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News & Press: SARS operational & eFiling questions

Non-resident migrant worker filing early ITR12 due to their return to home country

15 January 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Author: SAIT Technical
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Author: SAIT Technical

Q: The taxpayer is a non-resident and is native to India. Their work permit has expired and they are due to return to India. I note that one can submit a tax return prior to the commencement of the tax season in three instances; death of the taxpayer, insolvency of the taxpayer, and emigration of the taxpayer. Will the taxpayer's circumstances be considered 'emigration' for the purposes of submitting a tax return prior to the opening of the tax season? 

The primary reason for wanting to submit the tax return prior to the commencement of the tax filing season is that the taxpayer's South African bank accounts will be inaccessible following his departure from South Africa and it is anticipated that there will be a refund of taxes due to him. When a migrant worker is due to leave South Africa and return to their native country, does this constitute emigration for tax compliance purposes and can he submit his tax return prior to the date of submission?

A: With regards to the query it is our view that emigration pertains to leaving SA as your native land to permanently reside in another country which in SA my include applying to the SA Reserve Bank to emigrate and exist your assets. Though in SA it does not mean that you have to relinquish your citizenship. 

In our view the returning of an Indian citizen and tax resident after temporary stay in SA does not constitute emigration. Such persons would therefore be liable to file tax returns in the normal cycle after the end of the tax year.

Disclaimer: Nothing in this query and answer should be construed as constituting tax advice or a tax opinion. An expert should be consulted for advice based on the facts and circumstances of each transaction/case. Even though great care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the answer, SAIT do not accept any responsibility for consequences of decisions taken based on this query and answer. It remains your own responsibility to consult the relevant primary resources when taking a decision.


Section 240A of the Tax Administration Act, 2011 (as amended) requires that all tax practitioners register with a recognized controlling body before 1 July 2013. It is a criminal offense to not register with both a recognized controlling body and SARS.


The Act requires that a minimum academic and practical requirments be set to register with a controlling body. Click here for the minimum requirements of SAIT.

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