Ramaphosa has signed 5 key tax and revenue-related bills - here's what that means

President Cyril Ramaphosa last week signed five bills relating to tax administration and other division of revenue proposals for the 2019 fiscal year.

According to a memorandum from Parliament, Ramaphosa assented to the bills on January 13, after they were tabled in Parliament by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni last year at the medium-term budget policy statement. They were passed by the National Assembly and National Council of Provinces last year.

Here's what's the president signed.

1. Adjustments Appropriations Bill 

According to Parliament, this bill outlines government's budget priorities for the medium term. Some amendments that were made to the bill in 2019 include allowing for reconfigured departments in Ramaphosa's Cabinet, as well as authorisation for a R17.65bn allocation to Eskom in terms of the Public Finance Management Act, Fin24 previously reported.

2. Taxation Laws Amendment Bill

This bill affects individual savings and employment tax, business tax, Value Added Tax and the Customs and Excise Act.

A key proposal in the amendment was linked to the tax treatment of surviving spouses' pensions.

"The amendment seeks to lessen the financial burden when calculating taxes, which retirement funds may withhold on spousal pensions," Parliament said previously.

The particular amendment's effective date has been shifted from March 2020 to March 2021 in order to allow SARS and taxpayers to get their systems ready for the changes.

"The bill also refines the Employment Incentive Scheme, to align it with the National Minimum Wage Act of 2018.

"The scheme, introduced in January 2014, aims to reduce the cost of hiring young people (18 to 29 years old) without work experience through a cost-sharing mechanism with government," Parliament said.

3. Tax Administration Laws Amendment Bill 

This bill makes technical corrections to several acts, including the Income Tax Act, the Customs and Excise Act, the Value Added Tax Act, among others.

4. The Rates and Monetary Amounts and Amendment of Revenue Laws Bill

According to Parliament, this bill deals with changes in rates and monetary thresholds, changes to personal income tax tables and increases of excise duties on alcohol and tobacco, among other things.

Most notably, the amendments to personal income tax aimed to raise an additional R12.8bn.

The bill allows for no increase in medical tax credits – this will help government to raise funding for National Health Insurance.

5. The Division of Revenue Amendment Bill 

This bill gives effect to changes to the division of revenue act for the 2019/20 fiscal year. It affects the division of revenue between local, provincial and national government.

The adjustments include changes to allocations to provinces and municipalities.

Compiled by Lameez Omarjee

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