Starting work and SARS


Here is a very simple guide to how much tax you will have to pay and when. We’ll also show you what you must do and how you must do it.

How much? It’s simple you pay tax when you begin to earn income of more than the agreed amount that year and you pay it all your working life up to the age of 65. This tax is worked out on a sliding scale, see this scales in the latest documents below.

And when?

Tax works in tax years. The year starts 1st March and ends 28th February. (Except of course in a leap year when it will be 29th February). You need to submit a return in Tax Season. See our Tax Calendar.

What about other income?

Yes, you do pay tax on other income you may have. So, for example, tax applies on:

  • Income from business activities
  • Income from directorships
  • Income from trusts
  • Investment income
  • Rental income
  • Royalties income
  • Certain capital gains
  • And when you are older on annuities & pensions
  • What must I do?

You must register as a taxpayer with SARS. You can register through your employer via SARS eFiling or register at your nearest SARS Branch.

TOP TIP: Don’t do this in Tax Season as the queues can be long. Best time of year is in December to June. See your local branch page for the best time of day to visit and where to park.

To file a return you need an ITR12 which is tailored to your specific tax situation.

What does my employer do?

They withhold Employees tax from your salary and pay it to SARS monthly. Certain amounts can be deducted from your salary before Employees Tax is worked out such as money you might be saving towards a pension, medical aid and some insurance premiums. See our guide Income Tax and the individual.

So what happens?

As your employer deducts tax in the form of PAYE on a monthly basis from your income (Salary), all you need to do is submit the tax return when tax season opens in June each year. It closes at teh end of November, and penalties might apply if it remains un-submitted.