SARS increases revenue

By Drum Digital
02 April 2013

The SA Revenue Service collected 9.6 % more tax last year than the year before, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan says.A total of R814,1 billion was collected during the 2012/13 fiscal year which ended on March 31.

This was 9.6 % higher than the R742,6 billion collected during 2011/12. It was also R4 billion above the 2013 revised estimate.

Sars had performed well, given the current global economic environment and domestic supply side disruptions, Gordhan says.

The disruptions were mainly in the mining sector, which led to a moderation in economic growth -- from 3,5 % in 2011 to 2,5 % in 2012.

The three main revenue contributors were personal income tax, corporate income tax, and value added tax (VAT).

Total collections on personal income tax were R276,8 billion, up by 10,1 % compared to the previous financial year's R251,3 billion. This was R2bn (0,7 %) more than the 2013 revised estimate.

Corporate income tax collections grew by 5,1 % (R7,8 billion) to R161,1 billion, compared to the previous year's revenue of R153,3 billion.

This figure was 2,1 % (R3.4 billion) above the revised estimate in the 2013 budget.

Collections from VAT rose by 12,8 % to R215,5 billion, when compared to last year's R191 billion. VAT receipts were marginally lower by R1,6 billion (0,7 %) against the revised estimate in the 2013 budget.

The Sars business centre, which dealt with some of the biggest corporates and listed entities in the country, collected R281 billion in revenue -- an increase of R12 billion. Gordhan says the unit put extra effort into collecting provisional tax.

Gordhan warned those who tried to illegally claim tax refunds.

"All of us should send a warning to those practitioners that they can't make a profession out of defrauding the state. Sooner than later the revenue collector is going to catch up with them."

Sars had saved almost R1 billion by reversing such refunds.

The voluntary disclosure programme netted Sars R1,5 billion.

In the segment of large businesses and transfer pricing, 16 cases with audit results of just over R3,2 billion had been finalised in the 2012/2013 financial year. Settlement of these cases resulted in a R652 million cash collection.

Sars said this segment of the tax base was attracting considerable focus from governments across the world, especially where multinationals used the protection of double taxation agreements to minimise their tax obligations.

Another area of concern was the construction sector. Last year Sars identified the construction industry as the least tax-compliant sector in the formal economy. Despite efforts to improve compliance, industry participants collectively owed Sars R4 billion in outstanding taxes.

- by Sapa

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