Tax registration

Types of taxes for South African companies

Tax registration

After applying with the Companies and Intellectual Property commission you should register your company with the South African Revenue Service (SARS) for income tax, VAT and Pay-As-You-Earn tax (PAYE).

Employers are obligated by law to register their employees for Income Tax (ITREG).

To register for income tax you need to present to SARS a complete and correctly filled ITREG application form.

ITREG reports can be filled in online at the SARS website. Manual applications can be requested by employers by phone, fax, email, by visiting a branch or by posting a request to SARS.

VAT registration in South Africa

Any annual income earned from supplying goods or services which exceeds R1million should be registered for VAT.

You can apply for VAT registration with the VAT 101 form. It should be submitted to a local SARS office in person by one of the following: owner, partner, representative vendor or authorized registered tax practitioner. The application should be submitted no later than 21 days from the incorporation.

With the application you must present the original document from a bank that proves the existence of a bank account.

Also, the applicant must have a copy of their passport or ID. Additional papers include a recent copy of the business municipal account, as well as a recent copy of the residential municipal account of the individual, partner or authorized representative.

You should present copies of bank statements for the past three months. Those should not be older than one month prior to registration. You will be asked for copies of a source of financial information in order to determine the value of taxable supplies. Cash flow projections are not accepted!

In some cases you may be also asked for:

  • A letter of authorization in the cases where a registered Tax Practitioner is filing the application.
  • Copies of the identity documents of the two most senior partners/ members/ directors/shareholders/trustees (depending on the type of the company).
  • VAT121 in case the tax period is in Category E
  • VAT119 in case a 3rd party’s bank account is used (applicable to holding/subsidiary company or non-resident company).

Standard Income Tax on Employees (SITE) and Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE) registration

Employees’ tax is deducted from employee wages by the employers. The deduction is divided between two taxes - the PAYE tax and SITE. The size of the deduction is calculated with the use of tables issued by the SARS.

Standard Income Tax on Employees (SITE) is only applicable for employee net remuneration that does not exceed R60 000. It is determined at the end of the tax year and usually represents only a portion of tax deduction.

PAYE tax is determined after calculating the SITE portion and extracting all other employee taxes which are not included in the net remuneration. It is payed weekly, twice a month or monthly.
To apply for SITE and PAYE you need to complete the EMP101 form and present it to a SARS branch.

The website of the South Africa Revenue Service  provides detailed information for the different taxes, as well as downloadable PDF versions of most of the required forms.
Register with the Department of Labor for Unemployment Insurance.

One of the final steps of registering a company in South Africa is registration with the Department of Labor for unemployment insurance. Registration is completed with the completion of U18 and U19 application forms. When the application is approved, the Department of Labour will issue a reference number.

Register with the Commissioner according to the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act.

In order for this registration to be completed you need to complete a W.As.2 form. You will receive a written notification after your application is examined. You don’t need to wait for this notification to start your company’s operations.

Further reading

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