Kaya 959 Reporter
In the last year, the South African Revenue Service (SARS)’s Voluntary Disclosure Programme yielded additional revenue of R4.6 billion, outstanding returns (R5.4 billion) and targeted criminal investigations and preservation orders of less than R2 billion.
The taxman’s compliance drive ensured debt collections from large businesses (R12 billion), high wealth individuals (R42 billion), and “corporate actions” (R6.8 billion).
A total of 21 cents in every R1 of collected tax is spent on servicing public debt, which totalled R334.5-billion in 2021 alone.
South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth is forecast at 5.1% for 2021, settling at 1.8% in 2022 and 1.6% in 2023.
The 2021 Budget deficit stands at 7.8%. Gross debt is 69.9% of GDP in 2021, or R4.31-trillion, growing to 77.8% of GDP in 2022.
With tax collection boosted by R120.3-billion – largely from a mining commodities windfall, but also generally improved collections – there is a little room to manoeuvre without raising debt.
Chief Revenue Officer at SARS, Johnstone Makhubu recently joined Gugulethu Mfuphi unpacked how the tax revenue increased in spite of COVID in the last year.
“It has made revenue collection much more easier, in term of what we’ve seen with the commodity prices as well as the rate of exchange, the global demand, the easing of restrictions in term of the global supply chain allowed all these for a period, for all the largest global trading partners of South Africa and China to start consuming.”
“With that windfall or that demand it has made it a little bit easier bring the tax revenue we are received”
Makhubu also gave insight on the compliance drive SARS has undertaken in the last year.
“We have leveraged our voluntary compliance program to ensure that we open the doors for those who want to regularize their tax affairs. Even here we’ve seen quite a number of applications.”
“We’d want to continue doing this work to ensure we continue the compliance work we continue to do, together with any windfall we get from the economy will put the country on the front foot as far as the collection of taxes is concern.”