Johannesburg - The South African Revenue Service collected just more than R1 trillion in the 2015/16 year, documents released by the service and National Treasury show.

This was an R82.7 billion - or 8.5 percent - increase on the previous year.

In the 2016 Tax Statistics highlights document, the revenue entities explain that revenue growth was mainly supported by Personal Income Tax (PIT), which grew by R35.4 billion, or 10 percent.

The tax-to-gross domestic product ratio increased from 25.5 percent in 2014/15 to 26.2 percent in 2015/16, slightly below the peak of 26.4 percent achieved in 2007/08, just before the onset of the global recession.

SARS adds the cost of revenue collection ratio decreased from 0.97 percent in 2014/15 to 0.96 percent, which it notes is well within the international benchmark of 1 percent.

The document adds that there are now 19.1 million individuals registered to file tax returns. This figure, which is as of the end of March, is up from 18.2 million a year previously.

“This increase is as a result of SARS’ requirement that employers register all employees as taxpayers, regardless of their tax liability.”

Read also: Sars speeds through tax returns in seconds

On Monday, SARS said it took just three seconds each to assess more than 90 percent of the 5.74 million tax returns received by the close of tax season for non-provisional taxpayers on Friday.

The tax man added it had processed 99.9 percent of all returns electronically, assessing 92.4 percent of them within three seconds. The refund stage is also quite speedy, with 93.28 percent of refunds having been paid to taxpayers within 72 hours.

A total of R15.5 billion in tax refunds had been paid to 1.98 million taxpayers by Friday’s deadline, Sars said.

The total number of returns received included 4.16 million individual submissions, 47 000 submissions by trusts for the 2015/16 tax year, and 1.52 million returns for previous tax years from individuals and trusts, it said.

SARS' Tax Statistics added some 3.3 million companies are registered, SARS adds, of which 900 000 submit returns.

There are 706 874 registered Value-Added Tax (VAT) vendors of which 425 225 (60.2 percent) were active.

In addition to tax revenue, SARS collects Mineral and Petroleum Resources Royalties (MPRR) as well as Mining Leases and Ownership, which are included in non-tax revenue. SARS also collects revenue on behalf of the Road Accident Fund (RAF) and the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF).

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