Citizen Reporter
Reporter
2 minute read
10 Nov 2021
4:30 am

Things are looking up for Sars

Citizen Reporter

Despite the improvement, Sars commissioner Edward Kieswetter said tax compliance levels were still under strain, with a composite compliance level of 62.61%, compared to 65.05% the previous year.

Sars collects R1.55 trillion in taxes through e-filing. Picture: iStock

The South African Revenue Service (Sars) has collected more than R1.55 trillion in taxes at gross, which comprises a net amount of R1.25 trillion.

Sars collected R38 billion more than the revised estimate. Refunds paid amounted to R300.6 billion, which is R20 billion more than 2019-20.

Despite the improvement, Sars commissioner Edward Kieswetter said tax compliance levels were still under strain, with a composite compliance level of 62.61%, compared to 65.05% the previous year.

The Public Confidence survey showed the impact and prevalence of corruption and wasteful expenditure are not helpful in enhancing tax morale.

Nevertheless, Kieswetter said the revenue collector “was encouraged by the measured progress in rebuilding Sars”.

The institution is focusing on transforming itself into a “smart, modern Sars” by investing 3% of its budgeted resources on its modernisation programme in order to keep abreast of fast-changing technology.

“Our specific compliance interventions to detect and deter noncompliance yielded R172 billion, which shows room to improve … across all tax types,” said Kieswetter.

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“This dovetails with Sars’ strategic objective of making it costly for those who are wilfully noncompliant.”

The R38.9 billion granted in Covid relief measures and trade to the value of R2.6 trillion had been facilitated in accordance with the tax collector’s mandate.

At least 1.6 million additional taxpayers were added to the Sars tax register which resulted in R4.6 billion being added to the net collections.

“Our strategic objective to make it easy and simple for taxpayers to comply has also yielded impressive results: 86.3% of Sars interactions was done through digital channels such as eFiling and the MobiApp,” he said.

At least 83.2% of standard taxpayers (3.4 million taxpayers) received auto-assessments.

“The effectiveness of these channels are also indicated by the fact that R1.55 trillion was collected via eFiling,” said Kieswetter.