Higher-than-average commodity prices help Sars collect more revenue

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The South African Revenue Service (Sars) collected R2.07 trillion in gross tax revenue in the 2022/2023 fiscal year, which is R183bn or 9.7% more than in the previous year. 

It also refunded taxes worth R381bn (R60bn or 18.7% more than in the previous year) and netted tax revenue amounting to R1.69 trillion (R123bn or 7.8% more than in the preceding year). 

This is contained in the 16th annual edition of the Tax Statistics released by National Treasury and Sars on Friday. These aggregated statistics are compiled from Sars’s registers of taxpayers and from tax returns.

Sars said a broad recovery in tax bases and higher-than-average commodity prices supported the growth in tax revenues. 

However, Sars said there were several risks impacting on tax revenue collections for the 2022/2023 fiscal year. These included the prolonged effects of global geo-political tensions, energy supply risks, constrained logistics networks, labour and social unrest, weaker global and domestic economic growth and heightened inflation risks. 

Sars said compliance revenue secured from focused activities and efforts by Sars yielded R231.8bn for the 2022/2023 fiscal year, R16bn or 7.5% more than in the preceding year.

Other key figures in the 2023 Tax Statistics show the largest sources of tax revenue remained personal income tax (PIT) at 35.7%, value-added tax (VAT) at 25% and corporate income tax (CIT) at 20.6%.

“These revenue sources comprised 81.3% of total tax revenue collected. The fuel levy, together with specific excise and customs duties, accounted for 12.4%, whilst other taxes made up the remaining share of 6.2%.” 

The publication shows that by March 31 2022, the PIT register had grown annually by 4.1% to 24.8 million individuals, and by a further 4.5% to 25.9 million at the end of March 2023.  

The number of individuals expected to submit income tax returns was 7.1 million for the 2019 tax year. This count decreased to 6.8 million for the 2021 tax year but increased again to 7.1 million for the 2022 tax year. Sars said these count changes were mainly due to changes in the minimum tax threshold for submission of returns.  

For the 2022/2023 fiscal year, import VAT was collected in the main from the importation of machinery and electronics (26.4%), chemical products (13.8%) and vehicles, aircraft and vessels (11.2%).  

The largest contributors to customs duties were vehicles, aircraft and vessels (29.0%), textiles and clothing (15.9%), food, beverages and tobacco (13.4%) as well as machinery and electronics (12.3%). 



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