Taxpayers and tax receipts in SA

The most recently published tax statistics for South Africa show that there were around 275 000 taxpayers who earned over R1million in 2020. This group represented under 2% of taxpayers and contributed over 35% of the total personal tax take. South Africa’s tax system is highly progressive: roughly 110 000 people (around 0.7% of taxpayers) who earned over R1.5 million contributed over 23% of personal income tax.  There were around 1.2 million taxpayers earning over R500 000 per year and they represented about 65% of the total personal tax liability. In total, South Africa has approximately 5.5 million taxpayers above the tax  free threshold, with over a million of those working for government.


The chart below presents the distribution of taxpayers for the 2021 year based on tax assessments:

Note also that these figures are slightly lower than from other sources for more recent years.

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