Binding Private Ruling – Exemption from donations tax and the net value of an estate

On 1 July 2015, the South African Revenue Service (SARS) released Binding Private Ruling 197 (BPR 197) dealing with the donations tax consequences arising from the onward or subsequent donation of funds received by way of a donation from a foreign source. BPR 197 further deals with the estate duty consequences that will apply in the event of the foreign sourced funds being retained or used to acquire property that is located and remains outside South Africa.

The ABC of Donations deductions

“Social responsibility is an ethical theory that an entity, be it an organisation or individual, has an obligation to act to benefit society at large.” When your moral compass and sense of social responsibility lead you to acts of benevolence, you could, in addition to the sense of wellbeing that comes from helping others, also qualify for a reduction in your tax bill. In recognition of the valuable role these donations from individuals and businesses play in these tougher economic times, government has legislated further concessions to allow greater tax relief in respect of such donations.

Deductible Donations

By Doné Howell, Tax Partner Grant Thornton Johannesburg “Social responsibility is an ethical theory that an entity, be it an organisation or individual, has an obligation to act to benefit society at large.” When your moral compass and sense of social responsibility lead you to acts of benevolence, you could, in addition to the sense of wellbeing that comes from helping others, also qualify for a reduction in your tax bill.

Deductible Donations

By Doné Howell, Tax Partner Grant Thornton Johannesburg “Social responsibility is an ethical theory that an entity, be it an organisation or individual, has an obligation to act to benefit society at large.” When your moral compass and sense of social responsibility lead you to acts of benevolence, you could, in addition to the sense of wellbeing that comes from helping others, also qualify for a reduction in your tax bill. In recognition of the valuable role these donations from individuals and businesses play in these tougher economic times, government has legislated further concessions to allow greater tax relief in respect such donations.

On South African tax compliance, tax morality and taxpayers’ freedom to do tax planning – Canada, Ireland and South Africa are not worlds apart

The upcoming Budget Speech comes against the backdrop of a depressing South African growth rate, stubbornly high unemployment, a depreciating Rand (with more US tapering still to come), continued strikes in the mining sector, deadly service delivery protests and declining tax revenues. On a more positive note: In November 2013 Minister Gordhan pointed to the continued growth in tax compliance by South Africans and said: “… the ability to collect tax revenue …to finance the provision of public services and socioeconomic infrastructure has been a cornerstone of our democracy these 20 years.”

Taxpayer's rights on SARS audits

The Tax Administration Act, Act 28 of 2011 (the TAA) came into effect on 1 October 2012. Its promulgation brought with it many changes to not only taxpayers’ rights and obligations but the reciprocal rights and obligations on the part of the South African Revenue Service (SARS) in its continuous business of revenue collection. Some of the amendments and repeals of sections previously contained in the Income Tax Act No. 58 of 1962 (the Act) have seen a welcome improvement in taxpayers’ rights. One of these improvements is contained in section 42 of the TAA.

Receipt of foreign assets and the subsequent donation thereof to a non-resident trust

Binding Private Ruling 157 dealt with the income tax consequences arising from, and the attribution rules applicable to a distribution of foreign assets made by non-resident discretionary trusts to a beneficiary who is a resident of South Africa, and the subsequent donation by the beneficiary of such assets to another non-resident trust.

Receipt of Foreign Assets and the Subsequent Donation Thereof to a Non-resident Trust

Author: BDO Binding Private Ruling 157 dealt with the income tax consequences arising from, and the attribution rules applicable to a distribution of foreign assets made by non-resident discretionary trusts to a beneficiary who is a resident of South Africa, and the subsequent donation by the beneficiary of such assets to another non-resident trust.

SARS to fight for its fair share of the tax pie

 Earlier this year Minister Pravin Gordhan (“the Minister”) announced the members of the Tax Review Committee (“the committee”) as well as the committee’s terms of reference. The terms of reference for the committee include inquiring into the role of the South African tax system in the promotion of inclusive economic growth, employment creation, development and fiscal sustainability. The committee is required to take into account recent domestic and global developments and, in particular, the long-term objectives of the National Development Plan (NDP) and thereafter make recommendations to the Minister. Any tax proposals arising from these recommendations will be announced as part of the normal budget and legislative processes.