South Africa 2017/18 Budget Speech

The Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan, has delivered the Budget Speech for the fiscal year 2017/18 on 22 February 2017.

Highlights of the Budget Speech summarised:

  • A budget deficit of 3.4% of GDP is expected for 2016/17
  • Tax revenues are estimated to grow by 7% in 2016/17, compared with 9.8% projected in the 2016 Budget
  • Government proposes to raise tax rates, primarily at the upper end of the income spectrum to maintain existing spending programs. These measures will include:
    • A new top personal income tax bracket
    • A higher dividend withholding tax rate
    • Increases in fuel taxes
    • Alcohol and tobacco excise duties

Important changes affecting Payroll:

Trusts other than Special Trusts

Rate of tax 45%

Tax Rebates and Tax Thresholds

Travel Allowance Tables

Where the distance travelled for business purposes does not exceed 12 000 kilometres per annum, no tax is payable on an allowance paid by an employer to an employee up to the rate of R3.55 per kilometre, regardless of the value of the vehicle.

This alternative is not available if other compensation in the form of an allowance or reimbursement is received from the employer in respect of the vehicle.

Medical Tax Credits

In determining tax payable, individuals can deduct medical scheme fees tax credit of:

  • R303 each for the first two dependents on the medical scheme; and
  • R204 for each additional dependent

Subsistence Allowances and Advances

Subsistence allowances have been increased for employees who is obliged to spend at least one night away from their usual place of residence on business.

  • For meals and incidental costs, R397 per day.
  • For incidental costs only, R122 per day.

Scholarships and Bursaries

Where employers grant a bursary or scholarship to employees or their dependents, and the employee has an income of less than R600 000, the value of the bursary, up to a limit, will not be taxable in the hands of the employee.

The monetary limits for bursaries will be increased from R15 000 to R20 000 for education below NQF level 7, and from R40 000 to R60 000 for qualifications at NQF level 7 and above.

Contact our legislation team at if you require any additional information.

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