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.