The clock that helps keep track of your tax

Durban – We all know from our salaries how much tax we pay. But, have you ever wondered how many hours are allocated to those deductions? No? Well, there is a tool that can help you understand.

Code for SA established in 2013 recently launched the much talked about Tax Clock. Its purpose you may ask? To help you understand where your taxes are spent.

The NGO is involved in many works such as: working with the Department of Water and Sanitation who have launched a campaign to address water and sanitation issues in SA with a challenge to the public to submit a short video of their innovative water solution. They have also launched Africa’s first data journalism and are in the process of working with the first cohort of journalists in our data journalism newsroom.

The Tax Clock is a free-to-use online tool that shows users how much of their workday is spent working to pay tax and how much is spent working for themselves. According to the NGO the International Budget Partnership provided the data immediately after the budget speech.

Code for South Africa Director Adi Eyal says: “The rationale behind the tool is essentially that we’re exploring how you take complex data and present it to people in a way that they can understand.

“Most people don’t understand the budget and how it affects them, but if we put it in terms of their own salaries, how long they work, it helps them understand that, for instance, we spend almost as much on interest repayments as we do on social services in this country” he said.

It wasn’t all smooth sailing for the creation of the tool; they had to jump over a few hurdles for it to finally kick off. “The biggest challenge was taking the budget and making it understandable, usable and relevant to the end user” Code4SA Communications Officer Lenina Rassol said.

The software was developed by developers and journalists in order to make the “tool understandable, usable and relevant to the end user.”

After the launch Rassol said: “We received positive reviews from both the media and public via social media about the tax clock. People love that it is personal and interactive. As mentioned above, the Tax Clock has been embedded on various news sites.

The organisation based in Cape Town has developed a strong hold in the civil society and media spaces. They are working closely with their partners to strengthen the impact of their work through technical support, implementation, creating demand for open data and promoting an enabling environment for informed decision-making.