Sort out your tax

What is a tax return?

Tax returns are forms that are annually filled in by taxpayers, where they declare their income/s so that the national tax authority can assess their tax liability.

South African taxpayers file their tax returns with the South African Revenue Service (SARS), and the type of form they should fill in depends on their unique streams of income. Tax season starts on 1 July every year and closes for most tax paying individuals at the end of November.

If you earn less than R350,000 per year, have one employer, no other sources of additional income, and no deductions, you may not need to submit a tax return. But if you are unsure about this, it's best to submit one anyway.

Why pay tax?

If you are liable to pay tax and you do not pay it, you will be fined for tax evasion. Besides this, paying tax is a vital part of being an active South African citizen.

Your tax supports the daily cost of the police service, firefighters, and other civil service departments. Tax money facilitates the safety and maintenance of the roads you travel on. Libraries, parks, and many other public areas are also paid for by taxes.

One of the other most important uses of taxes is to finance public goods and services, such as street lighting, street cleaning, and road maintenance.

Registering with SARS

Your first employer may register you as a taxpaying citizen at SARS when you’re hired. If not, it’s your responsibility to register yourself once you start earning an income, which is mandatory for all citizens and residents.

You can register by visiting a SARS branch where staff will register you on their system. You need to bring the relevant supporting documentation along, such as your identification document (ID), proof of address, and banking details.

Once you’ve been registered and been given your tax number, you can then register for eFiling. This is a free and convenient way to file your annual tax return. From 1 April 2016, SARS stopped accepting manual forms of payments. Tax payments are now done electronically or at a SARS-approved bank.

While filing a tax return has been made fairly easy, it can become confusing as to which documentation to submit and which forms to complete. For this reason, many people resort to the assistance of various tax filing service companies.

How Justmoney can help

So how does Justmoney fit into all of this? We act as a bridge between you and our preferred tax filing provider. They will help you figure out which forms you need to submit, assist you with filling them in, and arrange the correct documentation to accompany your forms.

If you have any questions about tax, refer to our handy tax guide or get in touch with us on our Contact Us page.

Ask our expert

Tax Expert
Do you have a tax question? TaxTim has the answer.
Ask the expert


Sign Up

To our weekly newsletter for advice you can bank on


Save with 10X investments

Price: Free
When: Until 30 June
Where: Online

Sanlam Cumulus Investment Plan Limited Offer

Price: From R2,500
When: Limited Period
Where: Nationwide

Roman's Pizza Special-Single Large Pizza

Price: R69.90
When: Until 31 July
Where: Nationwide