a) Provisional tax is not a separate tax, but merely a mechanism to pay the normal income tax liability during the tax year. Therefore, provisional tax is an advance payment of a taxpayers normal tax liability.

b) A provisional taxpayer is generally required to make two provisional tax payments, one six months into the year of assessment and one at the end of the year of assessment. Taxpayers may make an additional payment, generally known as the third or top-up payment, after the end of the year of assessment for the purpose of avoiding or reducing a liability for interest that would arise should their first two provisional payments be inadequate.

c) Provisional tax payments are calculated on estimated taxable income, including current taxable capital gains, for that particular year of assessment. These estimates of taxable income are submitted to SARS on an IRP6 return. An IRP6 return can be requested, even if the amount of the provisional tax payment is nil, via the following channels:

  • SARS eFiling at
  • A SARS branch
  • The SARS Contact Centre on 0800 00 7277

The return can be submitted via eFiling or at a SARS branch.

The normal tax payable on the estimated taxable income is calculated at the relevant rate of tax that is in force on the date of payment of provisional tax.

This would generally be the rate of tax as prescribed in the tax tables which are fixed annually by Parliament.

The new provisional tax tables/rates and instructions in this publication are for the 2018 year of assessment (1 March 2017 28 February 2018).

Pre assessment any provisional tax payment cannot be refunded or reallocated to different periods.

Neither can provisional tax payments be allocated to different taxpayers.

The provisional tax payments, together with any PAYE withheld during the year will be offset against the liability for normal tax at the end of the year of assessment.

Any excess may be refunded after the taxpayer has been assessed for the relevant year of assessment and any shortfall is payable by the taxpayer to SARS.Â

Interest is generally payable from the effective date by SARS in the case of a refund and by the taxpayer in the case of a shortfall.

By paying the amounts due in terms of your provisional tax liability you will prevent large amounts of tax due by you on assessment as the tax liability is spread over the relevant year of assessment

Interest rates applicable on late payments or to the under or overpayment of tax are published in the Government Gazette, and may change from time to time.



A provisional taxpayer is: 

  • A person (other than a company) who earns income which is not remuneration, an allowance or advance as contemplated in section 8(1) or who earns remuneration from an employer that is not registered for employees tax
  • A company; or
  • A person who is notified by the SARS Commissioner that he/she is a provisional taxpaye

The following are specifically excluded from the payment of provisional tax: 

  • Public Benefit Organisations (PBOs) approved by SARS
  • Recreational clubs approved by SARS
  • Any Body-Corporate, share block company or association of persons contemplated in section 10(1) (e)
  • Any natural person who does not derive income from the carrying on of any business, if in that relevant year of assessment Taxable income does not exceed the tax threshold; or The taxable income from interest, dividends, foreign dividends, rental from letting fixed property and remuneration from an employer that is not registered for employees tax does not exceed R30 000
  • Non-resident owners or charterers of ships and aircraft who are required to make payments under section 33Any small business funding entity
  • Deceased estates



  • In terms of the definition of employee in subpar 1(g), directors of private companies (which include members of close corporations) are regarded as employees.
  • Directors of private companies and members of close corporations are not required to automatically be registered as provisional taxpayers unless they have other business income.



a) An IRP6 return must be completed for provisional tax purposes.

b) The IRP6 return can be completed for all types of taxpayers:

  • Individuals
  • Trusts
  • CompaniesA provisional taxpayer is required to submit a return (IRP6) for the first and second even if, according to the result of the provisional tax calculation, the total amount of tax due and payable is (0).



a) The Commissioner may estimate the taxable income and determine the amount payable, if the provisional taxpayer fails to submit an estimate for any particular period.

b) The estimate made by the Commissioner is effective for the relevant period within which the provisional taxpayer is required to make the payment for the provisional tax (par 19(2) and (5)).


For more about provisional tax, download the SARS guide to provisional tax at: