2022 Tax Companion

tax return
14 Jul 2022

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about tax

Tax season has come around again, and we have put together FAQs to help you through various stages during your tax return. These are our top 10 FAQs about income tax.

Our clients are reminded that they can contact us for further advice or assistance on any of these questions.

1. Who needs to register for income tax?

Any natural person or entity who receives taxable income above the tax threshold (i.e. the amount above which income tax becomes payable) must register for income tax. If you would like to register, but are not sure how, click here to view our short video.

2. What is an income tax return?

An income tax return is a declaration of all income earned, capital gains or losses realised, and allowable deductions claimed in a tax year by an individual or entity. The income tax return SARS issues to individuals is called an ITR12 return, whilst the income tax return SARS issues to companies is called an ITR14 return.

3. Do I need to submit an income tax return?

If you are registered for income tax, you will be required to submit an annual income tax return to SARS. For more tax tips like these, click here.

4. When does the tax season start?

1 July to 24 October 2022
  • Non-provisional taxpayers who file online; and
  • Non-provisional taxpayers who cannot file online can do so at a SARS branch by appointment only.
1 July to 23 January 2023
  • Provisional taxpayers including Trusts may file via eFiling or SARS MobiApp.

During this period, you will need to submit an income tax return to SARS (unless you have been auto assessed* and accepted the outcome of the assessment). * Auto assessments are covered in question 8 below.

5. How do I submit a tax return?

You must first register as a taxpayer via SARS eFiling. Once you are registered, you can submit your return via eFiling. If you experience any issues in your tax registration via eFiling, you may register at your nearest SARS branch. Click here to access all the necessary documents you will need to register as a taxpayer.

6. Do I need to pay income tax?

In most circumstances (see below), you have an obligation to pay tax and submit a tax return to SARS if you earn taxable income above the tax threshold.

Examples of income an individual may receive (from which the taxable income is determined) include:

  • Remuneration (income from employment), such as salaries, wages, bonuses and overtime pay;
  • Allowances, fringe benefits 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; and
  • Certain capital gains.

7. What are the tax thresholds?

The tax threshold is the amount of income below which you do not pay any income tax. These thresholds are also determined by the age of the taxpayer and change by tax year. If your annual income is above this amount, you must pay income tax, and if you are permanently employed, your employer will deduct your tax from your salary or wages in the form of PAYE (pay as you earn). Even if the income amount is below the income threshold it is still very important to submit your tax returns.

8. What is a SARS auto-assessment?

During July, SARS will assess a significant number of taxpayers automatically. Taxpayers who are auto assessed will be notified via SMS in July, so there will be no need for you to call SARS or visit a SARS branch. If you are notified by SARS that you have been selected for auto-assessment, do not accept or decline the request, contact us immediately.

9. Is the tax return I submit the only record that SARS receives?

No. Certain financial institutions submit a third-party data file of all your taxable income derived from products held with that financial institution directly to SARS.

10. Do I pay tax in South Africa even if I am non-resident?

Non- residents are taxed on income they receive from a South African source, which may further also be subject to the application of a double taxation treaty.

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Article sourced from Legal&Tax.

See also:

(This article is provided for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. For more information on the topic, please contact the author/s or the relevant provider.)
Johan Swart

Johan Swart is head of Tax at Legal&Tax. He is registered as a Master Tax Practitioner with SAIT and has been with Legal&Tax for 13 years. Read more about Johan Swart


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