What the Sars data say about SA

2014-11-09 15:00

Younger, richer taxpayers; stronger trade links with India; South Africans’ growing fondness for whisky; and company income tax at prefinancial crisis levels.

These are among the nuggets of data to be found in the latest tax statistics released this week by the SA Revenue Service (Sars) and Treasury.

Personal income tax accounted for R275.8?billion of the R900?billion in taxes collected this year. This year’s tax season closes at the end of this month.

Ten years ago, people between the ages of 40 and 44 accounted for the highest taxable income at R44.8?billion. Last year, they were overtaken by people aged between 35 and 39, who earned a collective income of R124.1?billion.

Gerald Seegers, head of human resources at PwC SA, said the younger group’s average taxable income worked out to R374?274 per person. This means they were out-earned by the 30-34 age group, which had an average taxable income of R386?223 (almost R120?billion

in taxable income spread out among 310?696 taxpayers, according to the tax statistics).

“The 40-44 age group’s average taxable income stands at R368?721 per taxpayer and continues to decline as they get older,” said Seegers.

“If we exclude the many young millionaires being created – probably self-made entrepreneurs – one would expect to find that the higher-income earners and taxpayers are still in the ‘older’ age groups.”

Sars collected R9.6?billion in import VAT and customs duties, making up 5.4% of the total collected. Whisky was one of Europe’s largest exports to South Africa.


The richest taxpayers are getting younger. In 2004, the 40-44 age group was responsible for the highest tax assessments at R10.3?billion. But last year, people aged between 35 and 39 made the highest contribution to the tax pool at R29.1?billion


VAT is the second-highest contributor to the fiscus, contributing R242.1?billion last year and R262.1?billion this year. The financial services and real estate sector made the highest VAT payments to Sars, at R108?billion this year


Corporate income tax is third at R179.5?billion this year. This was the highest contribution since the global financial crisis, when it brought in R167.2?billion in 2009


Import VAT and customs duties came fourth at a collective R177?billion, levied on goods valued at R1.5?trillion, and mainly imported from China (23.4%), Germany (12.1%), the US (7.4%), India (5.4%) and the UK (4.8%)


Rounding off the sources of tax were ‘other taxes and collections’. This comprised capital gains tax levied on assets such as shares, which saw Sars ringing up R11.6?billion this year; property transfer duties (R5.5?billion); mineral and petroleum resources royalties (R6.4?billion); and Southern African Customs Union contributions (R75.6?billion)

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