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SARS to implement emergency tax relief measures

SARS to implement emergency tax relief measures

Tshwane, 30 July 2021 – President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday announced several emergency tax relief measures 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 South African Revenue Service (SARS) will implement these tax relief measures because compliant taxpayers have paid their fair share of tax making it possible for government to provide such a temporary safety net in a time of extreme difficulty.

SARS Commissioner Edward Kieswetter said, “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.”

Mr Kieswetter reiterated SARS’ commitment of providing clarity and certainty to taxpayers so that they fulfil their legal obligations effortlessly and pay what is due. He said SARS will endeavour at all times to “make it easy and seamless for taxpayers when they transact with the organization”.

However, he sent out a clear and unequivocal message that SARS has the capability to “detect and it 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 organization.”

“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.”

The measures which 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 for a period of four months and will come into operation on 1 August 2021 and end on 30 November 2021.
  • Extension of the deferral of the payment of employees’ tax liabilities (commonly referred to as PAYE) for tax compliant small to medium sized businesses. This will come into operation on 1 August 2021 and end on 31 October 2021.
  • Tax compliant businesses with a gross income of up to R100 million will be allowed to delay 35% of their Pay –As- You Earn (PAYE) liabilities over the next three months, without penalties or interest.
  • 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 website explanatory notes on the emergency tax measures

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