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Panel to be established to review VAT zero-rated items

29 March 2018 - 19:44 By Timeslive
Former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene. File photo
Former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene. File photo

Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene has requested the chair of the Davis Tax Committee‚ Judge Dennis Davis‚ to appoint a panel of independent experts to review the current list of zero-rated items and consider the most effective way to mitigate the impact of the increase in the VAT rate on poor and low-income households.

A statement from the National Treasury on Thursday evening said the review would also consider expanding the list of basic food items that were VAT zero-rated.

It would also consider how specific expenditure programmes such as the National School Nutrition Programme and food stamps among others could be improved to better target poor and low-income households.

“The Minister of Finance and Judge Davis have agreed to appoint Professor Ingrid Woolard to lead this process‚ together with prominent experts. A full list of panel members and comprehensive terms of reference will be published in the next fortnight‚ including a draft programme of work. The panel will take public comments‚ and convene hearings‚ and will engage with different stakeholders from civil society organisations‚ organised labour and business‚ and all interested parties‚” Treasury stated.

“The panel is expected to deliver an initial report with all the options and recommendations to the DTC and Minister of Finance by 30 June 2018‚ in time to be considered by Cabinet for incorporation in the draft tax legislation that will be published in early July. Parliament will then consider the bills‚ and provide for its own public hearings‚” it added.