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State faces a tough balancing act on tax

Author: Banele Ginindza (Business Report) Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene last week received preliminary recommendations from the Davies Tax Committee, but whatever the recommendations, the government faces a tough balancing act. Nene said last week at the presentation of the SA Revenue Services (Sars) collection report that he “will want to allow South Africans to engage quite openly on the issue of other sources of government revenue”.

SARS: THE 2015 Employer Annual Reconciliation

1 April is the start of the 2015 Employer Annual Reconciliation for the period 1 March 2014 to 28 February 2015. Don’t forget the following important details: Top Tip: Submission may only be sent from 1 April 2015 for the 201502 period. 1. The Employer Annual Reconciliation period is from 1 April – 29 May 2015. Get ahead and submit your reconciliation sooner, rather than later. This will give you time to resolve any discrepancies before the deadline.

SARS Preliminary Outcomes of Revenue Collection for the 2014-2015 Fiscal Year

We are today releasing SARS’ preliminary revenue collection outcome, twelve hours after the close of the 2014/15 fiscal year. Despite challenging economic conditions, SARS collected R986.4 billion which is a 9.6 % growth in total revenue from 2013/14. This is R7.4 billion above the revised estimate announced in the February 2015 Budget. This revenue performance was made possible by an extraordinary drive by SARS on compliance improvement, which in aggregate, added about R22bn. This closing of the compliance gap compensated for revenue collection shortfall caused by a slowing economy.

Budget 2015: VAT untouched

Author: Deborah Tickle, Partner International Corporate Tax KPMG. Taxpayers were warned as far back as October 2014 that Budget 2015 would not be a happy one for them. Finance Minister, Nhlanhla Nene made it abundantly clear that more tax revenue was needed in the 2015/2016 year to cover the country’s budget deficit or “gap” between expenditure and revenue. The only question was which taxes would increase to “mind” this gap.

MINISTER SEEKS PUBLIC COMMENT ON PROPOSED TEMPORARY REDUCTION OF UIF CONTRIBUTIONS

The Minister of Finance is seeking public comment on a proposal for a temporary reduction in employers and employees’ contributions to the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF), while keeping benefits unchanged. In the 2015 Budget Speech, the Minister proposed to reduce the remuneration threshold against which the contributions are calculated from the current monthly amount of R14 872 to R1 000. Given the challenging economic environment that has led to downward revisions in economic growth, a reduction in unemployment insurance contributions will provide significant support to households and employers.

PwC Tax Comment on the 2015 Budget Review

Personal Income Tax The Finance Minister proposes that the marginal personal income tax rates increase by 1% for all income tax brackets, with the exception of the lowest bracket which will remain at 18%. This means that a taxpayer earning approximately R100,000 per year will have an additional R44.25 extra in their pockets every month. This barely covers the ever-rising cost of fuel and consumables. However, a taxpayer who earns approximately R1 million per year can expect to have R379.22 less cash to take home every month.

Budget 2015 – Post budget: individuals to be out of pocket during next financial year

Author: Marty Santana, PAYE Director at BDO SA Johannesburg, 26 February 2015 – Individuals are going to be seriously out of pocket during the next financial year. The budget has announced a 1% increase in all the rates in excess of income at R181 900. Although consumers have had the benefit of a decrease in petrol price in recent months, this is not expected to last for much longer and now the budget has announced a fuel levy increase of 30.50 cents a litre and an increase in the Road Accident Fund of 50 cents a litre. There was no announcement made about the abolition of the toll levies so consumers again are not getting any relief on this front.

Using the VAT system to decrease the Budget deficit

Author: Ferdie Schneider, National Head: Tax, BDO South Africa The Minister has various options at his disposal concerning how he could use VAT as a fiscal instrument to raise revenue and reduce the budget deficit that has occupied the brain trust in government. South Africa’s VAT rate has been constant since 1993 when it was raised from 10% to 14%, it is also relatively low compared to international standards. Emerging markets average at approximately 18%, whereas developed countries average at approximately 17%.