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National treasury undertakes undertakes to investigate tax rebate for security expenses

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

The National Treasury today undertook to discuss a tax rebate on security expenses with Solidarity during the course of the year with a view to the 2014 Budget Speech. This comes after a meeting today between Solidarity and a special delegation from Treasury about Solidarity’s Give it Back campaign.

Last week, Solidarity launched a campaign to garner support for a tax rebate being granted to taxpayers who take steps to safeguard themselves. Piet le Roux, senior economic researcher at the Solidarity Research Institute (SRI), says Jabulani Sikhakhane, the Treasury’s Chief Director of Communications, requested the meeting after the office of Pravin Gordhan, Minister of Finances, had received hundreds of petitions from people supporting the call. ‘After the SRI’s presentation, Sikhakhane and Fuad Cassim, Special Advisor to Minister Gordhan, undertook to investigate the trade union’s proposal for a tax rebate. It was also agreed to meet again on the issue next month.’

Le Roux says the trade union will keep a close eye on Minister Gordhan’s upcoming Budget Speech especially for any reference to Solidarity’s request. ‘Obviously, the Minister can’t give any final undertakings in the upcoming Budget Speech. Solidarity believes that next year’s Budget Speech will, however, be a measure of the seriousness with which Treasury is viewing this reasonable request for a tax rebate.’ According to Le Roux, taxpayers must not underestimate the power of their purses. ‘We must be activistic like resourceful residents and not passive like subjects.’

Solidarity’s proposal for a tax rebate on security expenses is based on the existing practice in terms of which South African taxpayers are granted tax rebates on their medical expenses. The campaign can be supported via Twitter, Facebook, SMSes and websites. People can send petition letters to Minister Gordhan via the website, www.giveitback.co.za, and the campaign can be followed on Twitter at #GiveItBack. Objection can also be raised simply by texting the word, “Tax” to 34388.

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