Wednesday, April 03, 2024

SARS collects R2.155 trillion in taxes for 2023/24 financial year

While South Africa’s economy continues to face challenges of load shedding and impaired port and logistics operations, the South African Revenue Service (SARS) has collected a gross tax revenue of R2.155 trillion for the 2023/24 financial year.

SARS Commissioner Edward Kieswetter briefed the media on Tuesday on the preliminary revenue outcome for the 2023/24 financial year

“Net revenue, which is the revenue after refunds have been paid to tax payers amounts to R1.741 trillion, which exceeds the revised estimate set by the Minister of Finance by some R10 billion, representing a year on year growth of 3.2% (or R54.2billion) more than last year. This revenue performance translates to a tax-to-GDP ratio of 24.7% and a provisional tax buoyance ratio of 0.9% at gross level and 0.7% at net revenues.’’

COURTESY - X - @sarstax: SARS  Commissioner, Edward Kieswetter

The revenue service refunded taxpayers with an amount of R414 billion, representing a year-on-year growth of 6%, which is the highest quantum of refunds paid out in the history of SARS. It increased by R33 billion from the prior year. Vat refunds amounted to R343 billion, which represents a growth of 7.5% since the prior year.

“Noteworthy is that those refunds represent about 6% of GDP. It is therefore pleasing that R120 billion of these refunds were directed to Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) and R37 billion to individuals. This is good for when business and individuals remain cash strapped. Refunds are often a form of funding during troubled times.

“Whilst we are pleased that the R414 billion returned into the hands of taxpayers is good for the economy, I remain concerned about fraud and abuse of our refund system. In the period under review, SARS was able to prevent the outflow of R101 billion of impermissible or fraudulent refunds and secure a number of successful prosecutions,” added Kieswetter.

In trade facilitation for the period under review, SARS Customs facilitated a total of R8.5 million trade transactions amounting to R3.96 trillion. Exports amounted to just over R2 trillion, whilst imports were R1.937 trillion, resulting in a trade balance surplus of R11 billion.

“Our programme for Authorised Economic Operators (AEO), which is designed to give traders a green lane experience should they be accredited and maintain the high level of compliance, this year we added R145 new licensees, bringing the total number to 304 AEO.’’

“In our compliance environment, an encouraging trend is that we have increased our voluntary compliance index from 61.6% to 63.9%. This index was developed in 2020 in support of our strategic intent of our voluntary compliance and measures the overall compliance behaviour of tax payers across the compliance value chain of registration, filing declaration and payment,” the Commissioner said.

Kieswetter says SARS is pleased that taxes are being paid and public confidence has increased

In terms of Revenue by tax products, and Compared to the 2022/23 fiscal year, SARS Commissioner Edward Kieswetter says total tax revenue increased by R54.2 billion (3.2%), driven by personal income taxes of R49.5 billion (8.2% year on year or y/y) on the back of higher than estimated compensation of employees, as well as higher domestic VAT of R39.3 billion (8.1% y/y).

Kieswetter also reflected on its auto-assessment tax returns

‘’Through our continued application of third party data source\s and automation, we were able to provide a seamless experience of about four million taxpayers who was assessed without making a return. In this process, an additional 2.5 million tax payers process, as well as impermissible refunds adding R21.5 bn. Those who did a return would receive an assessment under 5 seconds. Refund would be processed within 72hrs.’’

SARS Commissioner Edward Kieswetter has urged tax payers to do their research when approaching tax practioners, to avoid fraud and corruption


Done By: Mitchum George

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