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Motorists, smokers, drinkers to pay more in sin taxes

By unknown | Feb 21, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]


Motorists will pay an extra 11c a litre in fuel taxes from April 2, Finance Minister Trevor Manuel announced in his budget speech yesterday.

Smokers will be paying an extra 66c tax a pack of 20 cigarettes. Sin taxes on a 340ml can of beer will go up by 5c, a 750ml bottle of wine will be taxed 12c more, and a 750ml bottle of spirits R2,17 more.

"These tax increases vary between 5percent and 11percent, broadly in line with inflation. The Treasury has once again failed to submit a recommendation in respect of the duty on traditional beer. I intend to seek advice from certain members of the House on the shades that may be influencing my officials on this matter," Manuel said.

Individuals' income tax brackets have been changed to compensate for inflation.

The first income tax on which 18percent tax is levied has been raised to R122000 a year from R112500. The highest personal tax bracket has been lifted to R490001 from R450001. People earning more than that will pay R143010 plus 40 percent above the bracket.

The Treasury estimates this adjustment for "bracket creep" will add up to R7,2billion tax relief.

The tax-free cap for medical aid contributions will be raised by 7,6percent to R570 from R530 a month from March. The limit is for the first two beneficiaries. The amount for additional beneficiaries is going up to R345 from R320.

Fears that the taxman would get tougher on car allowances turned out to be unfounded. The budget review said: "The deemed cost tables for travelling allowances will be updated for inflation, including higher interest rates and fuel prices."

Short-term employees will be able to claim back standard income tax on employees (Site).

"The 'broken period' principle that forms part of the Site system assumes that a Site taxpayer will work for a full tax year. This can result in a taxpayer paying income tax, though he or she may earn below the tax threshold for a given tax year. It is proposed that Site payments become refundable in such instances," the budget review said.

Asked why this year's budget included no changes to property taxes after generous transfer duty cuts in the past, Manuel replied: "The idea was to help low-income families buy their first home. The main beneficiaries of further transfer duty cuts would be property speculators and people buying their fourth holiday homes."


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