How to get a Tax Number

This article contains information on the South African Tax Number and to register and get one. 

South African Tax Number

The tax number is very necessary because it is used as an Identification number to identify and keep proper records of registered taxpayers in South Africa. In South Africa, the institution responsible for the giving out tax numbers is South African Revenue Service (SARS). They are also responsible for creating a platform for citizens to register to pay tax.

With all the above said, to get a tax number as a South African citizen, you must register on the platform. Kindly follow the steps and any of the methods below to register for one

HOW TO REGISTER FOR TAX AND GET A TAX NUMBER

There are three ways to register for tax:

1. Auto registration for Personal Income Tax:

When you register for SARS eFiling for the first time and you do not have a tax reference number, SARS will automatically register you and issue a tax reference number.  Note that you must have a valid South African ID.

Follow these easy steps to register on eFiling:

1. Click on Register
2. Follow the prompts

You can also register for SARS eFiling on the SARS MobiApp and follow the same steps.

Need help to register on eFiling? If you need help to register for Income Tax, watch our helpful tutorial video on the SARS YouTube channel.

2. Register through your Employer via SARS eFiling:

SARS eFiling offers the SARS registration function which allows employers to submit employee income tax registrations to SARS. For more information, see the Guide on Tax Reference Number (TRN) Enquiry Services on eFiling.

3.  Request an eBooking appointment with SARS:

If you are NOT registered for tax yet, kindly note:

  • You must have an appointment first before going to a SARS branch;
  • The ONLY way to make an appointment if you are NOT registered yet, is to
    call the SARS Contact Centre on 0800 00 7277 and select option 0 (zero). A SARS official will book the appointment on your behalf.

The following two eBooking appointment channels are ONLY available if you are already registered for tax:

  • Send an SMS to 47277 (iSARS) with the information and format described below:
    • Booking (Space) ID number/Passport number/ Asylum Seeker number
    • This SMS service is only available to taxpayers/registered representatives who are registered for Personal Income Tax (PIT). This service is not available to tax practitioners.
  • Request an appointment through the online eBooking form before you visit a branch. Make sure you take along the necessary supporting documents.

DOCUMENTS REQUIRED FOR YOUR TAX REGISTRATION

The following supporting documents are required:

1) Proof of Identity:

  • Certified or uncertified copies of a valid identity document, driving license, passport, temporary identity document, asylum seekers certificate or permit together with the original identification (Identity document includes the green barcoded book and the smart ID card)
  • In the instance where a taxpayer is a minor, a certified or uncertified copy of the birth certificate of the minor together with a copy of the one of the parent’s/guardian’s identity document. If there is no surviving parent, the death certificate of one parent must be provided by the appointed guardian.

2) Proof of Address:

The table below provides a list of documents that will be accepted by SARS as proof of residential or business address.

The document must clearly show the taxpayers name (either initials and surname or first names(s) and surname) and the physical address.

Document description​ ​Validity period
1​ GENERAL ACCOUNTS:
​1.1 ​Utility account i.e. rates and taxes, water or electricity account ​Less than 3 months old
​1.2 ​Educational Institution account ​Less than 3 months old
​1.3 ​Co-op statement (for farmers) ​​Less than 3 months old
​1.4 ​Medical aid statement ​​Less than 3 months old
​1.5 ​Mortgage statement from mortgage lender ​​Less than 6 months old
​1.6 ​Telephone account (All networks) ​​Less than 3 months old
1.7​ ​e-Toll account ​Less than 3 months old
​1.8 ​SABC television licence ​Less than 1 year old
1.9 ​Retail accounts (e.g. Woolworths, Edgars, etc.) ​Less than 3 months old
​2 GOVERNMENT ISSUED DOCUMENT:
​2.1 ​Motor vehicle licence documents ​Less than 1 year old
​2.2 ​Court order ​​Less than 3 months old
​2.3 ​Subpoena ​​Less than 3 months old
​2.4 ​Traffic fine ​​Less than 3 months old
​2.5 ​Documentation relating to UIF or pension pay-out ​​Less than 3 months old
​3 ​INSURANCE AND INVESTMENT DOCUMENT:
​3.1 ​Life assurance document ​​Less than 1 year old
​3.2 ​Short-term insurance document ​​Less than 1 year old
​3.3 ​Health insurance document ​​Less than 1 year old
​3.4 ​Funeral policy document ​​Less than 1 year old
​3.5 ​Investment statement from share, portfolio or unit trust ​​Less than 1 year old
​4 ​LEASE/FRANCHISE AGREEMENT:
​4.1 ​Current and valid agreement

The Confirmation of Entity Residential/Business Address form (CRA01) must be filled in:

  • Where proof of residence is in the name of a third party (e.g. in someone other than the taxpayer name) the CRA01 must be filled in. Please note that proof of address of the third party must be attached to the CRA01.
  • A letter or the CRA01 must be filled by the Chief or Councillor if a taxpayer lives in an area where municipal account aren’t issued. The taxpayer must get a letter from the Councillor in the area they live in. The Chief or Councillor doesn’t need to provide proof of residence or ID if the letter or CRA01 is for a third party.
  • If an entity has only one director/member that is also the representative taxpayer and the business is trading from the representative taxpayer’s address, proof of residential address is needed. Where there is more than one member/director and the business is trading from one of the member/director’s addresses, the CRA01 needs to be filled in by another member/director.
  • Here is the form: CRA01 – Confirmation of Residential or Business Address for Online Completion – External Form. Remember certain mandatory information must be filled in before you will be able to print the form.

3) Proof of Bank Details:

  • Original letter from bank not older than one month (30 days), confirming the account holder’s legal name; account number, account type; branch code and the date on which the account was opened; or
  • Original bank statement or ATM / Internet generated statement or an eStamped statement not more than three months old that confirms the account holder’s legal name, bank name, account number, account type and branch code, where applicable, or where a new bank account was opened and a bank statement cannot be produced, an original letter from the bank not older than one month on the bank letterhead with the original bank stamp reflecting the date the bank account was opened; or
  • If the wife/husband does not have a bank account and chooses to use his/her spouse’s banking details, a certified copy of the marriage certificate is required. In instances of a Life Partner, an affidavit must be provided.

Once you’ve been registered and given your tax number you can then register for eFiling, which is a free and convenient way of interacting with SARS.

All you need is a computer and internet access. As a registered eFiler you will then be able to submit your tax return online, make payments to SARS etc.

HOW TO GET YOUR TAX NUMBER IF YOU HAVE FORGOTTEN IT

If you have forgotten your tax number you can request it from SARS in various ways:

  • Send them a query. Please ensure your details match our records.
  • You can get it on eFiling if you are registered as an eFiler. All you need to do is log on and check your number.
  • You can also request your notice of registration via the MobiApp if you are a registered eFiler.
  • eFiling has been updated to allow taxpayers to request the Notice of Registration (IT150) under the ‘SARS Registered Details’ menu option.
  • At a SARS branch. Remember to make an appointment before you visit a branch.

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