Tax clock tells you how much time you spend working for the taxman

26 February 2020 - 17:12 By TimesLIVE
How far do you have to run every day before you're working for yourself instead of the taxman? The tax clock tells you.
How far do you have to run every day before you're working for yourself instead of the taxman? The tax clock tells you.
Image: 123rf/sentavio

When you put in long hours of work each day, you're not just working for yourself.

Unless you're breaking the law, you're also working to pay your share of taxes that help keep the country running. But what are you actually paying for?

OpenUp, a civic tech organisation, has updated its annual “tax clock” with updated figures from finance minister Tito Mboweni’s budget presented on Wednesday.

It is part of OpenUp’s mandate to build free tools that promote active citizenry and help people make informed decisions.

Tell the tax clock your salary and it will work out the time of day at which you start working for yourself instead of the Receiver of Revenue.
Tell the tax clock your salary and it will work out the time of day at which you start working for yourself instead of the Receiver of Revenue.
Image: OpenUp

The tax clock calculates the time you spend each day paying government bills for services such as education and health and the time you spend working for yourself.

Once it knows your salary, the tax clock gives you a minute-by-minute breakdown of how long you work each day for different parts of government.

OpenUp director Adi Eyal said the tax clock was a way for people to engage with the budget through the money they earn - and the tax they pay.

“When the budget comes out, people are usually only interested in how much they will be paying and if there are any rebates they can get,” he said.

“But they don't engage with what the budget is really about.

“The budget is a statement of intent by government that says what our priorities are and what we are going to spend your money on. It's important for people to understand what they are working for.

“The tax clock will show them how they have contributed towards things like education or helped pay off national debt in a day.”

Finance minister Tito Mboweni delivered his budget speech on February 26 2020 in parliament. While there was income tax relief and no increases to VAT, some other increases are on the cards. TimesLIVE takes a quick look at how the budget will impact most South Africans on a daily basis.


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