The South African Revenue Services. File picture: Ziphozonke Lushaba, Independent Media
JOHANNESBURG - A media briefing by conducted by the South African Revenue Service (SARS) to announce the revenue collection for 2017/18 financial year, is currently underway.

Minister of Finance; Nhlanhla Nene, his deputy; Mondli Gungubele, and SARS acting commissioner, Mark Kingon will address members of the media.

Former Finance Minister, Malusi Gigaba announced the VAT increase in his budget speech in Feburary, the increase came into effect this past Sunday. The VAT increase is expected to raise extra tax revenue to the tune of R22.9bn.

Addressing the media on Illicit Financial Flows (IFF's), Kingon said SARS is committed to looking into areas which hamper revenue collection, "We will do our best to deliver according to our mandate," Kingon told reporters.

Kingon thanked South African taxpayers and told Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene that SARS, "will not fail you."

SARS, last month announced that under the Special Voluntary Disclosure Programme (SVDP), non-compliant taxpayers with "unauthorised foreign assets and income" have entered into agreements with the revenue collection service, to the value of over R3,3-billion in tax liabilities.

Addressing reporters, Nene said SARS had stepped up its outreach, noting that majority of tax payers continue to pay the taxes diligently.

The Minister announced that SARS has collected R1,216 trillion, saying this was very close to the revenue collection target of R1,217 trillion. Nene said the revenue service collected a gross amount of R1451.0 billion which was offset by refunds of R234.3 billion, which resulted in net collections of R1216.6 billion.

Overall, Personal Income Tax contributed 38%, VAT contributed 24.5% Corporate Income Tax contributed 18.1%, and Customs contributed 4.1% to revenue collected.

The Minster said the role of SARS cannot be over-emphasised as, "90% of our budget comes from the revenue collected." He told reporters that this formed "the basis of our fiscal framework and is critical in consolidating our national sovereign debt."

Nene expressed his appreciation to the 14 000 #SARS staff who, he said, despite a difficult climate, ensured that government has financial resources to deliver a better life for all in South Africa.

SARS has set a tax target for 2018/19 financial year at R1.345 bn.