The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has paid over ZAR205 billion in refunds across all tax types in the past 10 months.
“The amount of ZAR205 billion paid in refunds is more than the total budget allocated for defence, public order and safety in 2017, which amounted to ZAR198.7 billion.
This massive ZAR205 billion payout to individuals and companies, from the beginning of the financial year on 1 April 2017 to 9 February 2018, represents a significant boost to the economy given the current economic climate,” the company announced in a media statement.
The ZAR205-billion paid out by SARS can be broken down as:
Value-added tax (VAT): An amount of ZAR170.2 billion has been paid so far this year. This is a 6% increase compared to ZAR160.6 billion paid last year at the same time.
Personal income tax (PIT): An amount of ZAR24.1-billion has been paid so far this year. This is a 16% increase compared to the ZAR20.7 billion paid last year at the same time.
Company income tax (CIT): An amount of ZAR11.4 billion has been paid so far this year. This is a 5% increase compared to the ZAR10.9 billion paid last year at the same time.
It must be noted said the revenue service, that there has been an increase in refund pay-outs across all tax types in the last three years.
VAT refund payments increased from ZAR162.1 billion in 2014/15 to ZAR167.1 billion in 2015/16 and ZAR181.5 billion in 2016/17.
PIT refund payments increased from ZAR20.5 billion in 2014/2015 to ZAR20.8 billion in 2015/2016 and ZAR23 billion in 2016/2017.
Meanwhile, CIT refund payments totalled ZAR10.8 billion in both the 2014/2015 and 2015/2016 financial years. It increased to ZAR13 billion in the 2016/2017 year.
However, SARS added that it has the responsibility to clamp down on fraudulent claims.
“While SARS takes great care in paying legitimate refunds to compliant taxpayers it also has the responsibility to clamp down on fraudulent claims. Since the beginning of the current financial year on 1 April 2017, SARS has stopped refund fraud across all tax types of more than ZAR28 billion.”