Understanding South Africa’s Tax System: A Comprehensive Guide to Income Tax Thresholds and Brackets for 2023-2024

Navigating the complexities of South Africa’s tax system can be a daunting task, especially for individuals and businesses seeking to fulfill their tax obligations accurately and efficiently. This comprehensive guide delves into the intricacies of South Africa’s personal income tax structure, providing a clear understanding of tax thresholds, brackets, and other relevant information for the 2023-2024 tax year.

Tax Thresholds: Understanding Your Tax Liability

The tax threshold refers to the minimum level of income an individual can earn before becoming liable to pay income tax. In South Africa, the tax thresholds vary depending on age, with different thresholds applicable to individuals below 65 years, those between 65 and 75 years, and those aged 75 years and above.

  • Individuals below 65 years: R95,750

  • Individuals between 65 and 75 years: R148,217

  • Individuals aged 75 years and above: R165,689

Tax Brackets: Determining Your Tax Liability

Once your income exceeds the tax threshold, you will be subject to income tax based on the tax brackets applicable to your income level. South Africa’s personal income tax system employs a progressive tax structure, meaning that the higher your income, the higher the percentage of tax you will pay. The tax brackets for the 2023-2024 tax year are as follows:

Taxable Income (R) Rate of Tax (R)
1 – 237,000 18% of taxable income
237,101 – 370,500 42,678 + 26% of taxable income above 237,100
370,501 – 512,800 77,362 + 31% of taxable income above 370,500
512,801 – 673,000 121,475 + 36% of taxable income above 512,800
673,001 – 857,900 179,147 + 39% of taxable income above 673,000
857,901 – 1,817,000 251,258 + 41% of taxable income above 857,900
1,817,001 and above 644,489 + 45% of taxable income above 1,817,000

Tax Rebates and Deductions: Reducing Your Tax Liability

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) offers various tax rebates and deductions that can help reduce your overall tax liability. These include:

  • Rebates: Rebates are fixed amounts deducted from your tax liability. The primary rebate for individuals is R17,235, with secondary and tertiary rebates available for individuals aged 65 and 75 years and above, respectively.

  • Deductions: Deductions are expenses that can be subtracted from your taxable income before calculating your tax liability. Common deductions include retirement annuity contributions, medical expenses, and travel allowances.

Provisional Tax: Understanding Your Obligations as a Taxpayer

Provisional taxpayers are individuals who earn income from sources other than an employer, such as self-employment or investments. These individuals are required to make estimated tax payments twice a year, known as provisional tax payments. Failure to make these payments can result in penalties and interest charges.

Tax Implications for Companies and Close Corporations

Companies and close corporations are subject to a corporate income tax rate of 27%. Small business corporations (SBCs) may qualify for a reduced tax rate of 0% to 27%, depending on their taxable income.

Transfer Duty and Turnover Tax: Additional Tax Considerations

Transfer duty is a tax levied on the transfer of property, while turnover tax is a tax on the turnover of certain businesses. The rates for these taxes vary depending on the value of the property or the turnover of the business.

Understanding South Africa’s tax system is crucial for individuals and businesses to fulfill their tax obligations accurately and avoid penalties. By familiarizing yourself with the tax thresholds, brackets, rebates, deductions, and other relevant provisions, you can effectively manage your tax liability and ensure compliance with SARS regulations.

How does income tax work in South Africa? 2023


What is the minimum salary to not pay tax South Africa?

If you are a South African resident who earns less than R 95 750, you are not liable to pay tax. This is the tax threshold determined by SARS to help people know the amount that will be deducted from their total income/earnings.

How much must you earn to be taxed in South Africa?

Personal Income Tax In South Africa, you are liable to pay income tax if you earn more than: R95 750 and you are younger than 65 years. If you are 65 or older but younger than 75 years old, the tax threshold (i.e. the amount above which income tax becomes payable) is R148 217.

How much do I need to earn to submit a tax return in South Africa?

You do not need to file a tax return if you are a salary earner or pensioner earning an income from a single source from which Pay As You Earn (PAYE) tax is deducted, provided you earn less than R500 000 for the year (up to R41 666 a month or R38 461 a month if you receive a 13th cheque or bonus.)

What is the tax threshold in South Africa 2020?

2019 / 2020 Tax Year:
Taxable Income (R)
Rates of Tax
0 – 195,850
18% of taxable income
195,851 – 305,850
35,253 + 26% of taxable income above 195,580
305,851 – 423,300
63,853 + 31% of taxable income above 305,850

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