Kieswetter’s latest tax haul beats estimates

 ·2 Apr 2024

South Africa’s preliminary tax collection beat estimates as compliance revenue grew more than a quarter from a year earlier, and the number of impermissible refunds increased.

Commissioner Edward Kieswetter told reporters in Pretoria on Tuesday that the South African Revenue Service collected R1.741 trillion ($92.6 billion) in the fiscal year through 31 March.

The period’s tax take was about R10 billion more than projected in the February budget, representing a 3.2% increase from the 2023 fiscal year.

The higher-than-anticipated income means the budget deficit as a percentage of gross domestic product for the past fiscal year could be better than the National Treasury’s February projection of 4.9%.

Compliance revenue increased 26.7% to R294 billion, and R101 billion of impermissible refunds were prevented.

The better-than-expected revenue collection came even as logistics constraints and record power outages weighed on businesses.

Corporate income tax rose 3.8% from a year earlier, crimped by a 66% slump in taxes from the mining sector.

The data is a further indication that headway is being made in rebuilding a revenue agency that was rendered ineffectual during former President Jacob Zuma’s scandal-marred rule, with a number of inappropriate appointments made to senior posts, some officials forced to quit and key units disbanded.

President Cyril Ramaphosa’s efforts to rebuild the tax agency started with Kieswetter’s appointment in May 2019.

It has since sought to enforce tax compliance and set up units to handle the tax affairs of large businesses and high-net-worth individuals.

Kieswetter’s term was extended in February for another two years.

Read: SARS is coming after these two sectors in South Africa

Show comments
Subscribe to our daily newsletter