Budget 2019

Tax: What's up and what's not

If you're away for at least one night and you receive a subsistence allowance or an advance from your employer for costs, you can now deduct R435 a day for meals and incidental costs.

Picture: 123RF
Picture: 123RF

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni announced no changes to the following taxes:

  • Dividends tax. It remains at 20%
  • Interest exemptions. They remain at R23 800 for individual under the age of 65 and R34 500 for individuals aged 65 and over.
  • Retirement fund contributions remain at 27.5% of your taxable income or remuneration up to R350 000.
  • Capital gains tax inclusion rates and exemptions. The effective rates remain at:
    • Individuals and special trusts: 18%
    • Companies: 22.4%
    • Other trusts: 36%

Annual exclusion for individuals remains at R40,000.

  • Estate duty. The rate remains at 20% on the first R30 million and 25% on estates over R30 million with a basic deduction of R3.5 million.
  • Donations tax. The rate remains 20% of property under R30 million and 25% of property over the value of R30 million. The first R100 000 is exempt.
  • Companies tax remains at 28%.
  • Transfer duty. It remains at 0% for properties under R900,000. Thereafter a sliding scale applies from 3% of the value above R900,000.
  • Lump sum retirement fund withdrawal and severance benefits. The first R500,000 is tax free and thereafter tax is applied on a sliding scale at rates ranging from 18% to 36%.

Slight changes were made to the following tax deductions:

  • Subsistence allowances: if you are away from for at least one night and you receive a subsistence allowance or an advance from your employer for costs, you can now deduct R435 a day (up from R416) a day for meals and incidental costs. That means you won’t pay tax on that amount paid to you. If your meals are paid for by your employer, you can deduct up to R134 a day for incidental costs (up from R128 a day).
  • Small business tax has been adjusted to be in line with the tax threshold for individuals. A small business earning R79,000 a year will not pay any tax.
  • Your sweet tooth will cost you more money from April this year when the health promotion levy, that was first introduced in the National Budget last year, increases from 2.1 cents per gram to 2.21 cents per gram per 100 ml for products that contain more than the levy-free 4g limit.
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