The preparation of both primary and secondary legislation starts annually in February with the announcements in the Minister of Finance’s Budget Review.
The Minister announces all tax policy matters and the intended changes for a particular year in his Budget Speech. At the same time he usually tables the taxation proposals for “sin taxes”, intended changes in fuel levy rates and Road Accident Fund levy rates, as well as subsistence and travel rates.
SARS is involved in the drafting of legislation in conjunction with National Treasury and in this process the following steps are followed:
- Discussion Papers
These are prepared on specific tax policy matters and circulated for public comment before the drafting process starts.
- Draft Documents
These are circulated for a minimum of one week to invite comments from the public.
- Response Documents
These are generally issued after written public comments addressed to the Standing Committee on Finance (the SCoF in the National Assembly) on policy aspects of draft legislation were considered. However, they can also be issued before the comments process had even started.
There are two types of Bills, namely administration and money Bills. These are introduced in Parliament under sections 75 and 77 of the Constitution, respectively. They are tabled by the Minister of Finance in the National Assembly and, after approval by the Standing Committee on Finance (National Assembly) and the Select Committee on Finance (National Council of Provinces), they are sent to the President for assent before they are promulgated as Acts of Parliament.
- Explanatory Memoranda and Memoranda of Objects
These are submitted with draft Bills when introduced in Parliament. They provide background on proposed new legislation, reasons for changes to existing legislation and further explanation or examples where necessary.