New threshold for returns is not an exemption from paying taxes – SA payroll association

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The new threshold exempting those earning below R500,000 a year from submitting tax returns does not mean they are not obliged to pay taxes, the South African Payroll Association (SAPA) has clarified.

Last month, new South African Revenue Service (Sars) commissioner Edward Kieswetter announced that the threshold had been increased from R350,000. This means those who earned below R500,000 between March 1, 2018, and February 28, 2019, are not compelled to submit a detailed outline of their income, expenses, and taxes paid.

However, all those who earned more than R78,150 during that period are still liable to pay taxes, SAPA executive committee member Jetro Malapane said in a statement.

“Some taxpayers are under the wrong impression that if they earn less than R500,000, they don’t have to pay tax,” Malapane said.

“There is however a difference between the tax threshold and the tax return submission threshold. The tax threshold means that if you earn less than the tax threshold amount, you won’t have to pay tax. This amount for the 2019 tax year was R78,150.”

Taxpayers earning below R500,000 must still submit returns if they were not employed for the full tax year, or received income from more than one source, contributed to a registered medical or retirement scheme or if they received a travel allowance or use of a company car.

“It is important that taxpayers understand the conditions under which they still need to file tax returns, and if they are unsure about any of the conditions, it is always safer to just submit your return,” Malapane said.

– African News Agency