Final tax committee reports released ‘despite many challenges’

12 April 2018 - 13:34 By Linda Ensor
SARS branch. File photo.
SARS branch. File photo.
Image: Gallo Images/Foto24/Theana Calitz

The Davis Tax Committee (DTC) has released four final reports on VAT‚ corporate income tax‚ public benefit organisations and a wealth tax.

The finalisation of these reports brings to a close the work of the committee established nearly five years ago in July 2013. It was appointed by the finance minister to inquire into the role of the tax system in the promotion of inclusive economic growth‚ employment creation‚ development and fiscal sustainability.

"The DTC faced many challenges over its tenure‚" the committee said on Thursday. "These include political uncertainty due to the comings and goings of six ministers of finance‚ a breakdown in relations with the South African Revenue Service (SARS) commissioner (Tom Moyane) after a widely publicised spat in early 2017‚ limited resources‚ attrition‚ a small secretariat‚ and the DTC’s members having to work on a part-time basis in addition to their full-time professions.

"Despite these challenges‚ the DTC was able to deliver on its elaborate terms of reference (and more) with 25 reports that were submitted to the minister of finance. The full committee and its 12 sub-committees held 205 meetings and received 433 submissions in total.”

Meetings had been held with academics‚ business organisations‚ civil society‚ government departments and agencies‚ international experts‚ the National Economic Development and Labour Council‚ political parties‚ professional bodies‚ tax practitioners and trade unions.

Progress reports had also been presented to Parliament's standing committee on finance.

The DTC’s operating costs amounted to R12‚4-million over the period of its existence - excluding the costs of premises and the secretariat‚ which were borne by SARS - which the committee considered to be "prudent" in the light of monthly payments that had to be made to the DTC’s eight members for services rendered‚ and the vast array of expertise provided to the committee by outside parties.

Judge Dennis Davis was not allowed to receive remuneration for his services as chairman of the DTC since he is not yet a retired judge.

The DTC has published a detailed closing report.

- BDLive