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SARS collects R700m more in taxes than predicted

Wednesday, 02 April 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Author: Amanda Visser
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Author: Amanda Visser (BDlive)

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) collected R889.7bn in taxes for the 2013-14 tax year, which is R700m more than the revised estimate announced in the February budget.

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said on Tuesday that the higher than expected revenue income did not mean there was more for government expenditure, but would enable the government to consolidate the fiscal position by reducing the need for borrowing.

Mr Gordhan announced the preliminary outcome of revenue collection for the 2013-14 fiscal year at the Large Business Centre of SARS on Tuesday afternoon. He said the good revenue performance ensured a deficit at or slightly below 4% of gross domestic product (GDP). This was achieved despite a volatile economic environment.

Personal income tax collection came to R310.5bn, which was R778m above the revised estimate in the 2013-14 budget. Above-inflation wage settlements sustained taxes from individuals, Mr Gordhan said.

Company profit taxes were slightly up from the revised estimate of R178.7bn to R179.9bn. The figure was, however, R19bn higher than the R160.9bn of the previous fiscal year.

Value-added tax (VAT) collection was down marginally to R237.7bn, but R22.7bn higher than the R215bn collected in the previous financial year.

Mr Gordhan said the prolonged strike in the platinum sector did affect the 2013-14 tax collections, but the effect was not "overwhelming". The strike only started in the last two months of the 2013-14 fiscal year. Both mining and manufacturing grew at double-digit rates in the fourth quarter of 2013 after lacklustre performances earlier in the year.

Acting SARS commissioner Ivan Pillay said refunds of R191bn had been paid to taxpayers during the 2013-14 fiscal year. He said several interventions were made to ensure tax compliance, especially with regard to VAT fraud.

He also said SARS officials had made 2.3-million calls to taxpayers to remind them of their obligations and sent 1.1-million SMSes, which generated tax income of R2.2bn.

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