Motorists could face R100 'stealth tax' on future fines, says AA
JOHANNESBURG - Receiving a fine after the implementation of the upcoming Aarto demerit system won’t only mean losing points against your licence, but you might also find yourself liable for an additional R100 in taxes, according to the Automobile Association.
This is what the AA interprets after studying the recently published draft regulations for the Aarto Act, where mention is made of an ‘Infringement Penalty Levy’.
“With regards to the Infringement Penalty Levy, the regulations directly imply the imposition of a tax. In this case, it refers to a fee payable for every infringement notice issued to motorists,” the AA said.
“On our interpretation of the draft regulation, this means an additional R100 is added to each fine issued, regardless of the value of the fine or its associated demerit points. In other words, if a motorist receives a R200 or R2000 fine, an additional R100 must be added for the Infringement Penalty Levy, which amounts to a tax for actually receiving the fine,” the AA added.
This could add up to a lot of money.
The association also criticised the “complicated and cumbersome” systems in place for motorists to check the status of their demerit points, and the lack of an easy online system for making inquiries. Instead, motorists must pay up to R240 to enquire as to the status of their demerit points.
Earlier this month, Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula announced that Aarto was expected to be “in full effect” from June 2020.
As previously reported, motorists will lose a certain amount of points for every road infringement committed. This will differ depending on the offence in question. Most speeding fines will likely result in two to four points being deducted, while exceeding the limit by 40km/h or driving intoxicated will see six points deducted.
The points will accumulate over time and for every point exceeding 12 points, drivers will have their licence suspended for three months, only to be gained back at a rate of one point every three months, assuming that no further contraventions occur.
The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) has previously expressed strong doubt that the government will be ready to implement Aarto by the middle of next year, and plans to challenge the constitutionality of the new law due to what it calls flawed administrative processes.