What really matters to the business owner ?
This short paragraph will sum up what the 2017 budget means for you:
New tax bracket if you earn more than 1.5m per annum – 45%. An increase of 4%.
Withholding tax on dividends increased with 5% to 20%.
Fuel levy will increase which will have a knock-on effect for SME’s.

It is disappointing that no new tax breaks/incentives were announced for small businesses. And with the above changes, business owners will be taxed higher for taking money out of the company.

Two tips from our side:

If you have extra cash in your business, it might be smart to declare a dividend now and you will save the increased withholding tax of 5%.
As a business owner, never let your salary exceed R1.5m. Instead, declare dividends and get an effective tax rate of 42.4%. But that’s for us or your accountant to deal with.

Here is a summary of the key points: (Courtesy African News Agency)

  • SA economic growth set to improve from 0.5% in 2016 to 1.3% in 2017 and 2% in 2018;
  • Reliability and availability of power supply should support stronger growth in 2018 and 2019;
  • CPI is expected to decline to 5.7% by 2018 after reaching 6.4% in 2016;
  • Current account deficit will decrease from 4% in 2016 to 3.7% in 2018 and 3.8% in 2019;
  • During 2017/18 government will set up a new financing facility for large infrastructure projects;
  • SA budget deficit of 3.4% expected for 2016/17, narrowing to 2.6% in 2019/20;
  • The debt to GDP ratio to stabilise at 28.2% in 2020/21;
  • Core social expenditure to be protected through reprioritisation of R30 bln;
  • Real growth in non-interest spending to average 1.9% over next three years;
  • Debt servicing costs highest growing expenditure item, followed by post-school education, health and social protection;
  • Over medium-term (next three years) government set to spend R490.4 bln on social grants, R105.9 bln to be transferred to universities and R54.3 bln to National Student Financial Aid Scheme over medium-term, R751.9 bln to basic education (including R48.3 bln for direct subsidies, R42.9 bln for infrastructure, and R12.7 bln for learner and teacher support materials), R114.8 bln on subsidised housing, R94.4 bln on water resource and bulk infrastructure, R189 bln on transfers of the local government equitable share to provide basic services to poor, R142.6 bln in support to affordable public transport, and R606 bln on health (R59.5 going to HIV/AIDs conditional grant);
  • Tax revenues estimated to grow by 7%, not 9.8% forecast in 2016;
  • R28.4 bln in extra tax to be raised in 2017/18;
  • Tax proposals include new top marginal income tax bracket for individuals, combined with partial relief for bracket creep, to raise extra R16.5 bln;
  • R6.8 bln to be collected through higher dividend withholding tax rate;
  • Taxes on fuel and sin taxes to bring in revenue of R5.1 bln;
  • The sugar tax will be implemented as soon as Parliament approves necessary legislation; and
  • Government will publish a revised Carbon Tax Bill for comment in Parliament by mid-2017.
  • Courtesy PWC

    Budget 2017