South Africa shows tax compliance improvement

Article source: Tax-News 

On December 4, while reviewing the preliminary outcome of the 2014 tax season, the South African Revenue Service (SARS) confirmed that there has again been consistent growth recorded in the levels of tax compliance in the country, with a total of 5.32 million income tax returns submitted.

It noted that 4.05 million taxpayers (almost 95%) who were required to submit a tax return this year, did so on time. This is more than 10 percent higher than the 3.69 million returns submitted in 2013.

The total of returns submitted in 2014 (including over 1 million of outstanding returns from previous years) is marginally lower than the 6.09 million total for 2013, but the decrease has been put down to the introduction of a higher submission threshold since the 2013 tax year.

In 2014, the new threshold means that taxpayers earning one source of income below R250,000 for the year, from one employer and with no refund claims, do not have to submit a tax return, although they still contribute to personal income tax through, for example, monthly PAYE deductions by their employers.

In addition, in 2014, 99.9% of returns were submitted electronically, and nearly 95% were assessed within 3 seconds. In addition, tax refunds of R15.2bn were paid to 2.1 million taxpayers and SARS paid 98% of all those refunds within 72 hours.

Of the 1.02 million outstanding returns received from previous years, defaulting taxpayers paid SARS a total of R436m in outstanding penalties.