THE Independent Panel of Experts, set up to review the current list of zero-rated Value Added Tax (VAT) items, has invited all interested stakeholders to make written submissions for their consideration.
In April, minister of finance Nhlanhla Nene, published the terms of reference for the panel of experts which will consider the most effective way to mitigate the impact of the increase in the VAT rate on poor and low-income households.
The panel is mandated to take public submissions, convene hearings, and engage with different stakeholders from civil society organisations, organised labour and business, and all other interested parties.
As part of carrying out its mandate, written submissions and any other queries can be submitted via e-mail to [email protected] by close of business on 24 May.
South Africa’s VAT system includes 19 basic food items that are zero-rated. These are: dried beans, samp, maize meal, rice, brown bread, vegetables, fruits, vegetable oil, mealie rice, pilchards in tins, edible legumes and pulses of leguminous plants, eggs, milk, dried mealies, dairy powder blend, lentils, cultured milk, milk powder and brown wheaten meal.
The R1.67 trillion Budget tabled by former Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba in the National Assembly in February raised VAT by a percentage point to 15 per cent.
VAT had previously been pegged at 14 per cent since 1993.