Revenue collection remains a bugbear for government due to weak economic growth and tax administration concerns, which were self-inflicted, South Africa’s Finance Minister Tito Mboweni told journalist in a Budget press conference.
The revised tax revenue estimate for 2018/19 is R15.4 billion lower than anticipated by the 2018 Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) estimate. Thus the projected revenue shortfall of R27.4 billion is now R42.8 billion compared with the 2018 Budget estimate.
This sombre news was revealed by Mboweni in his maiden Budget on Wednesday. To address this shortfall, tax changes designed to raise R15 billion in additional tax revenue in 2019/20 have been introduced.
These among others include:
- Increasing the tax-free threshold for personal income taxes from
R78 150 to R79 000. No changes will be made to personal income tax
- Increasing the fuel levy by 29c/litre, consisting of a 15c/litre
increase in the general fuel levy, a 5c/litre increase in the Road Accident
Fund (RAF) levy and the introduction of a carbon tax on fuel of 9c/litre.
- Increasing excise duties on alcohol and tobacco products by between
7.4 per cent and 9 per cent. The targeted excise tax burden for wine, beer and
spirits is 11 per cent, 23 per cent and 36 per cent respectively.
- No change in the monthly medical tax credit for medical scheme
- Increase in health promotion levy from 1 April from 2.1c to 2.21c
per gram in excess of 4 grams of sugar per 100ml.
- Limiting the RAF levy diesel refund for primary production
industries to ensure that diesel users in these sectors equitably contribute
towards their RAF indemnity.
- The implementation of carbon tax on 1 June 2019.
- Government proposes to align the tax treatment on ad valorem
excise duty on motor vehicles Because of the way ad valorem excise duty is
calculated, vehicles produced locally are taxed at a higher rate than imported
- Government intends to publish draft legislation for public comment
during 2019 on a gambling tax.
- Urban development zone tax incentive to be reviewed.
- South Africa reviewing its oil and gas tax regimes in 2019.
- Taxing electronic cigarettes and tobacco heating products.
- Definition of fuel levy goods for tax purposes to be reviewed may
include mineral ethanol, illuminating paraffin, aviation kerosene, liquefied
petroleum gas, compressed natural gas – as well as biofuels such as bioethanol
- Tax on “single-use” plastics including straws, caps, beverage cups
and lids, and containers to curb their use and encourage recycling will be
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Although few, government has also introduced a number of tax incentives. These include: