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January tax deadline warning for South Africans

Staff Writer 12 January 2023

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has warned taxpayers that the filing season for provisional taxpayers ends on 23 January 2023.

Provisional tax is not a separate tax from income tax – it is a method of paying the income tax liability in advance, to ensure that the taxpayer does not have a large tax debt on assessment.

Any person who receives income other than remuneration is a provisional taxpayer. Most salary earners are, therefore, not-provisional taxpayers, if they have no other sources of income.

According to the definition in the Income Tax Act, a provisional taxpayer is defined  as any:

  • Natural person who derives income, other than remuneration or an allowance or advance or who derives remuneration from an employer who is not registered for employees’ tax (for example, an embassy is not obligated to register as an employer for employees’ tax purposes)
  • Company; or
  • Person who is told by the commissioner that he or she is a provisional taxpayer.

Excluded from being a provisional taxpayer as defined are any –

  • Approved public benefit organisations or recreational clubs that have been approved by the Commissioner in terms of s30 or s30A;
  • Body corporates, share block companies or certain associations of persons that are exempt from tax;
  • Non-resident owner or charterer of ships or aircraft;
  • Natural person who does not earn any income from carrying on any business – provided that person’s taxable income will not be more than the tax threshold;
  • A small business funding entity;
  • A deceased estate.
  • Any association that has been approved by the commissioner

SARS encourages taxpayers to use the revenue collector’s eFiling or the SARS MobiApp, which is a convenient and safe online method to transact with the revenue service.

SARS also noted that those who still prefer to visit SARS branches are reminded to make a booking on our appointment system to ensure an efficient service experience.

This can be done by sending an SMS to 47277 with the word Booking (Space) ID number/Passport number or going to the SARS website and clicking on the ‘Book an Appointment’ icon.

Last year, SARS made significant changes to the 2022 tax filing season with the introduction of auto-assessments in support of its strategic objective of providing clarity and certainty to help foster a culture of voluntary compliance.

“Auto-assessments is a key innovation designed to improve SARS’s service offering to taxpayers. It follows the principle that the best service is no service and will allow SARS to explore the possibility of eventually having no Filing Season, as we know it,” said SARS commissioner Edward Kieswetter.

“We spare no effort in collecting all revenue due to the state and provide a world-class service to taxpayers. This will enable the government to provide basic services to vulnerable individuals and households, including the payment of old age grants and the provision of education and health care services,” Kieswetter added.

Taxpayers and auto-assessment taxpayers are reminded that it is a criminal offence not to file their tax return or to make a declaration that is inaccurate or incomplete – we re-iterate that SARS will impose penalties for both late- as well as incorrect/incomplete declarations,” SARS said.

“We (SARS) are issuing a stern warning to those employers and third parties who are non-compliant that the organization will pursue them as is permitted in law,” said Kieswetter.

“While SARS believes that most taxpayers and traders comply voluntarily and want to do the right thing, we also have measures we can use to enforce compliance. However, such enforcement always remains a last resort,” he added.

January tax deadline warning for South Africans (