Do your Tax with TaxTim and WIN R10,000  More info   T&C's apply

How to become tax compliant in South Africa

Have you registered as a taxpayer?

Did you know that it is your duty by law to register with SARS (the
South African Revenue Service) as a taxpayer if you earn above R63 556
per tax year? By registering and completing your tax returns regularly
each year, you will become a tax compliant, proud South African. You
can register for a tax number with SARS in person (at their offices in
all major centres), or send the required documents by post or email.
Within a couple of weeks you will receive your own tax number and can
begin to submit your tax returns. For a simple, step-by-step guide to
registering as a taxpayer, visit

Why should you register?

By registering as a taxpayer you are making sure you are staying
within the law. When it comes time to submit your tax return - filing
season runs between July to November - you don't need to worry about
registering (the process takes a while) and can easily just submit
your return either in person, or via SARS' online filing portal called
eFiling ( TaxTim helps you to complete your tax
return easily as the process can be confusing to most people!

What do YOU get out of registering?

By paying your taxes government gets more money to provide those
services it has a duty to give you - such as smooth roads, basic
housing, subsidised education and medicine, working waste water
systems, refuse clearing, clean water and reliable electricity as well
as providing money for big projects like hosting the soccer world
cup, being the World Design Capital in 2014 and bidding for the upcoming
massive SKA radio telescope. By completing and submitting your tax
return you become a proud and contributing South African and SARS may
even give you money back!

We're here to help. If you have any questions about tax at all, please
visit and contact us by email, Twitter or Facebook.

William says:
22 May 2012 at 7:47

Hi Taxtim

I've left university as a teacher and left Sa to teach abroad while I was waiting for my Visa I did supply teaching for about a month. Then I left. I never registered with Sars and Im not sure how if I will get penalized. All my income is from abroad and I have proof. I will be sending my money home and returning for a period to wait for my visa renewals. Do I need to go register at Sars and will I be in trouble.

TaxTim TaxTim says:
22 May 2012 at 11:22

Hi William,

Thank you for the great question.

Before i can go ahead and answer the question, please let me know the following details:

What dates did you leave SA and for how long were you gone before you came back?

Were you ever working in South Africa before you left?

I can answer with more detail after i know those answers.

Should we have someone contact you privately?


This entry was posted in TaxTim's Blog and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 most popular Q&A in this category

Blog Categories

Ask TaxTim

Got a question you want answered about tax?

Visit our helpdesk →

Get SARS Tax Deadlines in your Inbox
We'll tell you when you need to file, along with tax tips and updates.