I will be on Holiday here for several months. Am I considered a taxpayer? Am I responsible for any taxes? And, if so, how do I go about paying those taxes and when?

South Africa Tax
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Tax Professional Answers

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Hugo Van Zyl
First point to make is that unlike most treaty countries, the first year's physical presence in SA, will in itself not result in you becoming a taxpayer or a tax resident. (See comment on SA interest earned by non-treaty visitors on a sabbatical). A taxpayer includes someone paying tax at source (and thus also withholding taxes other than withholding tax on royalties as this is a final withholding) YET as of day 1 of your "holiday", income earned from a SA source or deemed source, will result in SA taxes being paid. Physical presence after 5 years (of at least 91 days per EVERY year minimum with an average of 183 per year or 915 days aggregate in said 5 years) may result in you being deemed a tax resident. Treaties tend to overrule this test and allow SA to tax as of day 1 where you were in SA for +183 days working for a local employee. Oops, your on holiday! Probably not a holiday scenario then. Foreigners arriving in SA on a 6 months or more sabbatical need to take note of the tax on interest income from SA, effective as of 1 July 2013. As of 1 July 2013 the new interest withholding tax regime will commence BUT should a non-resident spend more than 183 days in a TAX year in SA, the withholding tax will fall away and the interest from SA sources will be taxes in SA. Effectively the interest so earned need to exceed R 82 500 per annum before any taxes are due, and as you are not a provisional tax payer (see my blog on this topic the tax will be on assessment. Persons taking up SA sourced employment will be taxed at payroll and independent contractors (where no treaty exemption apply) will pay tax on assessment for the first 5 years, where after they will be deemed tax resident and be obliged to file provisional taxes. Hugo, Hermanus, Western Cape, South Africa (Whale Coast).
Leave a Comment 308 weeks ago

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Hugo Van Zyl
UPDATE: Interest withholding and other withholding taxes may now be expected by 2015 only, as 2014 is an election year, a new tax commission was appointed and SARS wish to see more tax treaties updated or renegotiated
Reply 273 weeks ago

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