South Africa Finance Minister Tito Mboweni. FILE PHOTO: ANA

PARLIAMENT – South Africa's revenue shortfall for this financial year is higher than expected and will come in at R15.4 billion lower than predicted in October.

Tabling the 2019 budget in Parliament on Wednesday, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni said the decrease in tax collections was a combination of higher value-added tax refunds, lower collections for personal income tax and corporate tax, and administrative weaknesses at the embattled SA Revenue Service.

"Approximately half of the increase in the shortfall since October is due to higher than expected VAT refunds. This lowers revenue collection for the year, but puts money back into the economy," Finance Minister Tito Mboweni told MPs as he tabled country's budget in the National Assembly on Wednesday.

The forecast for total tax collections in 2018/19 was R1.3 trillion, and according to the budget review, "the economy's performance continues to weight heavily on tax revenues". 

The tax-free threshold for personal income tax will be adjusted upwards slightly from R78,150 to R79,000, meaning anyone earning less than this annually will be exempt from paying tax.

The fuel levy will see a 29 cents a litre increase on April 3. In addition, sin taxes will be increased by between 7.4 percent and nine percent.

African News Agency (ANA)