In arguably the most uneventful budget in the past 25 years, hereby a short summary, by Van der Spuy & Partners Attorneys, of the most significant proposals for the 2019 Budget as tabled by the Minister of Finance:
- No changes to any corporate income tax and dividend tax rates.
- A 1.1% increase in the primary, secondary and tertiary rebates for individuals, providing a small amount of relief for inflation. The change in the rebate will increase the tax-free threshold from R78 150 to R79 000.
- All individual tax brackets to remain unchanged.
- Increase in sugar-tax to 2.21 cents per gram in excess of 4 grams of sugar per 100ml from 1 April 2019.
- Increase in the fuel levy by 29c/litre, consisting of a 15c/litre increase in the general fuel levy, a 5c/litre increase in the Road Accident Fund (RAF) levy from 3 April 2019.
- The introduction of a carbon tax on fuel of 9c/litre from 5 June 2019, against which no diesel refund can be claimed.
- Increase in excise duties on alcohol and tobacco products by between 7.4 per cent and 9 per cent, well above inflation. Proposals to tax electronic cigarettes and tobacco heating products.
- New items to be added to the VAT zero-rated list: white bread and cake flour and sanitary pads.
- An import tax will be introduced on scrap metal.
- There are no changes to the transfer duty fees.
- General increase across all social grants.
It was also noted that a new, permanent SARS Commissioner to be appointed in the coming weeks.