Guiding consumers since 2009

Taxpayers 'tend to be demonised'

By Staff Writer

From Business Report, January 11, 2008

By Ethel Hazelhurst

This was the cry from a tax expert yesterday as he was responding to comments by finance minister Trevor Manuel at the fourth meeting of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's Forum on Tax Administration in Cape Town yesterday.

Are you paying too much tax? Use our income tax calculator

Manuel said poor countries with "less sophisticated" tax administrations "find it
difficult to unravel the complex structures that multinationals and other large
companies put in place to minimise tax".

The tax expert, who did not want to be named, said: "Tax administrators meet regularly and agree on a strategy to mobilise public opinion. They tend to demonise certain categories of tax payers - usually multinationals, big banks, big accountancy and law firms and wealthy private individuals.

"Of course there are always taxpayers who deserve the criticism. And because of this, the whole group becomes a soft target. But not every attack by the tax authority is valid. Each case can only be decided in court and when they do go to court the tax authority usually loses as often as it wins."

In South Africa, tax disputes are heard by the tax court and can then be taken on appeal to higher courts.

However, Manuel was making a broader point, said Billy Joubert, tax director at Deloitte, about the need for partnerships between countries to assist the less
developed countries.

Recent Articles

Featured Times are tough, but keep your debt under control

While the whole world is going through a rough patch, you may also be feeling the pinch. With the country in crisis, it may be difficult to keep up with your debt instalments. However, abandoning your debt obligations is not the solution.

Debt Series Part 2: Interest rates - unpacked

In the second part of our Debt-ucate series we explore interest rates –from how to get a better rate to what influences it, and how this affects the cost of your debt.

Debt counselling – the two sides of the coin

Being overindebted doesn’t just put a strain on your personal finances; it also puts a strain on your state of mind. The best solution is to start the process of debt counselling so that you can escape the debt cycle. But what are the ups and downs of joining this debt relief programme?

Travel ban – how to claim for the loss incurred

As with the recent Covid-19 pandemic, governments sometimes issue travel bans to prevent people from travelling to other countries. This becomes even more complicated if you’ve already planned and paid for your trip. Your flights will be cancelled, and you may lose money from cancelled accommodation arrangements. How do you claim for the financial losses incurred due to a travel ban?

Deals

Get 30% back when you fill up with your Absa card

Price: Available on request
When: Daily
Where: Nationwide

Get 50% back in eBucks when you apply for an FNB home loan

Price: Available on request
When: Daily
Where: Nationwide

Get 50% off your online fees when you pay with Capitec card

Price: Available on request
When: Daily
Where: Online