Acta Universitatis Danubius. Administratio, Vol 10, No 2 (2018)

Factors that influence tax compliance of SMEs in South Africa

Yergenthren Naicker, Rajendra Rajaram


Small and medium enterprises play an important role for South Africa. They serve as a vehicle in creating jobs for local communities. KwaZulu Natal is the second largest province in the country and the necessity of developing sustainable small and medium businesses cannot be overemphasized. The South African government has identified and prioritized the development of small businesses as one of their strategic objectives. Despite the importance of these businesses for the country and province, there are many challenges that these businesses face. One of the most onerous and time-consuming challenges is ensuring tax compliance. Tax compliance is defined as the preparation, submission and payment of taxes due within the specified time periods. In order to achieve the objectives set out by government, it is necessary that the tax systems for small businesses be efficient and simplified in order to meet the needs of the sector.The research has been undertaken to firstly determine which taxes are most complex for SMEs and secondly to determine which factors and costs are most significant in ensuring tax compliance. A questionnaire was sent to eighty five small business owners to determine which taxes are most complex and what challenges and costs are most excessive. The findings from this study reveal that VAT is the most complex tax for small businesses in South Africa. Compliance with VAT is the most costly and challenging and the time spent on compliance by owners is perceived to be the most excessive cost incurred in ensuring tax compliance.


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