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Tax rates in South Africa

Tax Rates

Consumption Taxes

Nature of the Tax
VAT = Valued Added Tax (BTW = Belasting over de Toegevoegde Waarde in Afrikaans).
Tax Rate
Reduced Tax Rate
Certain supplies are zero-rated, including exports, basic foodstuffs, agricultural goods, the sale of an enterprise as a going concern, the supply of intellectual property to be used outside South Africa and the supply of gold coins issued by the Central Bank, certain financial services, certain supplies by welfare organisations, residential accommodations and public transport.
Other Consumption Taxes
Other indirect taxes include: custom duties (on certain luxury items); anti-dumping and countervailing duties; excise duties on tobacco, alcoholic beverages, fuel and petroleum products; and excise levies on fuel, road accidents, electricity, sugar and tyres.
A transfer duty is levied at progressive rates up to 13% on the acquisition of an immovable property, provided that the transaction is not subject to VAT.
Donations are taxed at a rate of 20% (if the value of the property does not exceed ZAR 30 million) or 25% (value above ZAR 30 million), with an annual exemption of ZAR 10,000 available for companies (public companies are exempt from the tax).
Please consult the SARS website for further information.
Find out more about Taxes and Accounting in South Africa on, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

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Corporate Taxes

Company Tax
28% (to be reduced to 27% with effect for tax years commencing on or after 1 April 2022)
Tax Rate For Foreign Companies
South African resident companies are taxed on worldwide income, while non-resident companies are taxed on locally sourced income only.
Capital Gains Taxation
Only 80% of capital gains is included in taxable income and taxed at the normal income tax rate (thus the resulting effective tax rate stands at 22.4%). A resident is liable for the capital tax on assets located both in and outside South Africa, while a non-resident is liable to capital tax only on immovable property in South Africa or assets of a permanent establishment in the country.
Main Allowable Deductions and Tax Credits

In general, expenses incurred for the purposes of income generation are deductible.
The majority of taxes (with the exception of income taxes, donations tax, withholding taxes on interest, and dividends tax) are deductible from a company’s taxable income, provided they qualify for deduction under general rules. Losses may be carried forward indefinitely, as long as an active trade or business of a similar nature is carried on without interruption. Loss carrybacks are not allowed.
Special relief is provided for start-up expenditure: when expenses would have been deductible had they been incurred after the commencement of trade, they are ring-fenced and may only be deducted against income from the trade to which the start-up costs relate. In general, interest expenditure incurred in the production of non-exempt income and for the purposes of trade is deductible.
Charitable contributions to certain approved public benefit organisations are tax-deductible (capped at 10% of taxable income). Contributions to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund
are subject to an additional 10% deduction from the taxable income.
Foreign tax paid on foreign-source income may be credited against South African tax on the same profits, limited to the amount of South African tax payable on the foreign income.
Tax incentives are also provided for small business corporations, R&D, urban development, infrastructure development, public-private partnership grants, environmental expenditure deductions, energy efficiency savings, companies located in the Special Economic Zones, etc.

Other Corporate Taxes

Micro-businesses with annual turnovers under ZAR 1 million may elect to be taxed under a micro-business tax system instead of the ordinary income tax, provisional tax, capital gains tax and VAT systems (at rates varying between 0% and 3% of turnover). Micro-businesses that qualify for the scheme can voluntarily exit the system at the end of any year of assessment. However, once out of it they will not be permitted to re-enter.
Other special taxes include a 20% withholding tax on payments made to non-residents, individuals, and trusts for services provided, a 15% withholding tax on foreign entertainers and sportspersons, as well as a withholding tax on the acquisition of South African property by a non-resident. A tax on dividends applies to all South African resident companies as well as non-resident companies listed on the JSE at a rate of 20%.

Municipal taxes, a transfer tax on securities (0.25%), environmental taxes, financial transaction taxes, electricity and fuel levies, and donations taxes also apply (20% of the property valued in excess of ZAR 10,00; public companies are exempt from the donations tax). A skills development levy is payable monthly by the employers at the rate of 1% of payroll (companies with an annual payroll of less than ZAR 500,000 are exempt). Employers also contribute to the Unemployment Insurance Fund (1% of the employee’s gross remuneration, capped at ZAR 148.72 monthly) and to the fund for compensation for occupational injuries and diseases (rates vary depending on the sector of activity, salary capped at ZAR 484,520 per year/employee).

Local municipalities levy rates on land based on a percentage of the municipal valuation of land and improvements, which vary from municipality to municipality. Properties zoned for business use are generally taxed at a higher rate.
Transfer duty levied on the sale of immovable property is payable by the person acquiring the property within six months from the date of acquisition. Rates vary between 0% and 13% of the purchase price. Transfers of immovable property subject to VAT are exempt from transfer duty.
Several environmental taxes apply, including a vehicle emissions tax, a fuel levy, a tyre levy and an electricity levy.

Other Domestic Resources
South African Revenue Service
Doing Business Website, Consult the Doing Business website to obtain a summary of taxes and mandatory contributions in South Africa.

Country Comparison For Corporate Taxation

  South Africa Sub-Saharan Africa United States Germany
Number of Payments of Taxes per Year 7.0 36.6 10.6 9.0
Time Taken For Administrative Formalities (Hours) 210.0 284.8 175.0 218.0
Total Share of Taxes (% of Profit) 29.2 47.3 36.6 48.8

Source: Doing Business, Latest available data.

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Individual Taxes

Tax Rate

Individual rax rates (tax year commencing on 1 March 2021 and ending on 28 February 2022)
ZAR 0 – 216,200 18%
ZAR 216,201 – 337,800 38,916 + 26% of taxable income above 216,200
ZAR 337,801 – 467,500 70,532 + 31% of taxable income above 337,800
ZAR 467,501 – 613,600 110,739 + 36% of taxable income above 467,500
ZAR 613,601 – 782,200 163,335 + 39% of taxable income above 613,600
ZAR 782,201 – 1,656,600 229,089 + 41% of taxable income above 782,200
ZAR 1,656,601 and above 587,593  + 45% of taxable income above 1,656,600
Allowable Deductions and Tax Credits
Individual deductions include qualifying contributions to an approved pension, provident, or retirement annuity fund; charitable donations (up to a maximum of 10% of taxable income; with contributions to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund being subject to an additional 10% deduction from the taxable income); and qualifying expenses for travel, motor vehicles and entertainment (limited to the travel allowance or fringe benefit). Deductions for medical expenses are converted to medical tax rebate.
If an individual carries on a business, the deduction of business expenditure or losses applies on the same basis as to companies.
Please refer to the SARS website for more information.
Special Expatriate Tax Regime
There is no special expatriate tax regime in South Africa. Expatriates are taxed at the same rates as locals, but only on their South African-sourced income.
Non-residents are taxed on all income derived from a South African source or deemed to have a South African source, and on capital gains on the disposal of immovable property situated in the country. The source of income is determined by the location of the originating cause of the income, and not by the location of the payer.

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Double Taxation Treaties

Countries With Whom a Double Taxation Treaty Have Been Signed
South African Revenue Service
Withholding Taxes
Withholding taxes are: 20% for dividends paid to individuals or foreign companies, 0% if paid to national companies; 0 (resident)-15% (non-resident) for interests; 0 (resident)-15% (non-resident) for royalties.
Bilateral Agreement
The United Kingdom and South Africa are bound by a double taxation treaty.

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Find out more about Taxes and Accounting in South Africa on, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

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Latest Update: June 2022

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