Topical Issues

Tax return filing season for individuals – 2016

Friday, 1 July 2016 was the start of the 2016 tax return filing season for individuals for the tax year from 1 March 2015 to 29 February 2016. Depending on your particular level of income, you may need to submit an income tax return to the South African Revenue Service (“SARS”), who will then calculate the tax that is due on your income and determine the tax-deductible expenses you are entitled to claim for the 2016 year of assessment, which may, in some cases, necessitate the payment of additional tax to, or result in a refund from, SARS.

Income tax is the normal tax which is paid on your taxable income. Examples of amounts of income that an individual may receive, and from which taxable income is derived, include:

  • Remuneration such as salaries, wages, bonuses, overtime pay, taxable (fringe) benefits, allowances and certain lump sum benefits;
  • Trading profits or losses from a business or trade;
  • Income or awards from a trust;
  • Director’s fees;
  • Investment income, such as interest and foreign dividends;
  • Rental income or losses;
  • Income from royalties;
  • Income from annuities;
  • Pension income; and / or
  • Certain capital gains on the disposal of assets such as shares or interests in a business.

You are liable to pay income tax for the 2016 year of assessment if you earned more than:

  • R73,650 if you are younger than 65 years of age;
  • If you are 65 years of age or older until age 75, the tax threshold increases to R114,800; and
  • For taxpayers aged 75 years and older, the tax threshold is R128,500.

The tax season for non-SARS eFiling taxpayers runs from July to November every year. For provisional taxpayers who submit their tax returns via eFiling, it runs until January of the following year. The important dates to be cognisant of with respect to the 2016 annual tax season’s filing deadlines are as follows:

  • 23 September 2016 – Manual/postal submissions must be submitted to SARS.
  • 25 November 2016 – All non-provisional taxpayers who plan to submit their tax returns manually at a SARS branch or via SARS eFiling (including those people who require the assistance of a SARS official at a SARS office) must do so by this date.
  • 31 January 2017 – Provisional taxpayers’ annual tax returns must be submitted to SARS via eFiling.

Please note that you don’t need to file a tax return if:

  • Your total salary for the 2016 tax year before tax is not more than R350,000 and employees’ tax has been deducted from your salary;
  • You only have one employer;
  • You have no car allowance or other income (interest or rent); and
  • You are not claiming tax related deductions (medical expenses, retirement, travel etc).

If you require any further information or assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me by telephone on (011) 516 9803 and / or (073) 229 8974 or by email at