Final warning for 2023 tax returns in South Africa

 ·23 Oct 2023

Monday is the final day non-provisional taxpayers can submit their Personal Income Tax return for 2023.

The 23 October 2023 deadline is for non-provisional taxpayers – provisional taxpayers still have until 24 January 2024 to get their tax affairs in order.

According to the South African Revenue Service, any person who receives income (or to whom income accrues) other than remuneration is a provisional taxpayer.

Most salary earners are not-provisional taxpayers, if they have no other sources of income.

SARS said that it is important to note that receiving an exempt amount from a tax-free savings account does not make you a provisional taxpayer.

According to the tax service, some changes are in effect for payments due in 2023, particularly for those who were auto-assessed.

This year, the payment due date for non-provisional eFilers will be adjusted as follows:

  • For taxpayers who are not in the auto-assessment population, payment due date will be 30 days after a notice of assessment has been issued,

  • For taxpayers who are auto-assessed, payment due date will be 30 days post Filing Season 2023 closing date.

The 23 October deadline also marks the final date for those who do not agree with their auto assessment to amend and file their return on eFiling or the SARS MobiApp.

“Last year, you had 40 days to file a return if you were not happy with your auto-assessment, but this year, we are giving you until the due date of 23 October 2023,” SARS said.

“If an auto-assessment has been issued after 23 October 2023, the 40 business days will start on the date of the notice of the assessment.”

SARS noted that only individuals who were Auto-Assessed would have received an SMS or email.

If you have not yet received a notification from SARS that you were auto-assessed, you must submit your Personal Income Tax Return (ITR12) today.

Those who don’t need to submit

Not all taxpayers need to submit a tax return, however.

A natural person – or estate of a deceased person – is not always required to submit an income tax return if their gross income consists of one of the following:

  • Remuneration not exceeding R500,000 from a single source and employees’ tax has been withheld in respect of that remuneration;
  • Interest income from a South African source (excluding a tax-free investment) not exceeding:
    • R23,800 for a person younger than 65;
    • R34,500 for a person who is 65 years
      or older; or
    • R23,800 for a deceased person’s estate;
  • Dividends where the individual was a non-resident throughout the year of assessment;
  • Amounts received or accrued from tax-free investments
  • A single lump sum received from a pension fund, provident fund, pension preservation fund, provident preservation fund or retirement annuity fund and tax has been deducted in terms of a tax directive.

However, these exemptions do not apply to those in the following circumstances, for example, if a person is:

  • Paid or granted certain allowances/advances relating to business travel, accommodation or subsistence;
  • Granted taxable benefits relating to the use of a motor vehicle; or
  • Any amount was received by or accrued regarding services rendered outside South Africa.

Read: This is how much money SARS sniffed out from South Africa’s richest taxpayers

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