Ina Opperman
Business Journalist
2 minute read
2 Aug 2021
12:30 pm

Emergency tax relief measures explained

Ina Opperman

People and businesses will benefit from several emergency tax relief measures to mitigate the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and recent unrest.

Picture: iStock

The South African Revenue Service (Sars) says it is ready to implement the tax relief measures announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa, thanks to compliant taxpayers who paid their fair share of tax, enabling government to provide a temporary safety net during this time.

“The first quarter of the current financial year had exceeded expectations and outperformed revenue collections for the same period over the past three years,” Edward Kieswetter, Sars commissioner, said.

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Sars committed to help tax payers and find dodgers

He emphasised the importance of Sars’ commitment to provide clarity and certainty to taxpayers to enable them to fulfil their legal obligations effortlessly and pay what is due.

However, he also had a clear and unequivocal message for tax dodgers: Sars has the capability to “detect and make it costly for those who are determined to be non-compliant and engage in criminal malfeasance through fraudulent means”.

He said Sars used big data, artificial intelligence and the latest technology to offer digital services to protect taxpayers and staff during the lockdown restrictions and further buttress Sars’ efforts in delivering on its mandate.

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Sars will now implement these measures:

  • The expanded Employment Tax Incentive age eligibility and the amount that can be claimed will be extended to support employment in the most vulnerable sections of the labour market for four months, from 1 August to 30 November 2021
  • The deferral of the payment of employees’ tax liabilities (commonly referred to as pay-as-you-earn [PAYE]) for tax compliant small-to-medium-sized businesses will be extended from 1 August to 31 October 2021
  • Tax compliant businesses with a gross income of up to R100 million will be allowed to delay 35% of their PAYE liabilities over the next three months, without penalties or interest.

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Liquor sellers

Businesses that sell liquor will also be assisted by the deferral of excise duties on alcoholic beverages of up to three months by tax compliant licensees in the alcohol sector, on application setting out the circumstances justifying a deferral.

More information

The full details of the tax relief measures can be found on the National Treasury website explanatory notes on the emergency tax measures.