Joint Media Release by the National Treasury and the South African Revenue Service

PRETORIA, 10 November 2015 – The 2015 Tax Statistics bulletin was released today.
The objective of this publication is to present comprehensive tax revenue data in a manner that will complement and help contextualise economic and demographic data provided by other publications. Feedback from a variety of sources indicates that tax statistics also provide valuable insights into socio-economic trends.
The 2015 Tax Statistics release is made against the backdrop of increasing international utilisation of tax administrative data to support national statistical frameworks.
The 2015 Tax Statistics Bulletin provides an overview of tax revenue collection and tax return information for the 2010/11 to 2014/15 fiscal years, and the 2011 to 2014 tax years respectively.
This publication continues to provide factual data that is accessible to a wide range of stakeholders in research, media and the wider public sector.
Some highlights in this publication include:
  • For the 2014/15 fiscal year there were 679 274 entities registered for Value-Added-Tax (VAT) of which 420 940 (62.0%) were active. VAT collections grew by 9.9% for 2014/15 compared to the previous fiscal year. VAT was the second largest contributor to total tax revenue for 2014/15, totalling R261.3 billion (26.5%).
  • For the 2014 tax year, there were 16.8 million registered individual taxpayers. There were 4.9 million individuals that were assessed who contributed to Personal Income Tax (PIT) and further taxpayers who are not required to submit returns who also have employees tax deducted. PIT was the largest source of total revenue collected for 2014/15 totalling R353.9 billion (35.9%).
  • For the 2013 tax year nearly 2.7 million companies were registered for different tax types that apply to businesses. Some 652 847 companies were assessed by SARS. About 26% of companies that were assessed had positive taxable income (profit); 45% had taxable income equal to zero and the remaining 29% reported an assessed loss. Corporate Income Tax (CIT) was the third largest contributor to total revenue for 2014/15, totalling R186.6 billion (18.9%). Of the total number of companies assessed by SARS for the 2013 tax year, 113 926 were Small Business Corporations (SBCs) and paid tax at the applicable graduated income tax rate instead of a fixed CIT rate of 28%.
Administrative records generally cover an entire population, in contrast to a sample survey, means that statistics derived from administrative records are more reliable for sub-components of the population and for small geographical areas.
The aggregated statistics presented in this Tax Statistics Bulletin provide important insights into the economic trajectory of our country. These include:
  • how the profitability of companies is evolving,
  • the value added by entities registered for VAT,
  • the growth in gross income reported by individual taxpayers, and
  • their taxable income in turn.
The World Bank, the OECD, stakeholders from government, including Statistics South Africa and the South African Reserve Bank, continue to make use of the publication. The Davis Tax Committee, in its evaluation of South Africa’s tax system, made extensive use of Tax Statistics published previously.
The publication consists of the following chapters:
  • Chapter 1: Revenue Collections provides a summary of aggregate tax revenue collection trends from 2010/11 to 2014/15.
  • Chapter 2: Personal Income Tax (PIT) gives an overview of assessed personal income tax revenues of registered individual taxpayers. It also provides information about taxable income by income group, age, gender, municipality of residence and source of income, as well as fringe benefits, allowances and deductions.
  • Chapter 3: Company Income Tax (CIT) gives an overview of company income tax revenues. Information about taxable income by income group, sector and type of business as declared in the tax returns is also provided.
  • Chapter 4: Value-Added Tax (VAT) provides a breakdown of VAT liabilities, receipts and refunds, by sector and payment category, as well as an overview of input and output VAT data derived from VAT returns submitted by vendors.
  • Chapter 5: Import VAT and Customs Duties provides information about the customs value of imported goods by product type, according to the Harmonised System (HS) at chapter level, as well as Import VAT, Customs duty and Ad valorem excise duty revenues on imported goods.
  • Chapter 6: Other Taxes and Collections provides information about taxes such as Capital Gains Tax (CGT), Transfer duty, Mineral and Petroleum Resources Royalty (MPRR), Southern African Customs Union (SACU) payments and Diesel refunds.
The 2015 Tax Statistics documents are available on the Tax Statistics webpage.
Both SARS and National Treasury welcome public comments and suggestions to enhance the publication’s utility in policy evaluation and developing new insights in South Africa’s social and economic context. These can be provided via e-mail to [email protected].
For the Tax Stats presentation, click here.