Taxman collects R1trn, so far

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The South African Revenue Service has collected R1trn in tax revenue so far, but this is still below the R1.217trn target set by Treasury in the Budget Speech.

In a statement issued by SARS on Monday, commissioner Tom Moyane said that he is confident the tax authority will reach the target by March 29.

“We are focused on closing all revenue leakages through non-compliance and our staff will spare no effort in reaching the revenue target by March 29, even though the economy is not performing to our expectations,” he said.

“We believe that our efforts will provide government with the requisite fiscal space to free up resources for its developmental objectives while allowing it to better manage the levels of debt we are facing.”

Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba at the Budget Speech on Wednesday said that the tax revenue shortfall is R48.2bn. The revenue target was revised up from R1.214trn to R1.217trn.

SARS explained in a statement issued on Thursday that the R2.6bn increase is a result of improved company and trade taxes collected in the last quarter of 2017. 

In his maiden State of the Nation Address President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a tax inquiry into the governance and administration at SARS.

Ramaphosa said the commission, requested by the finance minister, would ensure that the credibility of SARS is restored, as well as its capacity to meet revenue targets.

“We must understand that tax morality is dependent on an implicit contract between taxpayers and government that state spending provides value for money and is free from corruption,” said Ramaphosa.

SARS has since stated it will cooperate with the inquiry.