As a contractor in South Africa, two of your biggest tax concerns are probably going to be:
- Paying less taxes, and
- Reducing the admin involved in paying them.
Maybe these goals are obvious, but actually achieving them takes some planning. Having a strategy is crucial, because you may be able to work completely tax free.
Organising your taxes in South Africa on your own
Tax legislation in South Africa can change regularly and there are a lot of easy-to-miss rules and regulations. If you’re not already very familiar with South African tax law, this route will require you to do a lot of studying up (you can learn even more about paying taxes as a contractor here).
To calculate how much you owe, you’ll need to learn about rules regarding resident and non-resident status, paying tax in your home country, social security, special levies, and more. Read up on South African tax rates here.
Can employers organise South Africa expatriate taxation?
Yes, some can.
Unfortunately for a lot of contractors, though, most clients don’t offer that service to freelance workers. This route requires little to no effort from you, but it can be a huge burden to pick and choose your clients based on which ones can offer this service.
Are there any other options for expatriate tax in South Africa?
Many contractors choose to work under an Umbrella Company.
An Umbrella Company will calculate what you owe in taxes and fees, and process your payments. They act as your “employer,” although you still work exactly like you would as a contractor.
This allows you to pay as you earn, similar to having an employer or client organise your taxes. In this scenario, however, you don’t have to worry about who’s going to organise your taxes each time you take on a new contract.