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Sars' Kieswetter not concerned by Treasury not adding new tax collection streams

Commissioner Kieswetter said that despite there not being substantive tax hikes, there was still wiggle room to improve the efficiency of collection.

 FILE: South African Revenue Service (Sars) Commissioner Edward Kieswetter. Picture: @sarstax/Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG - South African Revenue Service (Sars) Commissioner Edward Kieswetter said that he was not concerned that Treasury did not introduce additional streams to collect tax.

On Wednesday, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni announced the reduction of corporate tax but increased sin taxes across the board.

This is relief for taxpayers who were anticipating that Mboweni would be raising taxes.

Kieswetter said that he agreed with the minister that increasing tax at this stage could impact on economic growth.

Commissioner Kieswetter said that despite there not being substantive tax hikes, there was still wiggle room to improve the efficiency of collection.

With corporate income tax being lowered to 27%, Kieswetter said that they were confident in other plans announced by the minister.

"That's why the additional R3 billion announcement for additional skills, deepening our capability for AI machine learning, expanding and increasing the use of data and also building our technology platform, all of this will help us to be more efficient in our collection."

Legal manager at Tax Consulting SA, Thomas Lobban, said that taxpayers should be wary of this announcement.

"Government may very well be following a carrot-and-stick approach whereby they don't increase direct taxes but rather change their approach to revenue collection so they can still make up the revenue shortfall."

It remains to be seen what methods SARS will apply to collect tax on non-complying individuals and organisations.

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