[FAQ] Section (10)(1)(o) where medical treatment is received outside South Africa

This article is based on tax law for the year ending 28 February 2021.


A taxpayer is on sick leave and receives treatment outside South Africa and is therefore out of the country for the required period? Will the section 10(1)(o) exemption apply?


The Income Tax Act

Note, the required number of days absence is not necessarily a year of assessment, a financial year, or a calendar year; it is any period of 12 consecutive months. The remuneration however, that is exempted by this provision relates to amounts earned from services rendered outside the RSA, if the days tests were met during “any period of 12 months”. The Act refers to the services rendered outside the RSA during the periods of absence.

With regard to leave, the position (in terms of the current practice generally prevailing) is that:

“Calendar days must be looked at, not only workdays, when calculating whether a person has been outside the Republic for 183 full days.

The following was added to item (aa) of subsection (1)(o)(ii):

“(b) for a period or periods exceeding 117 full days in aggregate during any period of 12 months in respect of any year of assessment ending on or after 29 February 2020 but on or before 28 February 2021”.

Weekends, public holidays, annual leave days, sick leave days and rest periods (as required under the specific terms of a contract of employment) that are spent outside the Republic are taken into account for purposes of calculating the period or periods outside the Republic.

Webinar Commentary

Refer to webinar commentary: Monthly Tax Update - March 2021 here.

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