South Africa Needs Wider Tax Base

July 4, 2012 Taxation in South Africa

Tax Base in South AfricaPRETORIA – South Africa has enjoyed notable successes in bringing more individuals into the country’s tax net, but greater efforts must be expended to widen the country’s tax base.

Speaking at a press conference held in Pretoria to mark the start of the 2012 tax season, the Minister of Finance of South Africa Pravin Gordhan commented on the current state of the country’s tax system and detailed several administrative improvements that will be implemented by the South African Revenue Service over the coming year.

According to the Minister, the number of taxpayers registered in South Africa has doubled over the last two years, and has now reached more than 13.7 million.

Despite the increasing number of taxpayers, the Minister said that South Africa still needs to expand the national tax base in order to finance the country’s social welfare programs and development projects. He said that to increase overall tax revenues, South Africa needs to create ” … more business operations in this country and more producers, more jobs in order to create more taxpayers.”

The Minister announced that in order to ensure that the taxpayers currently registered in South Africa continue to comply with their tax obligations, the SARS will be implementing several new initiatives aimed at easing the tax filing process and increasing taxpayers’ knowledge of their tax obligations. New infrastructure and software will soon be installed, which will allow the SARS to process the majority of personal tax returns within minutes. New technologies will also be made available which will allow taxpayers to file their tax returns through applications on their smartphones. Call centers will also be established to help guide taxpayers through the process of filing tax return online or through their mobile devices.

Photo by Philip Taylor PT