April 22, 2022
Eswatini presents 2022 Budget
Eswatini's Finance Minister, Neal Rijkenberg, tabled his annual Budget for the 2022/2023 financial year with the House of Assembly in February 2022. Themed "transformation through economic stability," the Budget introduces tax base-broadening measures as the Kingdom looks to a modest rebound in economic growth in its medium-term outlook.
- The 2022/23 deficit is projected to be SZL3.8 billion, or 4.8% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), an improvement to the 2020/21 budget deficit of 6.5%.
- Government revenue (excluding grants) is expected to reach 23.8% of GDP (a 2% decrease from 2020/21).
- In January 2022, the Central Bank raised its discount rate from 3.75% to 4%.
The following proposed tax changes were announced for 2022/2023:
- Clear signaling of a policy shift by the Kingdom from a territorial taxation system to a worldwide taxation system for qualifying tax residents.
- Reduction of the corporate tax headline rate from 27.5% to 25% to provide relief for business and stimulate growth. The proposed corporate tax rate reduction will be funded by limiting loss carryforward balances, reviewing the initial allowances regime, revising PAYE late submission penalties, and increasing interest withholding tax rates from 10% to 15% for nonresidents.
- Introduction of Capital Gains Tax for business as an anti-avoidance measure.
- Lifting the minimum individual taxable threshold from SZL3,500 to SZL4,000 per month. This measure will be funded by increasing the tax rate at the upper bracket (representing 20% of the taxpayer base) from 33% to 36%.
- A presumptive tax regime for small and medium-sized enterprises will be introduced to reduce the administrative burden on small and medium-sized businesses.
- Amendments to the Value Added Tax (VAT) regime to reconsider non-vatable items that are "not pro-poor" and introduce standard-rate VAT on non-domestic electricity consumption.
For additional information with respect to this Alert, please contact the following:
Ernst & Young Advisory Services (Pty) Ltd
Ernst & Young Société d'Avocats, Pan African Tax – Transfer Pricing Desk, Paris
Ernst & Young LLP (United Kingdom), Pan African Tax Desk, London
Ernst & Young LLP (United States), Pan African Tax Desk, New York