SARS has target of R741bn: Gordhan
05 June 2011
Posted by: SAPA
The SA Revenue Service has a target of R741 billion for this year and expects to collect well over R2 trillion over the next three years, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said on Tuesday.
Addressing parliament's standing committee on finance, he said that one of the ways in which this could be achieved was by growing the economy.
This meant creating more employment opportunities and expanding and creating more businesses. This would ensure more taxes.
"There is no other way of getting more taxes," he said.
But, he said that recessions led to "unacceptable" tax practices and that South Africa needed to be aware of this trend.
"This is something you see globally, but also something you see in South Africa. What's happening around the world is that high net worth individuals are finding better ways of avoiding paying their share of taxes."
Presenting its strategic plan for the next three years, Commissioner Oupa Magashule said SARS would be monitoring compliance and that people who did not pay their taxes would "pay the consequences".
He said there were strict penalties for those who did not file their returns on time.
"For every month you have an outstanding return, the penalty increases."
Last year, for the first time, over four million returns were submitted.
Magashule said SARS would continue to improve on their policies to ensure better compliance. Education would also play a key role in trying to get more people to pay their taxes.
"Education is the basis... paying your taxes has direct results for you and all other South Africans," he said.
SARS would also "drive productivity" by improving the ease and speed of registration and other interactions for businesses and by improving turnaround times and reduced paperwork for transactions and queries for priority taxpayer and trader segments.
It would also fully implement a new operating model to make SARS employees more "empowered, agile and responsive" to meet the needs of taxpayers/traders.
Magashule said that the modernisation of SARS internal systems also meant a decrease in the amount of corruption committed.
The modern systems had higher levels of security that allowed officials to log and track all cases.
It also enhanced the ability to detect whether people, internally, were working on cases they were not assigned to.