Under South African law there are different types of residents

Under South African law there are different types of residents, for example a resident defined by the Income Tax Act, 1962 in terms of the so called physical presence test and an ordinary resident defined in terms of South African common law.

Any natural person who is not ordinarily resident (common law concept) in South Africa during the year of assessment but meets with all three requirements of the physical presence test, will be treated as being a resident.

A person will be considered to be ordinarily resident in South Africa, if South Africa is the country to which that person will naturally and as a matter of course return to after his or her wanderings. It could be described as that person’s usual or principal residence, or his or her real home.

 

If the person is not ordinarily resident, or does not meet the requirements of the physical presence test, that person will be seen as a non-resident.

To meet the requirements of the physical presence test that person must be physically present in South Africa for a period or periods exceeding –

  • 91 days in total during the year of assessment under consideration, as well as 91 days in total during each of the five years of assessment preceding the year of assessment; and
  • 915 days in total during those five preceding years of assessment.

An individual who fails to meet any one of these three requirements will not satisfy the physical presence test

 

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