Question mark over corporate tax

Cape Town - Finance Minister Trevor Manuel said on Thursday that the corporate tax rate in South Africa was now down on the 48% it had been when the ruling ANC came to power in 1994.

But Manuel said government was "not yet in the position to promise" a full review towards lowering the corporate tax rate further.

"For as long as there is disquiet about the tax gap and there is enthusiasm by SARS (the South African Revenue Services) to collect that which is not (yet) collected, it would not be correct to make a promise like that."

Manuel noted, however, that corporate tax now stood at 30%.

He told MPs on the Finance Portfolio Committee that the approach his government had adopted was one "that favours a general lowering" of the corporate tax rate "rather than (being set at) a high rate with a series of exceptions".

Manuel noted that there were strong business lobbies that were arguing for special concessions or incentives "for particular kinds of sectors", but that that would produce an over-complicated system of administration, "not only with industry, but within government as well".

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