South African tax returns

Our end-to-end assistance with individual tax returns covers everything from registering as a South African tax payer to calculating and submitting your tax return. We make sure you get the maximum benefit for your tax situation and that you’re always ready come tax season.

We’re fully compliant with South African income tax legislation and always in contact with SARS. This ensures we can make submissions as fast as possible and keep up to date with all process and systems changes.

Individual income tax

We check if you need to register and submit an individual income tax return by doing an assessment of your situation.

Tax registrations

We deal with SARS on your behalf. You won’t need to wait in queues and worry if you’ve brought the right documents. We take care of your income tax registration from start to finish.

Provisional tax

If you receive income other than a salary, you’ll need to register as a provisional taxpayer. Being a provisional taxpayer means you’ll be required to pay your estimated tax in advance. We can assist with registration, calculation and submission to make sure you’re always prepared.

Tax calculations and submissions

We can help you submit the most beneficial SARS tax return for your personal situation. Equipped with expert knowledge and years of tax experience, we advise, calculate and submit for you.

Voluntary disclosure applications (VDP)

SARS has set up a programme to allow taxpayers to make a disclosure to avoid prosecution. If you have any outstanding tax affairs and are facing penalties, we can put together your VDP application and submit it to SARS. We will mediate an agreement to waiver any penalties and correct your standing with SARS.

Tax file maintenance

By law, all tax-related files need to be kept for five years. It can get quite confusing trying to keep track of everything and stay compliant. We can maintain and store all your tax records and documents for the compulsory five-year period. All physical and electronic documents will be kept safe and secure.

Tax advice

The way you manage your tax can have a big effect on your finances. We advise on all South African tax matters and structure the best solution for you.

Personal tax compliance

We make sure you’re 100% compliant with South African tax law. We’re always up to date with any changes in legislation, processes and systems at SARS.

Personal tax planning

Planning your tax affairs can be complicated. We ensure you’re always getting the maximum benefit no matter your situation.

Tax emigration

If you're planning to leave South Africa or have already left, we can help you tie up your tax matters with SARS so you can avoid paying unnecessary tax and penalties.

Tax consultancy and structuring

Whatever your need, we can realise a solution. Personal consultation gives us a better picture of your requirements so we can recommend the best way forward with any tax requirements.

SARS maintenance and correspondence

Our direct contact with SARS allows us to provide fast and effective service. We’ll always deal with SARS on your behalf, so you can avoid lengthy queues and slowdowns.

Updating details

If your details have changed and you need to let SARS know, we’ll correspond with them to update your bank account, address or any other information. We’ll let you know exactly what we need from you to avoid any unnecessary confusion.

SARS refund delays

Sometimes there are delays in getting your tax refund and it’s difficult to get a reason. It could be anything from outdated tax returns or a special stopper on your account if SARS believes your bank details are incorrect. We can find out the exact reason for the delay and get a fast resolution.

SARS negotiations and appeals

We’ll assist with any irregularities from SARS. If your assessment is incorrect or unfair, we’ll appeal the decision or negotiate with SARS for a better tax treatment.

We offer specialist, personalised, end-to-end accounting and tax advice

International tax

South Africans with international affairs have unique tax requirements. Whether you live in the country and have foreign income or you’re an expat living abroad with local revenue, you’ll need to declare it to SARS. We can set up the best solution to support your international interests.

South African residents

Income from outside South Africa is subject to specific declaration and management requirements. We can help you structure your earnings to be tax efficient and comply with any relevant regulations.

Expat tax

If you’re living overseas and earn money from South African sources, we can handle your income tax in South Africa. We’ll work with you to arrive at the best solution and deal with SARS on your behalf. If you’re interested in learning more about financial emigration from South Africa, our specialists can assess your needs and advise you on the best path.

Tax residency

We can assist with any tax residency queries. This includes determining your tax residency status, advise regarding double taxation agreements (DTAs) between South Africa and foreign states.

Every country’s tax system works differently, so you always need to check if there’s an agreement in place that prevents you from getting taxed twice on your income. We can advise on whether a DTA is in place, and how you can prevent getting taxed more than necessary.

Income from certain employment outside South Africa is exempt from tax. Most employees fall under section 10(1)(o)(ii) of the Income Tax Act. In order to qualify for the exemption, you need to be employed outside the country for at least 183 full days during a 12-month period, with at least 60 of those days spent consecutively outside the country. While currently all foreign income is exempt, from 1 March 2020, only the first R1 million of foreign income will be exempt from tax.

Officers and crew members working on ships fall under section 10(1)(o)(i), with differing requirements for exemption. We’re equipped to answer any queries you have about this section of law.

If you’re classified as a “non-resident” for tax purposes, you’ll be exempt from paying tax on your foreign income. We can check where you stand, advise how this affects your tax affairs and plan your future tax requirements.

We offer specialist, personalised, end-to-end accounting and tax advice

What is provisional tax?

Provisional tax is a forecast during the year estimating what income is likely to be taxed in South Africa. This is done because the taxpayer does not pay tax on a monthly basis via PAYE.

At the end of the tax year, final income tax is calculated, and the provisional tax already paid is deducted from the total. This determines whether the taxpayer has paid the right amount of provisional tax. If they’ve paid too much or too little, the balance is either refunded or paid to SARS.

Am I a provisional taxpayer?

A provisional taxpayer:

  1. Earns enough to pay tax to SARS
  2. Earns income fom a source that does not deduct tax
  3. Earns a total taxable income (not taxed at source) that exceeds R30,000

Should I register for provisional tax?

You no longer need to register for provisional taxes. SARS is now allowed to assess on final tax assessment whether you are a provisional taxpayer. If you are and you haven’t paid enough tax, you may have to pay a penalty.

When do I need to pay provisional tax?

The South African tax year runs from March to February. If you are a provisional taxpayer, you will need to submit two provisional tax returns during the tax year and then a final tax return of actual figures after tax year end.

First provisional tax payment – This payment is due in August and you must pay half of the total estimated tax for the full tax year. Taxpayers who earn under R1 million may use the SARS basic to make this payment (i.e. the last tax assessment SARS has on record) as, usually, their tax returns are similar year on year.

Second provisional tax payment – This payment is due in February and you must pay the balance of the total estimated tax for the full year. Taxpayers who earn under R1 million may use the SARS basic to make this payment (i.e. the last tax assessment SARS has on record) as, usually, their tax returns are similar year on year.

Third provisional tax payment (voluntary) – If you have short-paid by the end of February, then you can make a voluntary top-up payment prior to 1 October. After this point, SARS is allowed to start charging interest on taxes due.


South African tax FAQ

1. What is a “special stopper”?

2. What's the difference between section 10(1)(o)(i) and section 10(1)(o)(ii)?

3. How does capital gains tax (CGT) affect my tax status?

4. Do I need to sell my South African property when I emigrate?

Meet the South African tax team

  • William Louw - Director: South African tax
    William Louw
    Director: South African tax
  • almaas_amien-bw
    Almaas Amien
    Tax Administrator
  • Zaakeerah-Williams
    Zaakeerah Williams
    Junior Tax Assistant
  • Kylie Jansen
    Kylie Jansen
    Client Liaison
  • Lyne Fraser
    Lyne Fraser
    Tax Assistant
  • Bernelee Kahn
    Tax Administrator
  • savannah-johnston
    Savannah Johnston
    Manager of UK Contractor Accounting & SA Tax
  • William Louw
    Director: South African tax

    William started his career by studying towards a Chartered Accountant degree through Unisa. Since then he has worked in firms around South Africa and Namibia as a Professional Accountant.

    He has led teams across several companies including 1st Contact’s South African tax division and started his own firm in 2011.

    In 2019, William merged his company with Sable International to form our South African tax division. His goal has always been to help clients get the maximum benefit from their tax situation.

    He is an avid croquet player and has frequently represented the country.

  • Almaas Amien
    Tax Administrator

    Almaas started her career at Sable International in 2009 as a Tax Refunds Processor, then worked her way to the Contractor Accounting Department as a Compliance Administrator and now a Tax Administrator in the Sable International SA Tax department, where she assists client with their SARS Efiling, tax clearances and tax emigration process and other admin-related assistance they may need in SA Tax.

    In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors, and spending time with and taking walks with her family.

  • Zaakeerah Williams
    Junior Tax Assistant

    Zaakeerah has completed a Professional Executive & Personal Assistant certificate with Concept Interactive Institute as well as a Personal Income tax certificate with the Tax Faculty. She’s spent the majority of her career building her knowledge and skills in tax emigration and SARS tax administration, working for various accounting firms.

    Outside of work she loves spending time with family and being outdoors.

  • Kylie Jansen
    Client Liaison

    Kylie is a fun, outgoing individual who started her career in finance after she completed her National Diploma in Public Management in 2019.

    She then found a love for Accounting and worked for a really well-known accounting institution for four years, where she learnt to hone her skills in customer service, accounting ledgers and data accuracy.

    More recently, she has been appointed as the Client Liaison of the Tax SA Department.

    In her spare time, she enjoys socialising with family and friends and being outdoors. 

  • Lyne Fraser
    Tax Assistant

    Lyne had always been a ‘numbers girl’ and has always worked in the financial sector. Prior to joining Sable International she was employed at SARS for 17 years, where she gained invaluable tax knowledge, training and studies. Her current position at Sable International is that of Tax Assistant, which includes educating clients about their tax position. She wishes to further her studies within taxation.

    When not working, Lyne enjoys being out with friends and family. She loves soaking up the sun at the beach with her daughter and going for nature walks.

  • Bernelee Kahn
    Tax Administrator

    Bernelee was born and raised in Durban before relocating to Cape Town. Her career began in 2015 when she started working for a private financial company called Charles Merrington Executive Financial Services. She obtained her NQF level 4 and 5 while working for them and is currently in the process of completing her BCom degree majoring in taxation. She has spent the last eight years being a Tax Administrator for CMEFS, and now will be holding the same position at Sable International.

    Outside of work, Bernelee enjoys spending time with her family and friends. She enjoys going to the beach as it is her escape from all the noise. Another passion of hers is cooking and creating new dishes.

  • Savannah Johnston
    Manager of UK Contractor Accounting & SA Tax

    After graduating from Stellenbosch University, Savannah jumped on the first plane out and spent the next year travelling Australia, eventually settling down in London.

    After arriving in London, she joined the Sable International accounting team in a client accountant position, managing both corporate and individual accounts. She was based in the London offices until early 2019, when she transferred to the Cape Town offices, and has continued to service her UK-based clients from there.

    Since her move to the Cape Town office, she has worked closely with the SA Tax and Wealth divisions, on more complex cases. This mostly involves assisting individuals with tax planning when moving to or from the United Kingdom.

    More recently, she has been appointed as the manager of the UK contractor accounting & SA tax team.

    Outside of work, she loves to travel, especially to off-grid destinations. She also enjoys horse riding, nature walks and sitting around a fire with great company and a good glass of wine.

Get in touch

Fill in your details below and one of our consultants will be in touch as soon as they are able.