Interest and dividends tax rates

Interest Exemptions

Interest from a South African source earned by a natural person is exempt, per annum, up to an amount of:

2017​ 2016​ ​2015 ​2014 ​2013
​Person younger than 65 ​R23 800 ​R23 800 ​R23 800 ​R23 800 ​R22 800
​Person 65 and older ​R34 500 ​R34 500 ​R34 500 ​R34 500 ​R33 000

Please note: For the 2012 tax year – Foreign interest and foreign dividends are only exempt up to R3 700 out of the total exemption.

From 1 March 2015 (2016 tax year), a final withholding tax at a rate of 15% will be charged on interest from a South African source payable to non-residents.

Interest is exempt where earned by a non-resident who is physically absent from South Africa for at least 183 days during the tax year and doesn’t carry on a business in South Africa.

Dividends Tax

As from 1 April 2012, dividends tax is charged at 15% on shareholders when dividends are paid to them by a South African tax resident company or Foreign Company whose shares are listed on the JSE.

STC was payable by South African resident companies at a rate of 10% on dividends declared on or before 31 March 2012.  STC was replaced with dividends tax on 1 April 2012.

Foreign Dividends

For tax years 2013 – 2017 – Most foreign dividends received by individuals from foreign companies (shareholding of less than 10% in the foreign company) are taxable at a maximum effective rate of 15%. No deductions are allowed for expenditure to produce foreign dividends.

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