Savings/Investments and Withholding Tax on Interest (WTI)
- For the 12 month period 1 March to 28 February due by 31 May of the next year using the updated BRS version 2.0.3 for submissions periods starting 01 March 2021 and afterwards use the updated SARS IT3 BRS i.e. SARS_External BRS_2020_IT3s_v3.0.0-32.
- Only one 12 month submission will be needed for Tax Free Savings/Investments and WTI.