The South African Revenue Service (Sars) said on Wednesday that it has paid over R205 billion in refunds across all tax types in the past 10 and a half months.
Sars said that the payout to individuals and companies, from the beginning of the financial year on 1 April 2017 to 9 February 2018, represented a significant boost to the economy given the current economic climate.
The amount of R205 billion paid in refunds is more than the total budget allocated for defence, public order and safety in 2017, which amounted to R198.7 billion.
Value-added tax (VAT) refunds amounted to R170.2 billion, a six percent increase compared to R160.6 billion paid last year at the same time. Personal income tax refunds increased by 16 percent to R24.1 billion, compared to the R20.7 billion paid last year.
Company income tax refunds amounted to R11.4 billion, a five percent increase compared to the R10.9 billion paid last year.
Sars said that there has been an increase in refund pay-outs across all tax types in the last three years.
“While Sars takes great care in paying legitimate refunds to compliant taxpayers it also has the responsibility to clamp down on fraudulent claims. Since the beginning of the current financial year on 1 April 2017, Sars has stopped refund fraud across all tax types of more than R28 billion,” Sars said.
– African News Agency (ANA)