SARS – Customs requirements for South African travellers

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) would like to clarify a recent confusion in the media about Customs requirements for travellers returning to South Africa with personal valuables. In terms of Customs legislation, South African residents travelling abroad are not required to declare their personal effects when leaving the country, nor upon return. Personal effects is defined in legislation as including items such as personal laptops, iPads, cellphones, golf clubs, cameras and/or other high value items forming part of the travellers possessions when leaving the country.

STATEMENT BY ACTING COMMISSIONER, MARK KINGON – TAX SEASON 2018

MEDIA BRIEFING ON 04 JUNE 2018. We have been hard at work taking stock of how we can be more efficient and improve service to taxpayers. This requires that we make better use of our resources and technology, while factoring in feedback from taxpayers on what their pain-points are. Our main objective is to make tax compliance a simple and routine experience for the taxpayer. This is a work in progress, and we will be refining our initiatives with every tax season, over the next two years, taking on board the lessons learned.

​SARS to host BRICS Tax Experts and Heads of Tax Administrations

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) will host the tax experts and heads of tax administrations from BRICS member countries, namely Brazil, Russia, India China and South Africa, in Sandton next week. This will take place at the Hilton Hotel in Sandton from 18 to 21 June 2018. The BRICS Tax meetings follow on BRICS Customs meetings held in April this year, which contributed to creating an enabling framework for BRICS Customs cooperation.

SARS issues new guide to understatement penalties – a march toward further certainty?

Author: Jerome Brink (Senior Associate at Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr). The Tax Administration Act, No 28 of 2011 (TAA) was promulgated with effect from 1 October 2012. The rationale behind the introduction of the TAA was that it would streamline, modernise and align the previous tax administration provisions to ultimately lower the cost and burden of tax administration in South Africa. One of the key changes to the tax administration regime in South Africa pursuant to the promulgation of the TAA was the conversion from the imposition of additional tax by SARS to the understatement penalty regime.

Major new tax burden introduced

Author: David Warneke (Partner and head of Tax Technical at BDO South Africa). The Taxation Laws Amendment Act of 2017 (Act 17 of 2017) which was promulgated on 18 December 2017 contains provisions, namely section 22B of the principal Income Tax Act and paragraph 43A of the Eighth Schedule to the Income Tax Act, that will result in a significant compliance burden for companies, even in cases in which they do not result in additional taxation. The provisions deal with disposals of shares in a company (say A) that are held by another company (say B) in circumstances in which B held a significant portion of the equity shares (which the Amendment Act defines as a qualifying interest) in A at any time within the 18 months preceding the disposal. Section 22B applies in situations in which the shares that are the subject of the provision are held as trading Read More …

A win against SARS: late delivery of SARSs rule 31 Statement

Author: Mareli Treurnicht (Director at Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr). On 17 October 2017 the Tax Court (Western Cape Division: Cape Town) delivered judgment in the matter between S Company v The Commissioner for the South African Revenue Service (SARS) under case number IT0122/2017. The judgment was handed down by Judge Cloete. This judgment is of great interest to any taxpayers currently involved in prolonged disputes with SARS, in particular where there are delays on the part of SARS.

Taxation of Income from two sources

What to do if you receive income from two sources? Taxpayers who receive income from more than one source of employment or pension are reminded that the employees tax (PAYE) deducted by the respective employers or pension funds may not be enough to cover their final tax liability on assessment. The reason for this is the manner in which a taxpayers tax liability is calculated on assessment. The South African tax system is based on the principle of adding together all sources of income of a taxpayer into a single sum, and applying a progressive tax rate table to determine the final tax liability of the taxpayer on assessment. A progressive tax rate system means that the more income is earned, the higher is the marginal tax rate and more tax is paid on assessment.

Refunds subject to set-off under the Tax Administration Act

Author: Robert Gad and Jo-Paula Roman. In order to create a more uniform system for the administration of taxes in South Africa, section 191 of the Tax Administration Act, 2011 (the TAA) has effectively replaced various refund and set-off provisions which appeared in respective tax acts. Section 191 of the TAA now provides that all tax debts that are due must be set-off against refunds, including the interest thereon, due by the South African Revenue Service (SARS) to that taxpayer.

Under the radar: Today one tax rate, tomorrow another?

Author: Louis Botha and Heinrich Louw. Since the first version of the Draft Taxation Laws Amendment Bill, 2016 (First Draft TLAB) and the Explanatory Memorandum thereto (Memorandum) were released on 8 July 2016, the proposed amendments applicable to trusts and employee share schemes received most of the attention. However, another proposed amendment with potentially far-reaching consequences that has received little attention since the release of the First Draft TLAB is one which could lead to a taxpayer paying tax at one rate today and another rate tomorrow, as and when the Minister of Finance (Minister) says so.