South African Tax Laws Explained

If there's one thing that's not negotiable in South Africa, its paying taxes. When immigrating to South Africa, you might find it valuable to educate yourself on how the tax system work.

Income Tax for South African Residents

Since personal tax is calculated on a residency based system, residents will be taxed no matter where the income comes from.

Income Tax for Non-South African Residents

In South Africa, the tax system does make allowances for particular types of incomes. However, there are double taxation agreements in place with several countries which allows for credits on foreign taxes paid. Tax is only payable on income generated from South Africa.

Do South Africans Pay VAT?

VAT (value added tax) is mandatory in South Africa. It is a tax payable on goods or services purchased and when you go to the supermarket or restaurant, it will be added to your bill automatically. For many years South Africans were paying 14% VAT but in 2018 VAT was increased to 15%.

There are some items excluded from VAT but only when bought over the counter, not as part of a meal. The following items exempt:

- brown bread
- dried mealies and beans
- lentils and rice
- pilchards in tins
- fresh fruit and vegetables
- vegetable oil
- milk
- eggs

How Much Tax Will I Need to Pay on My Salary?

The amount of tax payable on your salary changes on an annual basis. Since income tax works on a sliding scale, it's better to use an online tax calculator to find out exactly how much you will need to pay. By inputting basic information you can discover within seconds the exact amount that will be deducted from your salary for tax.

If you need help with your visa application, Black Pen Immigration welcomes the opportunity to consult with you to find out which visa type you are eligible for and to answer any questions you might have.