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South Africa Sees Further Rise In Tax Returns

by Lorys Charalambous,, Cyprus

29 November 2013

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has again recorded significant growth in the levels of tax compliance in the 2013 Tax Season, with 6.09m income tax returns submitted by the November 22 deadline, an increase of 7.7 percent compared to 2012.

This means that 91.5 percent of taxpayers who were eligible to submit a tax return this year did so on time, an increase of 5.5 percent over 2012.

"The growth in the number of tax returns filed despite an increase in the threshold for submitting a return from ZAR120,000 (USD11,900) to ZAR250,000 shows the continued growth in tax compliance by fellow South Africans," Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan, said. "The ability to collect tax revenue from individual and corporate citizens to finance the provision of public services and the provision of socio-economic infrastructure has been one of the cornerstones of our democracy these past 20 years."

Other key results included the fact that 1.55m outstanding returns were also submitted from previous years, and SARS received ZAR674m in penalties from defaulting taxpayers.

In addition, 99.86 percent of returns were submitted electronically and 94.83 percent of returns were assessed within 3 seconds. Less than 6,500 manual or paper returns were submitted this year.

With 95 percent of tax refunds being paid in 72 hours, over ZAR14.2bn was refunded to 2m taxpayers, which is ZAR1.4bn higher than the 2012 figure. Payments from taxpayers in 2013 amounted to ZAR4.7bn, which is ZAR1bn (27.4 percent) more than the ZAR3.69bn paid in 2012.

TAGS: individuals | South Africa | compliance | Finance | tax | tax compliance | law | tax breaks | penalties | Africa | Tax

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