The Finance Minister, Mr. Calle Schlettwein, presented the annual national budget for the fiscal year 2017-18, on 8 March 2017.
New tax policy and tax administration reforms announced include:
- Tax Arrear Recovery Incentive Programme will continue across all categories of taxes within the announced calendar.
- The provisions of the Capital Gains Tax will be expanded to provide for wealth-based taxation to embody the principles of a Solidarity Wealth Tax, based on certain categories of capital asset.
- A tax proposal for a Simplified Presumptive Tax on small units will be developed and tabled.
- In keeping with the SACU Agreement, excise duties on alcohol and tobacco products will increase.
- The enabling legislation will be tabled for the Revenue Agency, which is expected to commence operations on 1st April, 2018.
- A phased roll-out of the new Integrated Tax System will commence during year for the full deployment of the system by 2018.
- Tax proposals for curbing base-eroding tax exemptions and deductions on the Income Tax and VAT will be proposed through a stakeholder consultation process.
Tax incentive programme
The Minister confirmed the tax incentive program announced in January 2017, which will continue until 31 July 2017. The program is available to all taxpayers as companies, close businesses and so on. Therefore, all tax liabilities and 20% interest on these debts must be settled before the application for the program can be submitted. All payments must be made in a prescribed bank account. Once the principal amount and the 20% interest are paid, the full penalty and 80% of the interest on the debts will be written off on application to Inland Revenue. Penalties and interest payments made prior to 1 February 2017 will not qualify for the programme.
As an annual practice, and in line with targets set for the total tax burdens on respective excisable commodities, the following increases for implementation, retrospectively with effect from 22nd February 2017 as it is required under the SACU Agreement, have been agreed upon as follows:
Malt beer 12c/340ml
Unfortified wine 23c/750ml
Fortified wine 26c/750ml
Sparkling wine 70c/750ml
Ciders & alcoholic fruit beverages 12c/340ml
Cigarettes 106c/packet of 20
Cigarette tobacco 119c/50g
Pipe tobacco 40c/25g