Updated Guides for Filing Season 2024

In the run up to Filing Season 2024, SARS has published the following updated Guides:

The Personal Income Tax phase of Filing Season 2024 commences with the issuing of auto-assessments from 1 July 2024 up to 14 July 2024. Taxpayers who do not agree with their auto-assessments can file a tax return immediately, while all other taxpayers who are still required to file a tax return will be able to do so from 15 July 2024 onwards, with the exception of Trusts, which can do so from 16 September 2024 onwards. Non-provisional taxpayers who are required to file a tax return, as well as taxpayers in the auto-assessment population who wish to file a return in response to their auto-assessments, have until 21 October 2024 to do so. Provisional taxpayers and Trusts have until 20 January 2025 to file a return.

The updated Guides are outlining the changes and enhancements for this filing season, including but not limited to:

Auto Assessment

Taxpayers who are part of the auto-assessment population will receive an SMS and/or email to notify them that an auto-assessment has been issued. An auto-assessment will be based on information available on SARS records and data received from employers, financial institutions, medical schemes, retirement annuity fund administrators and other third-party data providers.

Taxpayers who are in agreement with their auto-assessments do not have to file a tax return or do anything more. Taxpayers who are not in agreement with their auto-assessments can file a tax return in the normal way. SARS will provide each eligible taxpayer with the following information pertaining to the auto-assessment:

  • An ITR12 return that has been auto completed.
  • A Notice of Assessment (ITA34)

Note: the type of assessment will indicate ‘original estimate assessment’ to denote that it is an original assessment based on an estimate.

Investment Income for Spouse

From the 2024 Year of Assessment (YOA) each investment income section on the return will display a sub-section to separately declare investment income received by the spouse and this must be supported by a will and/or antenuptial contract in place to support this declaration.  This applies in cases where investment income only accrues to one spouse despite the fact that they are married in community of property.

Tax Free Investments (TFI)

A Tax-Free Investment is a financial instrument; or policy (as defined in section 29A of the Income Tax Act) owned by a natural person or deceased/insolvent estate of a natural person and is administered by a person or entity designated by the Minister of Finance (e.g. banks, long term insurers, national government, collective investment scheme companies).

From 1 March 2024, if an individual’s year of assessment is less than 12 months, the balance of the annual TFI limitation not fully utilised will be carried over to any subsequent year of assessment that falls within the same tax year:

If a taxpayer ceased to be resident and has more than one ‘period’ assessment for the same tax year, the balance of the annual TFI limitation not fully utilised in the first period assessment will be used in the subsequent period assessment.

If a taxpayer was coded as insolvent during the year of assessment, any balance of the annual TFI limitation not fully utilised for tax reference number 1 (coded number) will be used for tax number 3 (new tax number), should the taxpayer declare tax free investment for the same year of assessment.


Allowable Retirement Fund Contribution Deduction

Section 11F(2)(a) of the Income Tax Act was amended. With effect from 1 March 2024, where a person’s year of assessment is less than 12 months, the amount used to calculate the allowable retirement fund contribution deduction (currently R350 000 i.t.o. section 11F(2)(a)) must be proportionate to the number of days in that year of assessment.

Solar Energy Tax Credit

Government introduced a rooftop solar tax incentive for individuals who invest in solar photovoltaic (PV) panels.

  • The tax credit will only apply to new and unused solar PV panels acquired and brought into use for the first time during the 2024 year of assessment (i.e. 1 March 2023 – 29 February 2024) and that have a minimum generation capacity of not less than 275W each.
  • The solar PV panels must form part of a system connected to the distribution board of a residence that is mainly (i.e. more than 50%) used by the individual for domestic purposes and an electrical certificate of compliance must have been issued for that residential property (i.t.o. the Electrical Installation Regulations, 2009) after the solar PV panels were installed.
  • The solar energy tax credit applies to the 2024 year of assessment only and the amount allowed as a deduction will be 25% of the cost of the above solar PV panels up to a maximum of R15 000.

Note: batteries, inverters, fittings or diesel generators, installation costs and portable panels do not qualify.

SARS MobiaApp

The following enhancements have been made on the SARS MobiApp:

  • Taxpayers will now be encouraged to download the latest SARS MobiApp version. Where the taxpayer has an older version downloaded, an error message will be displayed on their device.
  • Taxpayers will now be redirected to their ITA34 once an auto-assessment has been issued.


Source: SARS

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