SAQA All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.

Higher Certificate in Tax Administration 
99384  Higher Certificate in Tax Administration 
Management College of Southern Africa (MANCOSA) 
CHE - Council on Higher Education  HEQSF - Higher Education Qualifications Sub-framework 
Higher Certificate  Field 03 - Business, Commerce and Management Studies  Finance, Economics and Accounting 
Undefined  120  Not Applicable  NQF Level 05  Regular-Provider-ELOAC 
Reregistered  SAQA 091/21  2021-07-01  2023-06-30 
2024-06-30   2027-06-30  

In all of the tables in this document, both the pre-2009 NQF Level and the NQF Level is shown. In the text (purpose statements, qualification rules, etc), any references to NQF Levels are to the pre-2009 levels unless specifically stated otherwise.  

This qualification does not replace any other qualification and is not replaced by any other qualification. 

The purpose of the qualification is to provide learners with knowledge, specific skills and applied competence in a number of fields in Tax Administration.

Thus the purpose of the qualification is to respond to the needs of the community, industry, government, the private sector and financial sector in the provision of a qualification in Taxation Administration.

The qualification will enable learners to:
  • Understand tax policy and the administration of the various Tax Acts (legislation).
  • Apply relevant business computing skills.
  • Understand the processes, techniques and skills required to communicate effectively in organisations.
  • Explain the concepts of accounting, the recording of various elementary transactions and provide an overview of the accounting cycle.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of economics in the context of tax administration to facilitate understanding of economic influences on the finance and accounting function of a business.
  • Understand and apply taxation related to individuals and business entities with an emphasis on small business corporations.
  • Understand the nature and scope of submitting statutory tax returns, using the South African Revenue Service as an exemplar.

    While South Africa has an 88% basic literacy level, research shows that financial literacy also remains a huge concern as it impacts significantly on the national economy. The latest data from the annual study of South African financial habits and attitudes shows high levels of misunderstanding or no knowledge of key financial management concepts and functions. To address this challenge, this qualification offers an opportunity for individuals with no formal post-school education in Taxation to obtain valuable knowledge and skills of the subject. The qualification covers the general principles of the tax system and related legislation in South Africa, including the application thereof.

    The tax system of a country is central to the functioning of the state, in that it enables the state to do what the country expects it to do. This includes funding for education, health services, roads and infrastructure, policing and for the provision of a safety net for the most vulnerable in our society. It follows that the primary objective of a credible tax system is therefore to raise sufficient revenue to support the priority expenditure programmes of government, to facilitate the provision of public goods and services for the benefit of its citizens and to meet its international obligations.

    Taxation is also about nation building as it provides the underlying financial resources for the functioning of the state. It also ensures that the state is able to meet its constitutional and humanitarian obligations. Investments in and spending on social infrastructure and social programmes are important for social cohesion and social solidarity. The qualification is important for the future of country and its economy.

    The qualification will provide learners with opportunities for continued personal intellectual growth, enhanced marketability and enhanced employability whilst opening up new access routes to additional education and training opportunities. Also the Higher Certificate in Tax Administration (HCert Tax Administration) will provide access to Higher Education to persons wishing to pursue careers in the field of Commerce. 

    Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL):
    This qualification may be obtained in whole or in part through the Recognition of Prior Learning. The following cases will be considered for prior learning to enable the candidate(s) access to the qualification:
  • Learning derived from work or life experience will be considered. Such candidates will need to present a portfolio of evidence and a recommendation from a senior manager of the organisation/company.

    Where appropriate, interviews will also be conducted to assess applicants for selection purposes. Some of the key criteria that will be used in evaluating 'non-standard' applicants include:
  • The applicant's motivation, maturity and realistic approach to Higher Education studies.
  • Job description, covering relevant area of work, giving examples of tasks carried out, possibly supplying references, linked to a portfolio of evidence.
  • The nature and level of life/work experience and prior study, and the learning which has resulted from such experience.
  • Details of in-company short courses, length, content of material covered, and standard achieved.
  • The clarity of the applicant's educational goals and objectives.
  • The extent to which the applicant can provide evidence of the threshold skills and knowledge for the qualification.

    Where prior learning is recognised for advanced standing, credit will be given for prior certificated learning in accordance with established practice at South African Higher Education institutions. The maximum amount of 'specific' credit granted is 50%.

    Credits may only be accumulated for modules, which are prescribed within the structure of a named award.

    Entry Requirements:
    Applicants will be admitted to this qualification if they have either of the following:
  • Senior Certificate (SC).
  • National Senior Certificate (NSC) granting admission to Higher Certificate studies.
  • National Certificate Vocational (NCV) at NQF Level 4 granting admission to Higher Certificate studies. 


    The qualification comprises only compulsory modules worth 15 Credits each at NQF Level 5 totalling 120 Credits:
  • Tax Administration and Tax Policy.
  • Basic Accounting.
  • Business Communication.
  • Elementary Economics.
  • End User Computing.
  • Taxation A.
  • Taxation B.
  • Taxation C. 

    1. Apply Tax knowledge appropriately to the practice of Tax Administration (tax returns with the South African Revenue Service).
    2. Understand financial and accounting concepts and principles and apply these principles in finding solutions to practical finance and tax problems.
    3. Assist in the preparation of financial statements of entities, using relevant financial information, accounting techniques and standards and provide an overview of the accounting cycle.
    4. Understand the general legal framework, and apply specific legal principles relating to business, including tax legislation as applicable to individuals.
    5. Explain economics in the context of tax administration to facilitate understanding of economic influences on the finance and accounting function of a business.
    6. Develop business computing skills and an understanding of computing in the business environment.
    7. Apply relevant processes, techniques and skills appropriately to communicate effectively in organisations. 

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 1:
  • Register taxpayers.
  • Complete income tax returns for individuals.
  • Complete income tax returns for businesses.
  • Complete Pay As You Earn (PAYE), Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) and Skills Development Levy (SDL) returns.
  • Display knowledge and application of the payroll reconciliation process.
  • Complete Value Added Tax (VAT) returns.
  • Identify cases and perform reviews.
  • Attend to queries on income tax and value added tax compliance.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit level Outcome 2:
  • Identify amounts (special inclusions) which should be part of gross income.
  • Apply the qualifying criteria to determine whether certain amounts are exempt from normal tax.
  • Apply the general deduction formula.
  • Calculate the taxable income of a company.
  • Explain the concept of a small business corporation and the preferential tax rates.
  • Calculate capital gains and losses.
  • Explain Value Added Tax (VAT) and identify the accounting basis to be applied in a VAT system.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit level Outcome 3:
  • Record transactions in various journals.
  • Process transactions using the accounting equation.
  • Evaluate the fundamental principles of Accounting.
  • Collect record and process accounting data.
  • Prepare data for disclosure in annual financial statements.
  • Record transactions from incomplete records.
  • Generally give explanation to financial statements.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit level Outcome 4:
  • Discuss the interaction between the various legislations in South Africa and the Tax Administration Act.
  • Identify taxpayers who are liable for rendering returns.
  • Determine and analyse a tax rate structure.
  • Understand tax policy by applying the principles of an efficient tax system.
  • Apply the rules applicable to the books, accounts and records of the taxpayer.
  • Determine the implication of payments to the Revenue Service with regards to tax payments, penalties, interest and refunds.
  • Understand and use the objection and dispute resolution process when a taxpayer is involved in any dispute with the Revenue Service.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit level Outcome 5:
  • Display knowledge of basic economic principles.
  • Explain micro and macro-economics.
  • Explain the economic problem of scarcity.
  • Discuss how supply and demand works.
  • Discuss economic growth and development.
  • Discuss the goals and instruments of a market economy.
  • Identify and explain the role of the various economic subjects in the economy.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit level Outcome 6:
  • Identify the concepts and problems associated with end-user computing.
  • Discuss the benefits of computing to business management and administration.
  • Apply knowledge of applications software to the development of user-oriented solutions to specified user problems.
  • Select and apply user programmable features of specific software to allow development of automated customised and user-friendly applications.
  • Demonstrate competence in the use of applications software and its customisation to meet user needs.
  • Undertake both independent and directed study as related to end-user computing.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit level Outcome 7:
  • Explain the principles which govern the transmission of information in business contexts.
  • Compose all different types of written communication in a clear, complete and correct way.
  • Describe the principles of communicating orally in an effective way.
  • Explain how non-verbal signals can help or hinder communication.
  • Describe common barriers to successful communication and explain how to overcome them.

    Integrated Assessment:
    The assessments will be used to determine the following:
  • The extent to which the learner has grasped the concepts.
  • The application of Taxation and Accounting theory to a practical context.
  • The methods of research used.
  • A balance between theory and practice and its relevance to the level of the qualification.
  • The use of appropriate technology to ensure effective communication of ideas.

    These assessment methods include:
  • Assignments (Report writing, case studies, interpretative and analytical problem solving and research).
  • Written examinations. 

    The qualification was compared with similar qualifications offered in United Kingdom and Australia.

    In the United Kingdom (UK), Aston University offers a Certificate in UK Taxation. The qualification aims to provide a detailed introduction to key concepts of the UK taxation system. This qualification allows learners to prepare and interpret documentation for UK business and individuals. Learners are expected to apply legislative principles. The Certificate in UK Taxation is also suitable for graduates from any discipline with an interest in taxation. Individuals with professional accounting qualifications who require an update to their understanding of the UK tax system may apply to enrol for this Certificate.

    The qualification enables learners to reflect on real-world corporate and personal taxation reporting issues and practices as well as on the growing international movement to prevent tax evasion and tax avoidance by large multinational organisations and wealthy individuals.

    The Tax Agent Programme offered by The Tax Institute in Australia allows learners to register as a Tax Agent. Individuals who are new to the profession and wishing to practice in areas of Accounting, Tax and Commercial Law and Financial Management gain an understanding of the concepts and practical applications of the Australian Tax Law.

    The Tax Agent Programme is ideal for those who are looking to meet the education requirements of the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) to register as a Tax Agent. The qualification delivers real-world skills and knowledge and equips learners on:
  • How to explain the basic structure of tax and compliance obligations.
  • The ethics and professional responsibilities of a tax professional.
  • How to advise on the tax impacts of commercial & property transactions.

    The qualification compares with the cited qualifications above, however these qualifications are context-based as they focus on taxation for their respective countries. 

    This qualification offers specific articulation opportunities with the following qualifications offered by MANCOSA:

    Horizontal Articulation:
  • Higher Certificate in Accounting, Level 5 (ID 93811).

    Vertical Articulation:
  • Advanced Certificate in Financial Planning, Level 6 (ID 93710).

    The qualification offers systemic articulation with the following qualifications offered by other institutions, provided the learner meets the minimum entry requirements:

    Horizontal Articulation:
  • Higher Certificate in Accounting Sciences, Level 5.

    Vertical Articulation:
  • Diploma in Accounting and Taxation, Level 6.
  • Bachelor of Accounting Sciences in Taxation, Level 7.
  • Bachelor of Commerce in Taxation, Level 7. 





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    1. Management College of Southern Africa (MANCOSA) 

    All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.