Taxi bosses are happy to sit down with the South African Revenue Service (Sars) to engage on issues of tax in the industry, while finding solutions to tax evasion by operators.
The South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) responded to reports that plans were underway for the revenue collector to address tax avoidance in the minibus industry, as only R5 million had been collected in corporate income tax (CIT) from taxi operators. This included tax collected from employment income.
In his response to Parliament, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni said Sars would be adopting several interventions targeted at tax avoidance across the tax ecosystem.
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The industry incorrectly disclosed income from taxi business on their CIT returns, and instead included them under a generic income source code. This made it difficult to determine income solely from taxi operations, Mboweni said.
Taxi organisations and operators, however, have welcomed Sars’ intended interventions, saying this was an opportunity for the industry and the revenue collector to engage.
“In fact, we want to speak to Sars. We want to raise issues with Sars and believe this could be an opportunity for both the department and the industry to collaborate for these issues to be addressed. We do not see this as if there is an attitude towards the industry but we see it as an intention by the minister to determine what it is he wants to achieve and where he is falling short,” Santaco spokesperson Thabiso Molelekwa said.
“We also want to assist the minister to understand the challenges of the industry in terms of whether certain things are taxable or not.”
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These issues included limited knowledge of tax and since not all operators would be required to pay tax in terms of their income brackets, there is a need to engage so operators do not “antagonise the system”, said Molelekwa.
“People who may not have been paying their Sars correctly, like any other individual, it is lack of knowledge and we want harmonious processes of addressing these issues.”
The revenue service is “collating information” on the planned interventions, spokesperson Siphithi Sibeko said.
“We will be giving a comprehensive response in due course. The colleagues are still collating the information,” Sibeko said.