TAX revenue collection has not recovered much from the 2009 economic slump, SA Revenue Service (SARS) spokesman Adrian Lackay said yesterday as he and a SARS team released the latest tax statistics in parliament.
They showed that R742.6-billion in revenue was collected in 2011-12, almost R4-billion higher than Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan predicted in his February budget speech.
However, the tax-to-GDP ratio had remained stagnant compared to the figures in 2009, when business and profits in the country were constrained by the global economic crisis. The country suffered a R60-billion tax loss during the downturn.
Companies were still reeling from the after-effects of the constrained economic activity.
"Corporate income tax (CIT) lags behind shifts in the economy."
The exact figures would only become known much later, as companies had a later financial year than SARS.
"Definitively, when GDP activity is lower, you see lower company profitability and that affects CIT significantly."
Lackay said the labour unrest could also become apparent in two ways -- in monthly trade statistics, and through lower exports.
"Minerals are a big contributor to South African exports... so we can expect lower outputs and low exports of minerals," Lackay said.
SARS statistics showed that only a third of companies assessed during 2011-12 declared taxable income. The rest declared either zero profits or losses.
SARS was much more upbeat about the growth in personal income tax (PIT), with a steady increase in the number of people submitting returns from 1.7 million people registered in 1994, to six million people submitting income tax returns by 2012.
"There are 13.7 million working South Africans who pay PIT through employers... some don't have to submit returns because they fall below the threshold." – Sapa