Edward Kieswetter SARS commissioner

SARS commissioner Edward Kieswetter. Image: OECDtax/Flickr

SARS rakes in record tax revenues, pays out R414 billion to taxpayers

SARS has announced its preliminary revenue collection for the 2023/24 fiscal year, confirming it collected a record amount of R2.155 trillion.

Edward Kieswetter SARS commissioner

SARS commissioner Edward Kieswetter. Image: OECDtax/Flickr

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has announced its preliminary revenue collection outcome for the 2023/24 fiscal year.

SARS was established in 1997.

In its 30 years since inception, SARS has collected R21.6 trillion in net tax revenues.

Tax revenue collections have increased from R114 billion in 1994/95, at a compounded annual growth rate of 9.9% and an average tax-to-GDP ratio of 22.2%.

To put this in perspective, SARS collections over the last four business days this fiscal year amounted to R114 billion – or the total collected in 1995 for the entire year.

As at the end of March 2024, SARS collected a record gross amount of R2.155 trillion, year on-year 4.2% against the nominal GDP of 4.9%.

SARS paid out refunds of R414 billion to taxpayers, the highest ever quantum in refunds compared to R381 billion in the prior year, representing growth of 8.6%.

This brings the collected net amount to R1.741 trillion which is almost R10 billion higher than the revised estimate and R54 billion more than last year’s R1.687 trillion.

Edward Kieswetter staying for 2 more years

“Whilst we are pleased that the R414 billion returned into the hands of taxpayers is good for the economy, I remain concerned about the refund fraud and abuse,” said SARS Commissioner Edward Kieswetter.

In the period under review, SARS was able to prevent the outflow of R101 billion of impermissible refunds.

As reported by The South African website, President Cyril Ramaphosa has extended the term of office for SARS commissioner Edward Kieswetter by two years.

SARS remains determined to make it hard and costly for taxpayers who willfully fail to meet their obligations.

The SARS compliance programme contributed R293.7 billion as at end of March (preliminary). This is an increase of R61.9 billion (26.7%) from the previous year’s R231.8 billion.

The Compliance Programme uses data, artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to successfully counter criminality and willful non-compliance.

These systems also ensure that no legitimate refunds are denied, whilst preventing impermissible and fraudulent refunds.

Click HERE for the full SARS report


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