How much you will be taxed in South Africa in 2021 – based on what you earn

Finance minister Tito Mboweni has outlined the new tax brackets for personal income taxpayers in his Budget speech 2021 on Wednesday (24 February).

“The personal income tax brackets will be increased by 5%, which is more than inflation,” he said. “This will provide R2.2 billion in tax relief. Most of that relief will reduce the tax burden on the lower and middle-income households.”

The minister said that if you are earning above the new tax-free threshold of R87,300, you will have at least an extra R756 in your pocket from 1 March 2021.

The below table shows the personal income tax rates from 1 March 2021 to 28 February 2022 for individuals and trusts in South Africa:


Announcing the projected budget for the next three years, Treasury said this adjustment will reduce tax revenue by R2.2 billion. A previous announcement to introduce tax measures to raise R40 billion has also been withdrawn.

This comes after many South Africans found themselves unemployed due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Economic activity was halted when government implemented a hard lockdown at the end of March last year.

“Most of the relief benefits lower and middle-income households. If the tax tables were not adjusted this would have raised R11.2 billion,” Treasury said.

“An inflationary adjustment will apply to the value of medical tax credits, which will increase from R319 to R332 for the first two members, and from R215 to R224 for all subsequent members,” the department said ahead of the tabling of the 2021 Budget.”

Treasury said the minimum value for paid-up retirement annuities has not been adjusted since 2007/08. This value will increase from R7,000 to R15,000 from 1 March 2021.

“To support the economic recovery, government will not raise any additional tax revenue in this Budget.

“Substantial tax increases in previous years have raised less revenue than anticipated due to their impact on taxpayer behaviour and growth.

“Tax increases initially proposed in the June 2020 special adjustments budget are withdrawn.

“Given the better-than-expected revenue performance in the second half of 2020/21, there is no longer a need to implement these measures and their withdrawal will not widen the budget deficit.”

The expected revenue loss will be offset by an increase in excise duties on tobacco and alcohol.

The National Treasury said, meanwhile, that government proposes an inflation-related increase of 15 cents/litre in the general fuel levy and a higher-than-inflation increase of 11 cents/litre in the Road Accident Fund levy, with effect from 7 April 2021.

Read: South Africa beer, wine and cigarette prices to go up

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How much you will be taxed in South Africa in 2021 – based on what you earn