SARS targets R1 trillion in tax collections

The SA Revenue Service intends collecting nearly R1 trillion during the 2014/15 tax season, which began on Tuesday.

Tax revenue was expected to grow by 10.4% to R993.6 billion, with R899.8 billion collected last year, after refunds, Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene told reporters in Pretoria.

Nene said Sars’s ability to collect revenue had been one of the cornerstones of South Africa’s 20-year-old democracy as it affected government’s ability to deliver public services.

While revenues were expected to increase, the economy was underperforming.

“The South African economy is continuing to grow at a moderate pace but continues to underperform,” the minister said.

“When the economy slows down, we do experience a slowdown in revenue.”

The five-month strike in the platinum sector that ended last week played a significant role in the moderation of economic growth.

“The 0.6% contraction [in growth in the first quarter] was mainly as a result of the mining sector challenges we have been experiencing,” Nene said.

“It indeed had a significant impact on the economy and it is going to take time for the economy to reach its pre-strike performance.”

Personal income tax accounted for 35% of tax collected, followed by value added tax (VAT) at 26%, and corporate income tax at 22%.