Tax revolts date back to biblical times. Throughout the ages they have exhibited similar symptoms of a decline in taxpayer morale and confidence in a government’s ability to manage public finances for the greater good of its citizens.
Recent public outcries in South Africa signalling dissatisfaction and concerns over the management of public finances suggest that the country could be on the brink of a tax revolution.
Governments use tax policy to achieve a number of objectives. These include steering economic growth, changing the behaviour of citizens and raising money to finance programmes.
A great deal of attention needs to be placed on restoring trust in government institutions. The fundamental starting position must be to address corruption, restore trust and legitimacy in government and ensure value is received for tax money. Only then can government start to rebuild its credibility and with it taxpayer morale, and restore a taxpayer’s consent to tax.
Majority of South Africans don’t pay tax as it is, so the few that do are the educated bracket – is revolt a possibility in this current status – I believe it is and the only option to encourage change.