The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has published its tax statistics for the 2020 financial year, providing a breakdown of what the average taxpayer looks like in South Africa.
The report shows that most assessed taxpayers are based in Gauteng, and that the province also has the highest average taxable income at R435,239.
This is followed by Western Cape at R363,758, Limpopo at R346,517, Mpumalanga at R342,393, KwaZulu-Natal at R329,141 and Northern Cape at R320,289.
Meanwhile, the Eastern Cape and Free State Province have the next lowest average taxable income at R307,202 and R291,409 respectively.
SARS’ data also shows a clear difference between female and male taxpayers.
When looking at the number of individuals with taxable income between zero and R500,000, males on average were 8.5% higher than females.
However, as taxable income increased the proportion of females declined significantly. Only 32% of taxpayers with taxable income between R750,000 and R1 million in 2019 were females.
This proportion declines further to only 14.1% of those with taxable income of more than R5 million.
The proportion of females as a percentage of the total number of taxpayers assessed increased from 43.8% in 2016 to 45.8% in 2019. This was mainly due to more females than males becoming liable for submitting tax returns.
Distribution by source of income
The report shows that nearly 4.3 million individual taxpayers received income in 2019 from remuneration, pensions or annuities.
More than 2.8 million of these taxpayers also received annual payments in the form of bonuses or leave pay.
In 2019 almost 339,000 individual taxpayers earned local interest income that exceeded the exemption limit applicable for interest.
Interest from a South African source earned by any natural person under 65 years of age, up to R23,800 per annum, and persons 65 years and older, up to R34.500 per annum, is exempt from taxation.
The taxable portion of local interest increased from R18.9 billion in 2016 to R28.9 billion in 2019.
The number of taxpayers with taxable foreign interest increased from 216,706 in 2016 to 236,386 in 2019.