Property, sin, travel tax and more - what does this it mean?

By Staff Writer

If you’re in the business of buying or selling property:

The transfer duty exemption threshold will be increased from R500 000 to R600 000.

What does this mean for the consumer?

In short, you will pay less transfer duty if you buy a property valued greater than R600 000. If you buy a property valued at R1 million you will pay transfer duty on only R400 000 of the value of the property.

Sin taxes:

Excise duties on alcohol will increase between 4.5 and 10.3%, and taxes on tobacco products will increase between 6 and 10.2%. This means you’ll pay 80 cents more for a packet of 20 cigarettes.

‘Travel’ tax:

The general fuel levy will increase by 10 cents a litre on both petrol and diesel on 6 April 2011; the Road Accident Fund levy will increase by 8 cents to 80 cents a litre; and there will be an increase in air passenger departure tax on international flights from 1 October 2011.

For electricity users:

There is an increase in the levy applied to electricity generated from non-renewable and nuclear energy sources by 0.5c/kWh to 2.5c/kWh from April 1 2011. Some of this revenue will be set aside to fund the rehabilitation of roads damaged as a result of the haulage of coal for electricity generation.

The increase should, however, have no impact on electricity tariffs, because it has already been taken into account in the National Energy Regulator tariff structure.

What this means for the consumer?

While it’s good news that we are not going to pay more income tax during the year, we are going to pay more tax on some of the items that we consume regularly. This means that generally some things will become more expensive. We have seen over the last number of years that there has been an increase on taxes on alcohol and tobacco products as well as on fuel.

As such, you need to budget carefully in the coming year as there are various things that could increase your expenses - and in turn the money you have available every month.  Increases in “sin taxes” mean that you would have to look at how much you spend every month on tobacco, alcohol and fuel and increase the allocation to these expenses or alternatively reduce how much you use.

The good thing is that even though there is an increase in the levy for non-renewable energy this will not affect your pocket since what we pay as consumers has already been taken into account when the National Energy Regulatory decided on the tariffs.

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