Finance Minister Tito Mboweni. Picture: Nokuthula Mbatha/African News Agency (ANA)

Johannesburg - Finance Minister Tito Mboweni says the study conducted by Sars into illicit economy was expected to be completed next March.

Mboweni revealed this in a written response to a parliamentary question from DA MP Dion George, who asked whether an estimation of the size of the illicit economy has been conducted and what steps are being taken to tax the illicit economy effectively, among other things.

In his response, the minister said the illicit economy was a continuously changing landscape and a function of the overall levels of societal and tax compliance.

"Sars is in the process of conducting scientific and evidence-based research to quantify the size of the illicit economy for South Africa and as such there is no official position yet on the size of the illicit economy.

"The study also seeks to identify, quantify illicit/illegal activities taking place in both the formal and informal economy," Mboweni said.

He also said the study would further involve identifying, locating, understanding, registering, managing and monitoring illicit businesses in their different forms and sizes in the illicit economy. 

Mboweni said the outcome of the study would assist in determining the size of each illegal trading item.

"In the absence of Sars own research findings. It is difficult to put a value to the illicit economy. The research studies, which commenced in November 2018, are expected to be completed by March 2020."

He stated that Sars has established an interim capability to conduct investigations into the illicit economy.

"The capability executes integrated enforcement investigations and comprises of multi-disciplinary and collaborative investigations and enforcement debt recovery actions, supported by legal experts and data analytics," Mboweni said.

Political Bureau