Ramaphosa announces SARS clean-up

Cape Town – President Cyril Ramaphosa will appoint a commission of inquiry into tax administration and governance into the South African Revenue Service (SARS).

In his maiden State of the Nation Address, delivered in Parliament on Friday, Ramaphosa said steps need to be taken to strengthen and stabilise vital institutions like SARS.

The commission, requested by the finance minister, will ensure that the credibility of SARS is restored, as well as its capacity to meet revenue targets.

“We must understand that tax morality is dependent on an implicit contract between taxpayers and government that state spending provides value for money and is free from corruption,” he said.

SARS Commissioner Tom Moyane has repeatedly defended the capacity of SARS, saying that he has a competent team.

Last year MPs told Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba to look into SARS after he announced at the mini budget that the country face a revenue shortfall of R50.8bn.

SARS' annual tax statistics released last year showed that revenue for the 2016/17 year came to R1.144 trillion. This was up 6.9% from the previous year.

At the time, SARS research head Dr Randall Carolissen said there was a strong correlation between taxes and the state of the economy. Tax collection has been suppressed by a weaker economy.

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