Section 12H of the Income Tax Act (the Act) provides for an allowance to employers in respect of qualifying ‘registered learnership agreement'(s) entered into between the employer and employee. The allowance is intended as an incentive for employers to train employees. Tax Incentives (SARS)

Tax Incentives are deductions on your taxable income that you can claim for each learnership candidate that you have in your employment, once at the start of the learnership, and once again at its completion. These incentives are legislated in section 12H of the Income Tax Act, 58 of 1962 and the amendments made in January 2010.

There are only 2 levels.

R30,000 commencement and completion allowances for learnerships and apprenticeships
R50,000 commencement and completion allowances for learners with disabilities

The principle is straightforward.
For each year that a learner is registered for a learnership linked to the employer’s trade, the employer claims and allowance of R 30 000 for that learnership. This allowance is based on a 12 months periods, and full periods of a month, so if a learnership starts half way through the employer’s year of assessment, half of the allowance is claimed by the employer in the first year and half in the second.
If the learner leaves during the year, there is no recoupment. The R 30 000 is merely apportioned for the part of the year, so that if the learner leaves after 4 months, the employer only claims 4/12 of the allowance, i.e. R 10 000. These must be full months, so if the learner leaves after 3 and a half months, the allowance must be claimed for 3 months, i.e. 3/12 X R 30 000 = R 7 500.
Similarly, if a learnership spans 3 and half months in the first year of assessment and 8 and a half months in the second year of assessment of a single employer, the employer claims commencement allowance of R 7500 in the first year and R 20 000 in the second year.
When a learnership is successfully completed, the employer claims an allowance of R 30 000 for each completed 12 months of the learnership. So if it was a 2 year learnership, the employer claims an allowance of R 60 000. If the learnership was for 30 months, the employer’s allowance in the year of completion is also R 60 000, because two full periods of 12 months has been completed. No completion allowance is claimable until the learnership is successfully completed.
If the learner goes to another employer while he is still doing his learnership and the learnership is carried on, linked to that employer’s trade, the new employer claims the learnership for the rest of the year, i.e. 8/12 X R 30 000 = R 20 000. The new employer will also claim the full completion allowance, even if the learner was not employed by that employer in the earlier years or months of the learnership.
If a learner fails his or her learnership and registers for a new learnership, section 12H will not apply to the new learnership if it contains the same education and training component of the learnership that the person failed.

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