By Monique Vanek

Despite an economy on the ropes, evident by slower than expected growth, South Africans can breathe a sigh of relief as forecasted increases in value added tax (VAT) and other anticipated tax hikes are not expected. The Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) states that “increases in major tax instruments will be avoided unless the economic environment requires it.

“At this stage, revenue projections assume no changes to tax rates, but provide for annual adjustments to personal income tax brackets, levies and excise duties in line with inflation”.
Despite hopes that chicken would be made VAT free, no mention was made of this, instead the MTBPS states that as per the recommendations of a panel of experts which were commissioned to investigate mitigating the effect of the VAT rate increase introduced in April on low-income households, government proposes to zero-rate white bread flour, cake flour and sanitary pads from 1 April 2019.