Strong team to decide what we will and won't pay VAT on

25 April 2018 - 06:39
By Matthew Savides
Grocery, aisle, chips.
Image: Free Stock image/pixabay Grocery, aisle, chips.

Academic Professor Ingrid Woolard will head a nine-person panel to review which products South Africans will not pay VAT on.

In a statement issued on Tuesday evening‚ Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene said the panel would “review the current list of VAT zero-rated items and consider the most effective way to mitigate the impact of the increase in the VAT rate on poor and low-income households”.

A VAT increase from 14% to 15% took effect from April 1.

“The review will consider expanding the list of basic items that are VAT zero-rated‚ and consider how specific expenditure programmes can be improved to better target poor and low-income households. Whilst the focus of the panel will be on food items to be included for zero-rating‚ it will also identify any other items that should be considered to achieve the policy intention of providing relief for poor and low-income households‚” the statement read.

Woolard is the current dean of the faculty of commerce at the University of Cape Town - a post she is set to leave in just a week’s time to begin her new job as the dean of economic and management science at Stellenbosch University.

According to a CV published on the UCT website‚ from 2008 to 2014 Woolard served on the Employment Conditions Commission‚ which advises the Minister of Labour on making sectoral determinations concerning working conditions and minimum wages in sectors where collective bargaining is weak. Since 2013 she has served on the Davis Tax Committee‚ which advises the minister of finance on tax reform.

Other members of the VAT review panel are economists Ayabonga Cawe‚ Professor Ada Jansen‚ Dr Thabi Leoka‚ Cecil Morden and Dr Neva Makgetla‚ as well as the national health department’s Lynn Moeng‚ SARS tax manager Prenesh Ramphal and Wits University dean of commerce‚ law and management Professor Imraan Voladia.

An initial report is expected to be delivered to Nene and to the Davis Tax Committee by June 30.