It’s important to be tax-wise from a young age. Tax manager Johan Swart tells us how to do just that.

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By the time young South Africans graduate from high school, most of them will have held a part-time or temporary job. “For many youth, this is unfamiliar territory, especially when it comes to the tax implications regarding their part-time income,” says Swart.

By the book:

“Irrespective of age, any payment received for services rendered constitutes gross income for tax purposes,” adds Swart. For example, if you are a waiter in a restaurant, you need to register with SARS within 21 business days after employment. It’s unlikely that this would result in a tax liability, but at least you’ve done the lawful thing.

Always keep records:

Contract or temporary employees should keep accurate records of the hours they work. “If these hours add up to 22 or more, it is termed standard employment and the employer must deduct the necessary tax. If a person works fewer than 22 hours per week, s/he falls into the category of non-standard employment and 25% tax will be deducted from his/her monthly income,” says Swart.

Be cautious:

Temporary or contract employees should be cautious of employers who mislead them into believing they are solely responsible for their tax. “In most employer/employee relationships, tax must be deducted from the employee by the employer and paid over to SARS,” says Swart.

Get your IRP5:

It’s important that employees insist on receiving their IRP5 tax certificate from their employers. “SARS allows employers until the end of May to issue IRP5 tax certificates to all their employees. In most cases where 25% tax is deducted, SARS will owe the employee a tax refund on completion of his/her annual tax return. The same applies to people who are not employed for the full 12 months of the tax year,” adds Swart.

Entrepreneurial minds:

For those young and brave South Africans who decide to start their own businesses, Swart advises that they seek advice from a professional tax practitioner. Tax implications in such instances are complicated and often vary. You can also give Legal&Tax a call and chat to one of our tax experts.

If you need advice or assistance with any tax related issues, including submission of tax returns, visit or call

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