Sobering up in South Africa: The Sin Tax Consequences of a Pandemic

Pidduck, T and Swanepoel, S. (2021), "Sobering up in South Africa: The Sin Tax Consequences of a Pandemic", New Zealand Journal of Taxation Law and Policy. Vol. 27. No. 4. pp. 331-352. ISSN: 1322-4417

17 Pages Posted: 8 Dec 2021

See all articles by Teresa Pidduck

Teresa Pidduck

University of Pretoria

Sumarie Swanepoel

University of Pretoria - Department of Taxation

Date Written: December 7, 2021

Abstract

In this article, the authors describe how the South African government has responded to the COVID‑19 crisis through fiscal measures, with a particular focus on the alcohol and tobacco prohibitions. Two severe and fairly unique measures implemented by the government were the prohibition of tobacco and the prohibition of alcohol (and related products). These two measures had an impact on the sin taxes received by the fiscus for the duration of the prohibitions but also had less obvious other short‑ and long‑term fiscal impacts, as well as various social, political and legal implications. This article reviews the tobacco and alcohol prohibitions, the responses by commentators and the short‑ and long‑term effects of these prohibitions on the fiscus and the economy, citing a particular need for a renewed focus on the excise duties on these two products.

Keywords: sin tax, COVID-19, South Africa

JEL Classification: K34, h21, H30, H51, H52, H53, H84

Suggested Citation

Pidduck, Teresa and Swanepoel, Sumarie, Sobering up in South Africa: The Sin Tax Consequences of a Pandemic (December 7, 2021). Pidduck, T and Swanepoel, S. (2021), "Sobering up in South Africa: The Sin Tax Consequences of a Pandemic", New Zealand Journal of Taxation Law and Policy. Vol. 27. No. 4. pp. 331-352. ISSN: 1322-4417, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3979423 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3979423

Teresa Pidduck (Contact Author)

University of Pretoria ( email )

Elandspoort 357-Jr
Pretoria, 0002
South Africa

Sumarie Swanepoel

University of Pretoria - Department of Taxation ( email )

Elandspoort 357-Jr
Pretoria, 0002
South Africa

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