SA tax season

The South African tax season is when taxpayers must complete and submit their tax returns to The South African Revenue Service (SARS).

The 2023 filing season opens at 8 pm on Friday, 7 July 2023.

2023 tax dates

Taxpayer Type Deadline Important information
Individual taxpayer (non-provisional)23 October 2023The filing window for the 2022-2023 tax year will run from 7 July 2023 until 23 October 2023.
Provisional taxpayer31 August 2023First provisional tax return
 29 February 2024Second provisional tax return

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.

A provisional taxpayer:

  • Earns enough to pay tax to SARS
  • Earns income from a source that does not deduct tax
  • Earns a total taxable income (not taxed at source) that exceeds R30,000

Provisional tax dates

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 31 August 2023 and you must pay half of the total estimated tax for the full tax year.

Second provisional tax payment – This payment is due 29 February 2024 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 rate to make these payments (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.

Should I register for provisional tax?

If you meet the criteria to be a provisional taxpayer and are already a registered taxpayer with SARS, you won’t need to register to become a provisional taxpayer.

Instead, you will need to amend your tax type which can be done via your eFiling profile. If you navigate to your eFiling profile and under the tab ‘Organisations’, click ‘Tax Type’ and then ‘Manage Tax Types’ and you can activate the provisional tax status by clicking in the relevant box.

Going forward, you will be required to submit your annual tax return (ITR12), as well as two provisional tax (IRP6) returns each year.

Failure to update your tax type may result in penalties. 

Our South African Tax team can assist you in calculating your provisional tax obligation.

Admin penalties

SARS has recently increased penalties for late submissions and, on occasion, levied admin penalties on taxpayers' accounts, regardless of whether they meet the criteria for filing a tax return or not.

The earlier you submit your return, the less likely you are to face SARS penalties.

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Our South African tax practitioners provide comprehensive tax services to both South Africans at home and abroad, as well as to anyone with South African income – from tax registrations, tax returns and SARS correspondence to expat tax consultancy and international tax advice.

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