South Africa, like any other country, strives towards greater tax revenue mobilisation. One possible explanation to low revenue levels is non-compliance by taxpayers. Given its implications for the provision of public goods and services, the government has instituted various enforcement measures, including (among others) reprieves (amnesties and voluntary disclosure programmes) to delinquents who voluntarily disclose their previously unreported income.
Prompted by the theoretical ambiguity in the relationships between tax rates and tax evasion, this study investigates the relationship between tariff (tax) rates and tax evasion using highly disaggregated trade data for Zimbabwe and South Africa. The study uses cross-sectional data analysis for three periods; pre-crisis (1980 to 1999), crisis (2000-2008) and post-crisis (2009-2014). The results show different responses of tax evasion to tariff changes in the three periods.