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Am I considered a tax resident in South Africa?

Posted 3 January 2013 under Tax Questions

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I have been working temporarily in South Africa for the last 6 years.. Over the last 2 years I work in SA less than 183 days per year and am out the country for more than 60 days continually, but if I add up the number of days I have spent in the last 5 years in SA it is over 915 days. My house is out of SA.

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TaxTimTaxTim says:
18 December 2012 at 9:21

The tests for tax residency and for exemption from tax are different.


Have a look at the questions on that link to help you decide if you are a tax resident of SA!

Basically if you have been working in SA for longer than 91 days for the last 6 years and you have been in SA for longer than 915 days then you would be a tax resident. Remember though that any taxes you pay in SA can be deducted against your taxes in your home country.

Garth says:
18 December 2012 at 16:06

Thanks TaxTim... I understand the tax resident rule that you have highlighted concerning the 915 days in SA, however my official residency is Zimbabwe where I own a home and a business and was wondering if you consider the double taxation agreement between Zim and SA, if I will be perhaps considered a tax resident of Zimbabwe in view of my home and my business links being so centred in Zim. My consulting in SA will be reduced from now on to a bare minimum (less than 150 days). What is your comment in view of the taxation agreement and my home status?

TaxTimTaxTim says:
23 December 2012 at 17:00

If you are seen to be an exclusive resident of Zimbabwe under the Double Tax Treaty between SA and Zimbabwe then you would not suffer any taxes in SA. Even if you are taxed in SA you would be able to claim a refund from SARS based on your residency status.

However having a home and business links in Zimbabwe may not be enough to be considered a resident for double tax treaty purposes. Once you break the initial 91 day requirement spent in SA then you would not be a SA tax resident. We would need to check the Double Tax Treaty to determine if exclusive residency applies.

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