SARS collects R1.1 trillion tax revenue

Updated on 4 April 2017

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The South African Revenue Services (Sars) announced on Monday a R1.144 trillion preliminary outcome for revenue collection for the 2016/17 tax year.

This means that Sars broke the trillion rand mark for the second year in a row, in gross terms standing at R1.367 trillion. Sars said this outcome was fractionally or only R300,000 above the revised estimate as announced in the 2017 Budget.

For the 2016/17 financial year, net revenue grew by 7.0 percent contrasted with a growth in refunds of 9.5 percent year-on-year.

Personal income tax, corporate income tax, and VAT along with Customs and Excise, in aggregate remained the largest sources of tax revenue and represented about 94.5 percent of total tax revenue collections.

Personal income tax collections of R426.0 billion were 9.4 percent higher against the previous year by R36.7 billion mainly due to Pay As You Earn payments.

The financial services sector remained the largest contributor to total net revenue at 49.7 percent, followed by the community and social services, and manufacturing sectors with contributions of 15.3 percent and 10.5 percent respectively.

In aggregate, Sars paid out R222.4 billion in refunds.

A total of R23.0 billion was paid in personal income tax refunds, reflecting a 10.7 percent increase on the prior year. Corporate income tax refunds totalled R13.0 billion, representing about R2.2bn, or 20.7 percent increase in pay outs compared to the prior year.

The preliminary result would be subjected to detailed financial reconciliation which, in the past, was of the order of approximately R150 million.

Sars pointed to subdued growth in global economic growth for the 2016 calendar year, with global growth easing to 3.1 percent in 2016 from 3.2 percent in 2015.

Uber and Old Mutual help drivers to manage their finances

In celebration of Global Money Week, Uber and Old Mutual have announced that they will be extending its free money management course that took place in South Africa to its driver-partners in Accra, (Ghana), Lagos (Nigeria) and Nairobi, (Kenya). The course reflects Global Money Week’s theme – Learn. Save. Earn. Driver-partners attending the workshops will be empowered with the skills to manage their finances in order to grow their income and save for the future. Workshops begin this week and drivers will receive an invitation via email to reserve their seat.

The Old Mutual On the Money workshops are free to Uber driver-partners in Kenya, Nigeria and Ghana. By attending, they’ll learn to understand basic money principles, develop healthy savings habits and plan a path to financial well-being. The workshops were previously run in partnership with Uber in South Africa with great results and positive feedback from the driver-partners who attended.

Alon Lits, General Manager for Uber Sub-Saharan Africa says, “Uber is a passionate champion of innovation, both in the transport sector and in the development of entrepreneurs. With this partnership we can foster the skills of emerging entrepreneurs, empower driver-partners using our app to grow their small business, support their families and begin saving.”

Driver-partners can book the workshop directly via an email invitation.

Business groups warn downgrade will hit all citizens

South African business groupings on Tuesday said Monday’s sovereign ratings downgrade by S&P Global would affect all South Africans and expressed concern that it was the start of a negative spiral.

S&P lowered the country’s long-term foreign currency sovereign credit rating from ‘BBB-‘ to ‘BB+’, which is one notch below investment grade, or so-called junk status.

Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) expressed concern the downgrade could “undermine efforts to sustain the growth in social programmes that counteract the harshest effects of poverty and inequality”.

BUSA President, Jabu Mabuza said the organisation was “deeply disappointed” that the downgrade had occurred despite the best efforts to avoid it.

In a statement issued on Tuesday morning BUSA expressed fears that the downgrade would result in higher levels of unemployment and increase the price of food and fuel.

BUSA chief executive Tanya Cohen said: “All individuals will be affected by this change in the country’s investment status. South Africa will find it much harder to attract the levels of investment it requires to grow the economy and meet our social support commitments relating to health, housing and education.

“The political instability triggered by the extensive cabinet reshuffle is having a domino effect. We are most concerned that it is the start of a negative spiral.”

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