The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has paid over R205 billion in refunds across all tax types in the past 10 months, it said on Wednesday.
“The amount of R205-billion paid in refunds is more than the total budget allocated for defence, public order and safety in 2017, which amounted to R198.7-billion. This massive R205-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,” said the revenue service of the payment made in the last 10 and a half months.
The R205-billion paid out by SARS can be broken down as:
- Value-added tax (VAT): An amount of R170.2 billion has been paid so far this year. This is a 6% increase compared to R160.6 billion paid last year at the same time.
- Personal income tax (PIT): An amount of R24.1-billion has been paid so far this year. This is a 16% increase compared to the R20.7 billion paid last year at the same time.
- Company income tax (CIT): An amount of R11.4 billion has been paid so far this year. This is a 5% increase compared to the R10.9 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 R162.1 billion in 2014/15 to R167.1 billion in 2015/16 and R181.5 billion in 2016/17.
PIT refund payments increased from R20.5 billion in 2014/2015 to R20.8 billion in 2015/2016 and R23-billion in 2016/2017.
Meanwhile, CIT refund payments totalled R10.8 billion in both the 2014/2015 and 2015/2016 financial years. It increased to R13 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 R28-billion,” it said.