Several laws govern South Africa's tax system, including the Income Tax Act 58 of 1962, the Value-Added Tax Act 89 of 1991 and the Customs and Excise Act 91 of 1964, which are the most important. The finance minster presents the budget each year setting out the state's total expenditure for the following financial year and how this is to be funded.

South Africa has a residence-based tax system. This means residents are, subject to certain exclusions, taxed on their worldwide income, irrespective of where it was earned.

By contrast, non-residents are taxed on their income from a South African source. Foreign taxes are offset against South African taxes on foreign income. The bulk of government revenue comes from income tax (personal and corporate), although almost a third of total government tax revenue comes from indirect taxes such as VAT.

Double taxation

The Convention between the Republic of South Africa and the Swiss Confederation for the avoidance of double taxation with respect to taxes on income has been in force since 27 January 2009.

Exchange of information

On 24 November 2016, Switzerland and South Africa also signed a joint declaration on introducing the automatic exchange of information (AEOI) in tax matters.


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