Are School Fees A Claimable Expense At SARS?



Every year, taxpayers in South Africa can submit tax returns to the country’s revenue service. Some of these taxpayers may qualify to claim expenses back money from the revenue service if they qualify.




The South African Revenue Service (SARS) administers the country's tax system and enforces compliance with related legislation.

One aspect of SARS’ administration of the tax system is to issue refunds to taxpayers who were found to have paid too much tax during the year or if a taxpayer submits evidence of tax-deductible expenses.

Taxpayers can submit claims for any additional medical and disability expenses. This includes school fees for taxpayers' disabled dependents. However, they will need to meet specific criteria in order for their claim to be approved.

Disability is defined by SARS as a moderate to severe limitation of any person's ability to function and perform daily activities.

This limitation must be as a result of a physical sensory, communication, intellectual or mental impairment if the limitation has lasted or has a prognosis of lasting more than a year and is diagnosed by a duly registered medical practitioner in accordance with the criteria prescribed by the commissioner.

School fees of disabled individuals can be a claimable expense. This includes…

  • The claimable expenses include school assistant or classroom costs
  • School fees limited to the amount in excess of the fees that would have been payable if the person attended the closest fee-paying public school not specialising in learners with special educational needs 
  • Schools not specialising in learners with special needs, limited to additional expenses incurred and paid as a result of disability 
  • Tutoring services used by the disabled person which are supplementary to the primary education of a person with a learning disability or impairment in intellectual or mental focus, and paid to some in the business of providing such services. 

The current tax season will end on 24 October 2022 by which taxpayers are required to submit their tax returns and claimable expenses. SARS added that refunds can take longer than 72 hours which was previously communicated to taxpayers.





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