Government, business must encourage tax compliance - CNBC Africa

Government, business must encourage tax compliance

Southern Africa

by admin 0

Moodley says only a small number of high net worth individuals are fully tax compliant. PHOTO: Raj Consultancy

Moodley, speaking on the release of an Oxfam report on the wealth inequality gap, stated that, according to the South African Revenue Service (SARS), only a small number of high net worth individuals are fully tax compliant or meet all of the requirements.

“It has to come from both sides. Government has a role to play, especially with the current low economic growth rate in South Africa and the predictions for it remaining low,” he told CNBC Africa.

“Government’s going to look for money from somewhere and one of the places to look is where people are not being tax compliant. It’s also the responsibility of companies and individuals [who] should be saying, ‘We’re here to make profit but at the same time, we also need to act responsibly’.”

(WATCH VIDEOThe wealth inequality debate)

The report by Oxfam, which illustrates the fact that extreme inequality hinders economic growth, also indicated that wealth inequality is becoming worse and that urgent action needs to be taken.

“Most people agree that having more resources, more wealth generally should be a good thing. What we’re seeing, if you look at many countries in Africa, for example, is you’ve got good economic growth but very few people are benefitting from that growth,” Moodley said.

[video]

“The challenge with that is that a lot of people are left behind and that creates a whole range of social consequences. The World Economic Forum spoke about inequality being one of the key risks over the next decade.”

Moodley added that if you unpack this further, you find that the consequence of this kind of inequality has many different dimensions.

“What we’re trying to do with this report is get more of that discussion and debate going.  A lot of that has happened between government and private companies, and individuals but I do think this is a broader discussion that needs to happen across the board,” he stated.

(READ MORE: Inequality still plagues South Africa)

“It’s an important issue for the country and if we don’t get this issue of inequality right, what we will find is that the country will certainly become more unstable than it is.”

He added that while South Africa has the potential to make the most of the resources in the country, it’s really about how one harnesses that potential.

Comments