Tax affairs can often feel like a maze, especially when you’re trying to secure your SARS tax number for the first time or retrieve it after it’s slipped your mind.
Whether you’re stepping into the workforce, branching out as a freelancer, or simply tidying up your financial responsibilities, having your tax number at your fingertips is crucial.
In this guide, I’m here to demystify the process, offering clear, step-by-step instructions that will lead you directly to your goal.
No more guesswork or endless searching; just straightforward, actionable steps to help you quickly and efficiently find or register for your SARS tax number.
Let’s tackle this together and make tax time a breeze.
Understanding the Importance of a Tax Number
Before diving into the process of obtaining a tax number, it’s crucial to understand what it is and why it’s important.
A tax number, also known as a Personal Income Tax Number, is a unique identifier assigned to you by the South African Revenue Service (SARS).
This number is essential for all tax-related matters in South Africa, including filing returns, claiming refunds, and communicating with SARS.
It’s your responsibility as a taxpayer to keep this number confidential and use it whenever you deal with SARS.
Determine If You Need to Register for a Tax Number
Not everyone automatically needs a tax number. You’re required to register as a taxpayer if you earn above a certain income threshold set by SARS for a given tax year.
This includes not just salaried employees but also freelancers, independent contractors, and business owners.
If you’re unsure whether you’ve reached this threshold, it’s advisable to consult with a tax professional or check the latest guidelines on the SARS website.
How to Get SARS Tax Number
Registering for a Tax Number
If you’re new to the tax system and need to obtain a tax number, the process is straightforward but requires attention to detail:
Online Registration: The most convenient way to register is through SARS eFiling, an online platform that allows you to submit tax returns, make payments, and register for a new tax number.
Visit the SARS eFiling website and click on the ‘Register’ button. You’ll need to provide personal details, including your ID number, contact information, and financial details. Upon completion, SARS will issue a tax number to you.
In-Person Registration: If you prefer or need to register in person, you can make an appointment at a SARS branch. This option might be necessary if you have specific questions or complex tax situations.
To make an appointment, visit the SARS website and follow the links to book a time slot at your nearest branch.
Retrieving a Forgotten Tax Number
If you’ve previously registered but have forgotten your tax number, there are several ways to retrieve it:
- SARS Website: Visit the official SARS website and look for the ‘What’s My Tax Number?’ feature. This tool may guide you through a process to retrieve your number online.
- SARS eFiling: If you’re a registered eFiler, log into your account. Your tax number should be visible on your profile or dashboard.
- SARS MobiApp: The SARS MobiApp, available for smartphones, offers a ‘Request Notice of Registration’ function, which can provide your tax number and other registration details.
- Contacting SARS Directly: If the online options don’t work for you, consider sending a query through the SARS website or calling their customer service. Be prepared to provide personal identification details to verify your identity.
Using SARS SMS Service
A convenient method for retrieving your tax number is the SARS SMS service. Send an SMS with the text ‘TRN’ followed by a space and your ID number to 47277.
You’ll receive an SMS response with your tax number. This service is beneficial if you have limited internet access or prefer quick, straightforward solutions.