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According to QuickBooks, there are already more than 700 apps that are assisting accountants to automate processes and reduce their workload. Gone are the days where accountants can be mere number crunchers, who collate and check data and allocate it to the correct cost centre. The future accountant will have transformed her/himself into a financial advisor, adding value to businesses by offering strategic advice, consulting and financial planning.
Where is the focus on growing South Africa’s small business sector? That is the overriding question we are left with at the end of Finance Minister Tito Mboweni’s maiden budget speech. The few mentions the Minister made about Small & Medium Businesses were short on detail at a time when we desperately need to supercharge the growth of this segment.
As expected, this was a conservative budget with no sweeping changes to most forms of taxation. The Finance Minister took advantage of some new revenue sources such as carbon taxes, but, for the most part, continued to stick to the script of limiting bracket creep adjustment, sin taxes and fuel levies to raise more money.
When Finance Minister Tito Mboweni gives his Budget Speech for the 2019/20 tax year next week (20 February), I hope to hear examples of how the government will work towards boosting South Africa’s ranking in The World Bank's annual 'Doing Business Report'. Given that India climbed 23 positions in this year’s ranking and that South Africa ranked 32nd just a decade ago, this goal is highly achievable.
Finance Minister, Tito Mboweni, delivers his first Budget Speech on 20 February at a difficult time for the South African economy. Even though President Cyril Ramaphosa has done much to restore business confidence in his first year in office, GDP growth remains weak, government finances are in relatively poor shape, and renewed load shedding is hurting business confidence.
On 26 July this year, the Constitutional Court clarified that organisations are deemed to be the employer of workers they accessed through labour brokers after those employees have been employed at their workplace for more than three months.
In this year’s Budget, I’d like to see a number of things: I would like to see attention being focused on travel allowances and taking the process of travel reimbursements to its logical conclusion. I would like to see the Employment Tax incentive Act continuing for the sake of the youth of the country… What I’m scared of in the Budget is the raising of personal income tax rates.
High political drama in the opening weeks of Parliament aside, most South African business and personal taxpayers are expecting tax hikes across the board from the Finance Minister’s Budget Speech on 21 February. Government already faces a yawning budget deficit, aggravated by the need to find billions of rand to fund a new and unbudgeted-for commitment to free tertiary education.
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