Change in tax threshold: What does it mean?

By Martin Hesse Time of article published Jun 11, 2019

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The South African Revenue Service (Sars) says it is concerned that a recent notice in the media about which taxpayers do not have to file a tax return has been misinterpreted, with consumers confusing the filing threshold and the tax threshold.

The tax threshold is the amount of income below which you do not pay any income tax. 

This threshold, for people below the age of 65 for the 2018/19 tax year is R78 150. 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).

The filing threshold is the income amount below which you do not have to file a tax return to Sars. Sars increased this amount from R350 000 to R500 000 for the 2019 filing season. 

However, there are other conditions that must be met before you are excused from filing a return:

  • * Your remuneration was paid from one employer or one source (if you changed jobs during the tax year, or have more than one employer or income source, you must file);
  • * You had no car or travel allowance, a company car fringe benefit, which is considered as additional income;
  • * You did not have any other form of income, such as interest, rental income or extra income from a side business; and
  • * PAYE has been deducted or withheld.

Sars eFiling opens on July 1 and closes on December 4. Branch filing opens on August 1 and closes on October 31. Provisional taxpayers have until January 31, 2020 to file via eFiling.


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