top of page


Just before we bid goodbye to 2023, SARS published a media statement on 29 December,

stating that the tax administration collected R2.07 trillion in gross tax revenue (9.7% more

than in 2022). Despite the country’s weaker economic growth, this was mainly achieved

through enforcing compliance revenue secured from focused activities, broadening the tax

base and higher-than-average commodity prices.


The largest sources of tax revenue remain Personal Income Tax (PIT) at 35.7%, followed by

Value-added Tax (VAT) at 25.0% and Corporate Income Tax (CIT) at 20.6%. The fuel levy,

together with specific excise and customs duties, accounted for 12.4%, while other taxes

made up the remaining share of 6.3%.

SARS stated that its strategic principles are to make taxpayers aware of their obligations, make it easy to meet them, and importantly, to act against those that break the law.

The increased effort by SARS is known to include aggressive tax-debt collection actions, a focus on outstanding returns, audit and criminal investigations, detection of fraud, and to stop impermissible refunds, just to name a few. This is done by using sophisticated data science, artificial intelligence to detect non-compliance and reliance on information from third party data sources (domestic and international).


Over the years, tax policies and the imposition of taxes have been developed primarily to

raise essential revenue with the purpose to address domestic economic and social concerns

in South Africa, but more specifically to act for the public good. An appropriate saying on

taxes with a long history and sentiment in the United States, is that “taxation is the price

which we pay for civilization, for our social, civil and political institutions, for the security of life and property, and without which, we must resort to the law of force.”

2024 may be the year to hold the elected representatives accountable for the economy,

efficiency, and effectiveness of service delivery and hold the (compulsory) non-tax paying

voters responsible by combatting instances of irregularities resulting from non-compliance,

fraud, theft, or breach of fiduciary duty, which influence law-abiding South African taxpayers’

attitudes towards tax compliance.

Having said that, this year taxpayers that are not tax-compliant are reminded to seek

professional assistance early to prevent falling prey to SARS’ audits, investigations, criminal

actions, penalties, and interest.


BH Groenewald

The SGN Team


bottom of page