Gigaba announces that Zuma will set up inquiry into SARS

President Zuma has agreed to Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba's call to investigate SARS. (Delwyn Verasamy/M&G)

President Zuma has agreed to Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba's call to investigate SARS. (Delwyn Verasamy/M&G)

Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba has asked President Jacob Zuma to set up an urgent judicial inquiry into tax administration and governance at the SA Revenue Services (SARS)

Gigaba, speaking after a media briefing about plans for South African Airways on Tuesday, said Zuma had agreed to the inquiry.

The finance minister said that (SARS) Commissioner Tom Moyane had been informed, and had committed to fully cooperating with the inquiry.

Gigaba said the inquiry will be established soon, and he will soon announce timeframes as well which judge would preside over the process.

Revenue shortfall

In his mini budget on 25 October, Gigaba had detailed a R209-billion tax shortfall over the next 3 years, with a R50.8-billion revenue gap expected in 2017/2018.

Gigaba said while weak economic growth- projected to be 0.7% in 2017- is the single biggest reason for this, other factors could be at play; “such as weakening tax morality and challenges facing tax administration”.

He expressed concern about the impact of the tax shortfall; “Risk of under collection of revenue impacts directly on the future budget deficit, debt to GDP ratios and [the country’s] credit rating”.

Gigaba says “ongoing negative perceptions” about SARS impacts tax morality and he to get to the bottom of the issues.

“There have been a number of issues raised about the capacity of the revenue service, whether founded on fact or not, important not to be dismissive of them”, said Gigaba. — News 24 

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