Are SARS Penalties Tax Deductible?



If you are a tax paying employee, it is important to know the penalties that will be imposed on you by the South African Revenue Service for non-compliance with tax laws. 




The South African Revenue Service (SARS) can impose tax penalties due to non-compliance with a tax obligation under a tax Act or is listed in a Public Notice issued by the Service’s Commissioner.

Tax penalties are recurring each month that the taxpayer is non-compliant, up to a maximum of 35 months. 

According to the nation's tax collecting authority, the amount of the penalty is fixed and based on a taxpayer's taxable income, with the fine ranging from R250 to R16,000 per month for each month of non-compliance. 

In a statement, SARS has confirmed:

These penalties are not tax deductible. 

Should the taxpayer not agree with the penalty levied due to non-compliance, they may submit a Request for Remission (RFR) form to SARS on a prescribed form or in writing.

In this submission, the taxpayer should describe the circumstances that prevented the person from complying with the relevant obligation, each period, and the amount.

In the event of the RFR being disallowed or partially allowed, you may still object to the decision made by SARS and even appeal the decision if you disagree with the outcome of the objection process.  

The RFR for the tax penalty may be submitted via the following channels:

  1. eFiling
  2. SARS Branch nearest you (click here to make an appointment)

It is only in exceptional circumstances as described above will a manual request form be accepted to [email protected] or [email protected].

Here’s How You Can Get A Tax Number

To be able to obtain a tax number, you need to first register for eFiling on the SARS eFilling website.

Click on the Register tab at the bottom right corner and follow the required steps.

Once you have completed the registration, you will be automatically registered for personal income tax, and receive a tax reference number.


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