Picture: 123RF/RAWPIXEL
Picture: 123RF/RAWPIXEL

The high-profile panel looking into suggestions and possible changes to which products VAT is and isn’t charged on has been given an extra week to do its work.

An initial report was expected to be delivered to the National Treasury on June 30‚ but this deadline was extended to July 31. On Tuesday‚ the Treasury again extended the deadline, to August 6.

"The chair of the independent panel of experts for the review of the current list of VAT zero-rated items‚ Professor Ingrid Woolard‚ today requested from the minister of finance an extension of today’s [Tuesday’s] deadline for the submission of its report. The minister has agreed to extend the deadline from July 31 2018 to August 6 2018. The report will be made public soon thereafter‚" the Treasury send in a short statement.

In April‚ the Treasury said the panel would "review the current list of VAT zero-rated items and consider the most effective way to mitigate the impact of the increase in the VAT rate on poor and low-income households".

A VAT increase from 14% to 15% took effect on April 1.

"The review will consider expanding the list of basic items that are VAT zero-rated‚ and consider how specific expenditure programmes can be improved to better target poor and low-income households. Whilst the focus of the panel will be on food items to be included for zero-rating‚ it will also identify any other items that should be considered to achieve the policy intention of providing relief for poor and low-income households‚" read the statement issued at the time.