n Meditari : Research Journal of the School of Accounting Sciences - Tax incentives for biodiversity conservation in the Western Cape




Biodiversity conservation tax incentives were inserted into the Income Tax Act 58 of 1962 in terms of the Revenue Laws Amendment Act 60 of 2008 and are now contained in section 37C. The objectives of this study were to quantify the maximum potential revenue loss, to National Treasury, as a result of these tax incentives granted to landowners in the Western Cape; to identify and discuss alternative policy instruments to encourage conservation; and to investigate the perceptions of landowners in the Western Cape on the tax and alternative incentives available for conservation. The study found that the maximum tax revenue foregone should amount to a tiny percentage of total estimated revenue income for the 2008/2009 fiscal year, while projected future losses could also be insignificant. Landowners prefer direct financial incentives and exemption from property taxes, and contend that direct assistance with conservation activities would also be beneficial. The use of municipal value in the valuation of land would promote objectiveness and consistency. Finally, only a third of the landowners indicated that tax incentives would encourage them to commit more land for conservation.


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