Original Research

Capital gains tax in South Africa: Perceptions of fairness?

Warren Maroun, David Coldwell, Magda Turner
South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences | Vol 17, No 2 | a409 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajems.v17i2.409 | © 2014 Warren Maroun, David Coldwell, Magda Turner | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 08 July 2012 | Published: 06 March 2014

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Warren Maroun, University of the Witwatersrand
David Coldwell, University of the Witwatersrand
Magda Turner, University of the Witwatersrand

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Abstract

Regulatory developments are often presented as being in the public interest but recent studies on corporate governance have suggested otherwise. In some cases, regulatory change is driven more by the self-interest of the political elite than by the need for substantive reform. This paper adds to this debate by considering whether capital gains tax (CGT) in South Africa is an example of a genuine attempt to improve the perceived fairness of the tax system or whether perceptions of fairness are being used simply to further political agendas. The paper concludes that the latter may be the case. South Africa is used as a case study because of the fairly recent introduction of CGT, as an example of a material amendment to tax policy, and because of the country’s fairly recent transition to democracy.


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