SARS has published its annual tax statistics, showing the breakdown of South African taxpayers, and which salary ranges they fall under.
The overall data showed that revenue from personal income tax (PIT), as a percentage of total tax revenue, increased from 29.6% in 2007/08 to 37.2% in 2016/17 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.8%, and a proportion of 8.4% of GDP over this period.
Tax revenue collected amounted to R1.144 trillion, growing year-on-year by R74.1 billion (6.9%) mainly supported by PIT which grew by R36.6 billion (9.4%), SARS said.
Tax revenue basically doubled in 10 years, increasing from R572.8 billion in 2007/08 to R1.144 trillion in 2016/17, growing by R571.3 billion. This is a CAGR of 8.0% for the nine-year period prior to 2016/17.
What taxpayers are earning
According to SARS’ data, there are 148,266 millionaires in South Africa, the bulk of which are earners in the R1 million to R2 million per annum salary range.
There were over 7,000 more millionaires in the country compared to 2015/16, where there were 141,197 millionaires recorded.
All millionaires had a total taxable income of R287.24 billion – at an average of R1.94 million.
- In the R1 million to R2 million salary group, 113,811 people had total taxable income of R150.65 billion (or R1.32 million per person).
- About 28,828 South Africans earn between R2 million and R5 million, with a total taxable income of R82.2 billion (R2.85 million per person).
- Meanwhile 5,627 taxpayers earn more than R5 million, with a total taxable income of R54.4 billion (R9.67 million per person).
While there were more millionaires in 2016/17 than the prior year, the number of millionaires in the R5 million-plus range was down from 5,752 people in 2015/16 (a loss of 125 individuals).
Overall, 4.8 million people paid income tax in 2016/17, with the total taxable income of R1.441 trillion (R300,398 per person).
The largest tax pool was for those earning between R250,000 and R350,000 a year (825,000 people). The vast majority of taxpayers – over 3 million people – earn under R350,000, the data showed.