Gigaba to launch inquiry into SARS tax collection issues

Finance minister Malusi Gigaba has announced that he will launch an inquiry into tax collection at the South African Revenue Service (Sars), specifically looking at why tax revenues have fallen.

The inquiry will be led by a judge, and has already received approval from president Jacob Zuma.

While the full terms of reference are not yet clear, Gigaba said that tax morality and institutional issues around governance will be core to process.

In his mini budget speech delivered in late October, Gigaba highlighted a major tax shortfall, which was set to reach R50 billion in 2017, and hit over R207 billion over the next three years.

The minister also raised concerns around a potential tax revolt, saying that tax morality was a growing issue.

National Treasury is facing a major funding problem as government spending continues to grow, and tax collections fall short of its targets. Gigaba said there was no real room for the government to move to correct this, as there was no will to cut spending, and hiking taxes would exacerbate the issues around tax morality.

Gigaba said that SARS commissioner Tom Moyane has already been made aware of the inquiry, and said he will cooperate fully.

Read:  SARS picks up R20 billion in fraudulent tax claims

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Gigaba to launch inquiry into SARS tax collection issues