ATI students soared during September

Posted on September 13, 2017

A student of Prof Riël Franzsen (SARChI Chair in Tax Policy and Governance and Director of the African Tax Institute in the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences), Dr Carika Fritz, obtained a doctorate degree in law (LLD) at the September 2017 graduation ceremony. She was a South African Research Chair student and completed her thesis with Prof Thabo Legwaila (University of Johannesburg) as supervisor and Prof Franzsen as co-supervisor. Prof Legwaila is a former LLD student of Prof Franzsen and regularly teaches on the ATI's MPhil: Taxation programme.
In her thesis titled, 'An appraisal of selected tax-enforcement powers of the South African Revenue Service in the South African constitutional context', Dr Fritz investigated how a balance between SARS' important duty to collect taxes and its duty to respect taxpayers' rights, can be achieved. She investigated whether SARS' powers to conduct searches and seizures; to not suspend the obligation to pay tax pending dispute resolution; and to appoint a third party on behalf of a taxpayer accord with the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa. Her research indicates that these powers do not necessarily conform to constitutional values and the fundamental rights contained in the Bill of Rights. With reference to comparable powers afforded to the revenue authorities of Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Nigeria, she recommends law reforms that, if implemented, will align these enforcement powers with the provisions of the Constitution.
Prof Legwaila, Dr Fritz and Prof Franzsen
At a graduation ceremony of the Faculty of Economics and Management Sciences, held on 6 September 2017,  Pedro de Carvalho Jr, one of the first two ATI students enrolled for the PhD in Tax Policy, obtained his PhD with a thesis titled 'Property tax performance and potential in Brazil'. Prof Franzsen was his supervisor with Prof William McCluskey, an extraordinary professor in the ATI, as co-supervisor. Due to work commitments in Brazil, Dr de Carvalho Jr could unfortunately not attend the ceremony.
In his thesis, Dr de Carvalho Jr examines property tax administration in 47 Brazilian municipalities. These municipalities were divided into three strata of per capita income and location in metro areas, which was established as an indicator of their tax potential. The data obtained were then used to assess and estimate the main elements of property tax performance and potential in respect of these municipalities, in order to extend the estimation to the rest of the country by using linear regression models. This study found that large municipalities in Brazil need to update their cadasters, promote revaluations and, in some cases, also minimise exemptions and increase tax rates. Smaller municipalities, however, have to focus on managing their cadasters by updating property use and taxpayers' details, and performing collection-led strategies by reducing compliance costs and promoting better enforcement.
At the same graduation ceremony on 6 September, three MPhil: Taxation students graduated, namely Ms Hlulani Baloyi (South Africa), Ms Jacqui Kilani (South Africa) and Mr Stanley Mkwanda (Malawi). Ms Baloyi and Ms Kilani were SARChI students and Ms Kilani obtained her degree cum laude.
Mr Mkwanda, Ms Baloyi, Ms Kilani and Prof Franzsen
The ATI congratulates these students and proudly welcomes them as ATI alumni. On 30 September 2017 twenty five prospective students will be writing the MPhil: Taxation entrance examination. We look forward to welcoming the successful candidates to the University of Pretoria's Hatfield Campus in January as the Class of 2018.
- Author African Tax Institute

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