In South Africa, just as in a number of other countries around the world, the tax burden of individual taxpayers is a highly controversial issue that frequently arises as a topic of discussion. Studies and debates around the tax burden are often contradictory – to a large extent, this can be attributed to the lack of a comprehensive basis from which the tax burden of individual taxpayers in South Africa can be evaluated, especially from individual taxpayers’ point of view. The main objective in this study was to develop a conceptual framework for evaluating the tax burden of individual taxpayers in South Africa. In order to achieve this objective, it was essential to define, on the basis of a literature review, the construct of the imposed tax burden and the construct of the perceived tax burden. These definitions of the imposed and perceived tax burden, formulated on the basis of the literature, then served as a theoretical foundation for the development of the conceptual framework. The theoretical constructs underpinning the imposed tax burden were used to formulate a classification framework that provides criteria for classifying government imposts used by the South African government as sources of revenue to fund the public sector, according to their inherent characteristics, irrespective of the label given to a particular impost by the government. The results of this classification of government imposts in South Africa, combined with the theoretical constructs of the perceived tax burden derived from the literature, were used to formulate a conceptual framework for evaluating the tax burden of individual taxpayers in South Africa. The conceptual framework was then applied in a real-life context, using multiple households as case studies. The purpose of the case study research was to assess the validity of the theoretical constructs underpinning the conceptual framework in a real-life environment. The validity of these theoretical constructs was confirmed by the results of the data analysis in this study. Therefore, this study proposes a conceptual framework for evaluating the tax burden of individual taxpayers in South Africa, both objectively, in terms of the imposed tax burden, and subjectively, in terms of the perceived tax burden.