Print Page
News & Press: Opinion

10 things you should know about tax in South Africa

Wednesday, 11 November 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Author: BusinessTech
Share |

Author: BusinessTech

The 2015 Tax Statistics bulletin, jointly published by the South African Revenue Service (SARS) and Treasury, shows that while there are 16.8 million registered individual taxpayers in South Africa, not all are required to submit returns.

The number of individuals expected to submit income tax returns increased from 6.1 million in 2011, to 6.6 million in 2014, the report said.

Tax revenue collected by SARS amounted to R986.3 billion in the year ended March 2015 – 9.6% higher than the previous fiscal year.

The 2015 Tax Statistics Bulletin provides an overview of tax revenue collection and tax return information for the 2010/11 to 2014/15 fiscal years‚ and the 2011 to 2014 tax years respectively.

The bulletin showed that there were 4.9 million individuals‚ working for 429‚691 employers‚ who were assessed who contributed to Personal Income Tax (PIT).

BusinessTech identified 10 important statistics from the report:

  1. Assessments for 2014 resulted in 67.4% of taxpayers receiving refunds, 19.9% owing SARS after assessment and 12.7% having no liability after assessment;
  2. The tax-to-GDP ratio increased from 24.9% in 2013/14 to 25.7 % in 2014/15  exceeding the long-term average of 24%. This is below the peak of 26.4% achieved in 2007/08;
  3. There were 2.9 million registered companies (of which about 800,000 submit  income tax returns)  as at 31 March 2015 and 679,274  registered VAT  vendors of which 420,940(62%)  were active;
  4. SARS assessed 652‚847 companies. A quarter (26%) had positive taxable income (profit); 45% had taxable income equal to zero and the remaining 29% reported an assessed loss;
  5. Donations tax is levied at a rate of 20% on the value of the donation. An annual exemption of R100,000 is available to natural persons;
  6. PIT was the largest source of total revenue collected for 2014/15 totalling R353.9-billion (35.9%). VAT was the second largest contributor‚ amassing R261.3-billion (26.5%) and Corporate Income Tax (CIT) was third with R186.6-billion (18.9%);
  7. 67% of the 2014 assessed individual taxpayers had taxable income below R250,000‚ earned 31.7% of the total taxable income and contributed 14% of the tax assessed;
  8. 9.7% of the 2014 taxpayers had taxable income above R500‚000 and were liable for 57.4%of the tax assessed;
  9. The value of payments at branch offices reduced from 12.8% in 2010/11 to only 0.2% in 2014/15. As much as 73.2% is done via e-filing, with 26.6% done via banks;
  10. According to SARS, tax relief provided to individuals during the period 2010/11 to 2014/15 amounted to R40.7 billion.

This article first appeared on 



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.

  • Tax Practitioner Registration Requirements & FAQ's
  • Rate Our Service

    Membership Management Software Powered by YourMembership  ::  Legal