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The South African Revenue Service (SARS) finds it regrettable that Hilary Joffe’s column (The disaster of a dim and tardy taxman, March 1) continues to promote the perception that the revenue gap of R30bn is attributable to the performance of SARS administration despite contrary facts provided in its statement of February 24. Once again, we would like to reiterate that the significant downward revision by R30bn from the printed estimate of R1.175-trillion for the 2016-17 financial year, according to the 2017 budget, is attributable to: •Customs duties being down by R6.5bn as a result of contraction in real terms in imports. • Value-added tax (VAT) similarly being dragged down by import VAT collections to an underperformance by R11.3bn. • Personal income tax, long the anchor of revenue collections, underperforming by R15.2bn. Growth in this stream, year to date, has declined from more than 12% to about 9% as a result of lower wage settlements, containment of bonus payments and job sh...

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