Tax revenue up by 8.5%

The South African Revenue Service (Sars) and the National Treasury on Tuesday have released tax statistics which show that tax revenue collection grew by 8.5 percent to reach R1.07 trillion this tax season.

“Tax revenue collection for 2015/16 amounted to R1 070.0 billion (R1.07 trillion), growing by R83.7 billion (8.5 percent) relative to 2014/15,” said the Treasury and Sars in a joint statement.

According to the statistics revenue, growth was mainly supported by personal income tax which grew by R35.4bn. The cost of revenue collection ratio decreased from 0.97 percent in 2014/15 to 0.96 percent, well within the international benchmark of 1 percent.

The 2016 tax statistics provide an overview of tax revenue collection and tax return information for the 2011/12 to 2015/16 fiscal years, and the 2012 to 2015 tax years respectively.

The statistics present comprehensive tax revenue data to complement and contextualise economic and demographic data provided by other statistical agencies. They also provide valuable insights into socio-economic trends.

The tax statistics also showed that VAT remained the second largest contributor to total tax revenue for 2015/16, totalling R281.1bn.

At 18.1 percent of total tax revenues, Company Income Tax (CIT) was the third largest contributor to total tax revenue collected in 2015/16.

Its contribution has decreased significantly, compared to a peak of 26.7 percent achieved in 2008/09. About 25 percent of the 702 395 companies assessed for the 2015 tax year had positive taxable income.

Meanwhile, Import VAT and Customs Duties, South Africa’s two biggest trade-related taxes, jointly contributed R197bn to total tax revenue collected in 2015/16.

This is in line with contributions in the years following the global financial crisis, with the exception of a 19.5 percent peak in 2013/14.

The statistics have jointly been published by Sars and National Treasury since 2008.

The 2016 documents are available on the tax statistics webpage.


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Tax revenue up by 8.5%