In the year before one of the most important elections in South Africa's history an increase in value-added tax still appears to be off the table, even as estimates for the revenue shortfall are thought to be wider than previously expected. Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba is expected to announce measures to close the gap when he delivers the 2018 national budget next month and he will probably signal an increase in personal income tax, economists said this week. Andrew Wellsted, head of tax at Norton Rose Fulbright, said the revenue shortfall was approaching R80-billion. At the medium-term budget presentation in October, Gigaba said the tax revenue shortfall for 2017-18 could be R50.8-billion. Given that gross tax revenue was now projected to fall short of the budget estimates by R69.3-billion in 2018-19 and the additional revenue required of R15-billion the budget deficit is expected to be over R80-billion. "I'm almost certain that we are going to see tax increases. The figures for ...

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