According to the recent Tax Indaba, about 40 percent of outstanding taxes may not be recovered. File Photo: IOL

CAPE TOWN – As the year’s income tax submission deadline draws closer, there is growing concern that the South African Revenue Service (Sars) may fail to meet its tax collection targets for the year. 

According to the recent Tax Indaba, about 40 percent of outstanding taxes may not be recovered. This amounts to R143 billion – a whopping increase from the R85 billion outstanding in 2015.

With South Africa officially in a technical recession, the likelihood of Sars collecting this outstanding debt is slim.

Why is tax collection important?

The taxes collected by Sars fund the building of critical infrastructure and social spaces such as our roads, schools, parks and libraries. Taxes contribute to the development of society and the growth and stability of our economy. If there’s a shortfall, the government has to cut back its expenditure on socio-economic development or borrow money, increasing the national debt.

South African consumers are battling increasing levels of personal debt in a strained economy, but paying your taxes remains a responsibility nobody should evade.  Thanks to tech advances, filing your tax return is now quite a simple process.

Rewards for paying taxes

Forward-thinking financial services providers give you access to apps like 22seven and services like TaxTim for your convenience and to make the filing process painless. If you’re an Old Mutual Rewards member, you could qualify for a discount of up to 100 percent on TaxTim’s filing services. Old Mutual’s Income Tax calculator is another nifty tool to help you calculate your potential tax liability and get rewarded with Old Mutual Rewards at the same time.

On a personal note

The current economic downturn is financially and emotionally draining, but filing your tax return should not add to your stress levels. If you take small steps in the right direction, you may be rewarded with financial well-being sooner than you think.

Brett Cameron, Customer Solutions Manager, Old Mutual.

The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.