How To Manually Calculate Your Tax

It’s easy to calculate how much tax you must pay. Calculating annual tax deductions and tax liabilities for an assessment year can be done in some simple steps. Calculate your total taxable income and then apply the tax rates relevant to that particular financial year.

Computing your tax liability might be complex if the steps involved are too many. If the income is above a particular figure or in case the income is from multiple sources, things can get tricky.

In this case, it’s advisable to have professional assistance. A CA or a professional tax specialist can handle complex situations in a better way. Tax filing is a sensitive matter and it’s always a better idea to seek help.


Tax calculator makes it easy

By following the link here on SARS website, you can find the tax slabs where you can work out exactly how much tax you will owe SARS. You can find this calculator online when you register on

You will see there is a column for your earnings, which should include your monthly salary, travel allowance, other allowances and bonuses. Your deduction column will include items such as medical aid and pension fund and anything else that SARS requires. There will also be declarations of age, as this will play a role in your return. You just click “Calculate”, and you’ll be provided with the exact amount.

tax calculator

Submit a return even if you don’t need to

If you earn less than R350 000 in one year, and fulfil several criteria, you may not have to file a return. It is best, though, to check with specialist tax consultants in case you face difficulty anywhere in the process. SARS has been known to change criteria or even change the rules about whether to submit or not. It is best, we feel, to submit a return anyway because you could be in line for a refund.

Especially when you claim for medical expenses that you have paid personally and have not been covered by medical aid, this adds up in your favour.

Also, in the event of your not filing a return and needing a tax clearance certificate, SARS may rule against you for not having filed a return. So, this is a dicey situation which needs careful thought. Our advice is even if you don’t need to file a return, file one. It will stand in your favour.

Check with the experts!

Also, if you have received a payout from a retirement fund and need to access the money, SARS may block you if you haven’t filed a return at any stage. The golden rule is when in doubt, find out! Always check with the experts about matters such as this. It could save you a lot of grief in the long run – and it could earn you money too.

Don’t forget to submit your IRP5 which will indicate your earnings and money deducted for tax. This should appear on your monthly salary advice notice, so you can use this information when you are manually calculating your tax.

Don’t be fearful about manually working out your tax. Most people seem terrified at the very thought of having to work out tax. If it’s a normal monthly salary tax affair, it really is easy. If it’s something with offshore investments, and complicated stuff like that, it’s another matter entirely.

So, rest easy and get that tax done!


See how much tax you need to pay, how much you can save and what your take-home pay is.