This study contributes to the body of knowledge on tax compliance costs to small businesses by pioneering research in South Africa on four fronts. Firstly, the study is the first to comprehensively quantify small business tax compliance costs – establishing a baseline against which future research can be benchmarked. Secondly, the study established that small businesses perceive tax compliance benefits to exist, but found that the respondents were generally unable to quantify them. Thirdly, it evaluated the perceived impact of the major small business tax concessions on the level of tax compliance costs incurred by small businesses. Finally, the study used regression analyses to evaluate the drivers or determinants of internal and external tax compliance costs.