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Individual tax registration for citizen abroad

Posted 15 April 2016 under Tax Questions



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Ray says:
9 April 2016 at 21:45

I haven't officially emigrated but live in the UK and have subsequently discovered that I am not registered for tax in SA. This has implications for my my investments over there - is it possible as an individual to register as a tax payer without actually living in SA? It is my intention to register as a tax payer, announce that I am emigrating to obtain non-resident status allowing me to financially emigrate.

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TaxTimTaxTim says:
11 April 2016 at 7:12

How long have you lived in the UK?


Ray says:
11 April 2016 at 8:37

16 Years.


TaxTimTaxTim says:
11 April 2016 at 16:59

You can register in SA, however having been gone for so long means you will not have to pay any taxes in SA. What exactly do you need a SA tax number for?


Ray says:
11 April 2016 at 17:32

I am looking to cash in my RA in South Africa ultimately as it has now halved in value since I started it in 1997. I continue to maintain it with international transfers which is getting a little costly but now hope to take the amount that I get out eventually and put it into my UK pension. I have been advised that in order to financially emigrate, SARS need to check whether my affairs are in order firstly but then to apply tax to the RA final amount cashed out. For this, they need a tax reference. I discovered a little while ago that SARS have no record for me despite having worked in SA up to the age of 30 so I am not really sure what the best course of action is at this point. They have also indicated that I am not able to register for tax as an individual being located outside of South Africa and will have to go through an agency. It is not my intention to return to SA apart from visiting so not an option to leave the RA there. Also, if I have not financially emigrated properly, this could have implications for any inheritance I believe.


TaxTimTaxTim says:
14 April 2016 at 9:36

That is true, you will need to make use of an agency or a practitioner to register for a tax number as there is no way to do it from another country. Given that they have no record it means that they have ''cancelled'' the tax number. Given you have been out for so long, you will merely need to register, provide that tax number to the RA company, they will then check and if necessary the practitioner that you asked to get your tax number will have to prove to SARS that you have been out of SA and no previous tax returns have been made. How old are you?


Ray says:
14 April 2016 at 10:31

I see, thanks for confirming. I'm 46.


TaxTimTaxTim says:
15 April 2016 at 10:05

Yes then you will have to formally emigrate for your RA to be released.


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