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South Africa risks tax revolt, bailouts over government graft  

Government likely to miss 2019/20 tax collection target.
Lack of trust in Sars leads to rising levels of tax avoidance and fraud, Sars commissioner Edward Kieswetter says. Picture: Moneyweb

South Africans could start withholding their tax payments due to years of corruption which might force the country to seek an international bailout, the chief of the revenue service said on Monday.

Africa’s most industrialised economy has seen revenue collection fall sharply since 2015 due to weak economic growth and maladministration, leading President Cyril Ramaphosa to fire the revenue service boss last November in the wake of a judicial inquiry that has triggered an executive clean out.

Read: Moving forward after years of plunder and corruption

New Revenue Service (Sars) commissioner Edward Kieswetter, hired in March, told a tax conference in Johannesburg that falling trust in the collector by individuals and companies had led to rising levels of tax avoidance and fraud, bleeding billions from government.

“When public trust wanes, as is the current case, then tax payers feel morally justified to withhold or manipulate their taxes,” Kieswetter said.

“When revenue collection is undermined it traps us in vicious cycle of revenue decline, as we’ve experienced, and consequently the need to go with begging bowls to borrow money, which effectively mortgages our future.”

Earlier in August the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said the country’s debt levels had reached “uncomfortable” levels, but that the country had not yet reached the point of requiring a bailout.

But with economic growth flagging, contracting 3.2% in the first quarter, South Africa collected R1.287 trillion ($91 billion) in tax in the 2018/19 fiscal year, R15 billion short of the government’s target, and is likely to miss its 2019/20 target of R1.4 trillion.

An extra R59 billion of financial support for state power firm Eskom, on top of a R230 billion bailout spread over the next decade, is set to push the 2019/20 budget deficit beyond the 4.5% of gross domestic product forecast by treasury. 

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You want to turn this sentiment around ? Firstly, get the ANC to acknowledge that it was them who got us into this mess in the first place. Secondly show us that you have recovered the stolen billions that have been looted and thirdly that you are spending our hard earned money prudently. Only then can you expect taxpayers to “do the right thing”. If you go after taxpayers before doing the above, you will definitely have a revolt on your hands.

In addition, jail the corrupt ones who have looted the state coffers.

This guy is delusional. Public trust is not waning but is non existent.

The reasons he gives for the under recovery is total nonsense as well. The ANC government has destroyed the economy and with it the tax base.

Simple. Worse is to come.

End of comments.





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