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No big tax changes seen ahead of election

17 February 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Author: Fin24
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Author: Fin24

No fundamental tax changes are expected in the National Budget, professional services firm Deloitte said ahead of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan's Budget speech on February 26. 

Because the Budget is being presented in an election year, the focus would rather be on consolidation and the continuing modernisation of SARS systems and processes, according to Deloitte director Le Roux Roelofse.

He said fundamental tax changes could spark potential controversy and debate, something the government would want to avoid ahead of elections on May 7.

Instead, consolidation of present tax legislation could be put forward as a SARS priority, Roelofse said.

"The sheer scale of tax changes introduced during the last five years has created a situation in which SARS must consolidate. The department must take time to iron out the inconsistencies, anomalies and unintended tax consequences that have arisen from legislation that has become exceedingly complex. 

"Taxpayers, tax practitioners and SARS all need time to consider and internalise these changes,” he said.

Referring to the Davis Commission, Roelofse said it is likely that Gordhan will want the Commission to complete its review of the tax system and make recommendations on areas of possible reform before making any new, sweeping changes. 

Roelofse said it is likely that amendments to the Tax Administration Act could be made as SARS endeavours to create a fair balance between the rights of taxpayers and the department.

Changes to the taxation of offshore trusts are also possible.

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