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SARS Praised For 2014/15 Performance

by Lorys Charalambous,, Cyprus

06 April 2015

South Africa's Minister of Finance, Nhlanhla Nene, has disclosed that revenue collections for the 2014/15 fiscal year are projected to have grown by 9.6 percent during the 2014/15 fiscal year to ZAR986.4bn (USD83.6bn).

The three main revenue contributors for 2014/15 were personal income tax (at ZAR 353.8bn, up 13.8 percent on the previous fiscal year), corporate income tax (at ZAR186.9bn, up 4.1 percent), and value-added tax (ZAR261.1bn, up 9.9 percent).

Despite challenging economic conditions during the year, SARS's collections were also ZAR7.4n above the revised estimate announced in the February 2015 Budget. Its success lifted the country's estimated tax-to-gross domestic product ratio from the 25.2 percent anticipated in the 2015 Budget to 25.4 percent.

Nene said that this revenue performance "was made possible by an extraordinary drive by SARS on compliance improvement, which in aggregate, added about ZAR22bn. This closing of the compliance gap compensated for the revenue collection shortfall caused by a slowing economy."

During the year, SARS established a comprehensive Revenue Plan that, among other measures, included a special initiatives program designed to curtail tax leakages, to identify opportunities to close tax gaps, and to ensure that all revenues were collected in the correct reporting period.

The compliance improvement resulted, for example, in a broadening of the small and medium-sized enterprise tax base, with more than 18,000 companies submitting returns for the first time ever in the 2014/15 financial year.

In addition, there was a significant increase in personal income tax revenue attributable to the change in the tax treatment of share incentives schemes introduced in 2010. The gains realized by taxpayers are now determined at the time when they take delivery of the proceeds, as opposed to when they exercise an option.

The amendment of value-added tax legislation implemented in 2014 also brought e-commerce transactions between businesses and consumers into the tax net.

TAGS: individuals | South Africa | compliance | Finance | tax | business | value added tax (VAT) | tax compliance | commerce | law | corporation tax | tax authority | e-commerce | small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) | legislation | import duty | revenue statistics | individual income tax | Africa

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