The perceived fairness of turnover tax in the South African tax system

Gluckman, Adam
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South Africa implemented a simplified Turnover Tax system with effect from the commencement of years of assessment 1 March 2009 in order to help improve the culture of tax compliance. To date the number of applicants has not been significant and a potential reason for this is that it is not fair. Fairness and equality within a tax system is important in order to discourage evasion. The purpose of this research is to explore the perceived fairness of the current Turnover Tax system. Using the principles of a fair tax system as advanced by Adam Smith (1776) a correspondence survey was issued to identify whether the Turnover Tax principles enhance or undermine fairness. The criticisms and provisions of the Sixth Schedule to the Income Tax Act No. 58 of 1962 were investigated to determine whether Adam Smith’s (1776) maxims are promoted or undermined and in turn whether they are perceived as being fair or not. Based on the responses and analysis of the survey, it was deduced that the Turnover Tax system is not being perceived as completely fair. As a result changes need to be implemented to in order to improve the overall compliance and effectiveness of the tax.
Fairness, Tax compliance, Turnover tax, Simplified tax, Microbusinesses