Thu. Nov 21st, 2019

SARS: Tax return threshold increases to R500 000 – but there are catches

SARS tax threshold returnIt’s not often that “tax” and “good news” appears in the same bracket for South Africans, but SARS have announced measures to make some lives easier.

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During a media briefing in Pretoria on Tuesday, new SARS Commissioner Edward Kieswetter told the South African public that the tax threshold for those who have to submit returns will be increased this season.

Kieswetter’s announcement was initially delayed due to a massive power outage across the city. However, when the lights returned, the new tax chief dished out some encouraging news for those earning a low-to-mid range income.

SARS tax threshold: Am I exempt from filing a tax return?

Instead of requiring tax returns from everyone who earns R350 000 a year, that minimum figure has been increased to R500 000 a year. In monthly terms, the parameters have shifted from R29 166 to R41 666.

However, it’s not all plain sailing for those of us making less than half-a-million per annum. The new threshold laws only apply to citizens if they meet the following set of criteria:

  • You must receive income from one employer only.
  • You must have no other form of income, such as a car allowance, business income, taxable income or money made from renting.
  • You must have no additional deductible allowances, such as medical expenses, travel expenses or retirement annuities.

When is tax season in South Africa for 2019?

Kieswetter was also keen to encourage more citizens to start using SARS’ e-filing systems. He revealed to tax-paying South Africans that the programme has gone through several updates, and more improvements will be in place by August.

One of the incentives for using the e-filing systems is that they help with time management. Yes, tax season will start on 1 August and end on 31 October, but electronic applications start at the beginning of July and remain open all the way through until the last day of January 2020.

It’s also worth noting that returns filed via SARS’ app have a deadline of 4 December 2019. Depending on what you’re earning and the new tax threshold, this could be a trouble-free season for many of SA’s workers.

Watch SARS’ Edward Kieswetter address the media here

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