Understanding the dynamics that influence individual tax compliance in South Africa

Henson, Sarvavanie
Henson, Sarvavanie
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Since transforming into a democratic state in 1994, South Africa has raised a significant portion of its annual budget from taxation revenue. The revenue authority, the South African Revenue Services (SARS), has worked to increase levels of tax compliance to meet the demands of the national fiscus. Tax practitioners, in their intermediary role, are a key element in the revenue drive as they influence the compliance of tax payers. The majority of tax practitioners are members of professional associations who develop and monitor standards of practice to ensure acceptable conduct of these professionals. This research attempts to understand the compliance issues that confront tax practitioners through the lens of their professional organisations. A significant finding in the study was the emphasis placed on encouraging compliant behaviour, rather than evasive or tax avoidance behaviour, by professional associations. This was evident in their conduct and disciplinary codes for members. SARS role as the tax administrator was both embraced and criticised in terms of effectiveness. However, a strong emerging theme was the dissatisfaction amongst tax payers, as revealed to tax practitioners, with the way in which government spent tax revenue through inefficiencies, wastage, fraud and corruption.
Income tax ;Tax evasion ;Taxpayer compliance ;Taxation -- South Africa.