The South African Revenue Service (Sars) will implement several emergency tax relief measures as announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa, in response to the continuing Covid-19 pandemic and recent unrest that are aimed at helping affected and tax-compliant businesses to recover and ensure livelihoods for employees.
The measures that Sars will implement are the extension of the expanded Employment Tax Incentive age eligibility and the amount that can be claimed, which is aimed at supporting employment in the most vulnerable sections of the labour market.
This will apply from August 1 to November 30.
Moreover, the payment of employees’ tax liabilities – commonly referred to as pay as you earn or PAYE – for tax-compliant small to medium-sized businesses will continue to be deferred until October 31.
Also, tax-compliant businesses with a gross income of up to R100-million will be allowed to delay 35% of their PAYE liabilities over the next three months, without penalties or interest.
Moreover, there is the deferral of excise duties on alcoholic beverages of up to three months by tax-compliant licensees in the alcohol sector, on application setting out the circumstances justifying a deferral.
The full details of the tax relief measures can be found on the National Treasury’s website.
Sars says this temporary safety net in a time of extreme difficulty is possible because compliant taxpayers have paid their fair share of tax.
“The first quarter of the current financial year had exceeded expectations and had outperformed revenue collections for the same period over the past three years,” Sars Commissioner Edward Kieswetter notes.
He reiterates Sars’ commitment of providing clarity and certainty to taxpayers so that they fulfil their legal obligations effortlessly and pay what is due.
He says Sars will endeavour, at all times, to “make it easy and seamless for taxpayers when they transact with the organisation”.
However, he emphasised that Sars has the capability to “detect and make it costly for those that are determined to be non-compliant with their legal obligations and engage in criminal malfeasance through fraudulent means against the organisation”.
“The use of big data, artificial intelligence and the latest technology enables Sars to offer digital services to protect taxpayers and staff during the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions and further buttresses Sars’ efforts in delivering on our mandate,” Kieswetter states.