Number of taxpayers around the world

Estimates from the International Survey on Revenue Administration (ISORA) show that personal taxpayers represent 9.5% of the population in South Africa (compared to a median in the chart below of around 35%). South African data sources suggest that the figure of total taxpayers might be a little lower (and much lower when when excluding government employees), although its difficult to find comparable data across countries from alternative sources.  The proportion of corporate taxpayers to the total population is around half of the median for the countries in the chart.


The number of active taxpayer figures from ISORA are high. In South Africa’s case 98% of personal taxpayer accounts are assessed to be active, with over 23 million registered taxpayers (compared to 5.6 million personal tax returns). As shown by the final chart below, the figure for net taxpayers (i.e. taxpayers above the tax  free threshold) is lower when using data for taxpayers that are expected to submit returns (it is even lower when excluding government employees see also here).

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