The South African wine industry is relieved and extremely thankful for the deferral of the payment of excise taxes on alcoholic beverages as announced today in a media statement by the National Treasury relating to further tax measures to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
Vinpro, the South African Liquor Brand Owners Association (Salba) and the Beer Association of South Africa (BASA) on behalf of the liquor industry, formally requested the SA Revenue Service (SARS) to consider dispensation on the payment of excise duties of at least 90 days, in addition to the current days payable. This dispensation was requested to relieve financial pressure on cash-flow due to a lack of revenue in the local market during the lockdown period. Payment due in May 2020 and June 2020 will be deferred by 90 days for excise compliant businesses to more closely align tax payments through the duty-at-source system (excise duties are imposed at the point of production) with retail sales.
“We are grateful that the Department of Finance has heard our voice during this difficult time, as this is expected to provide short term assistance to the liquor industry of around R6 billion,” says Vinpro MD Rico Basson. “We look forward to President Ramaphosa’s national address tonight and are hopeful that Government will look favourably on the industry as an employer of close to 300 000 people in South Africa whose livelihoods depend on it.”