The Minister of Finance acknowledged that, notwithstanding increases in tax rates since 2016, tax revenue as a proportion of gross domestic product has started to decline.

Therefore, in order to limit the negative impact on economic growth, the 2019 budget proposals will not increase taxes in any category, but will rather aim to increase collections by not adjusting for inflation and improving the efficiency of SARS.

To achieve this, the following proposals were tabled:

  • the appointment of a new Commissioner for SARS in the near future;
  • the re-establishment of the Large Business Unit;
  • the investigations by the Illicit Economy Unit of potential tax-related offences in high-risk sectors (such as the tobacco industry) in relation to activities highlighted by various commissions of enquiry;
  • strengthening the information technology systems of SARS;
  • harnessing opportunities arising from information-sharing agreements between national tax authorities; and
  • the appointment of an inspector-general for tax administration.

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