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.

SARS – ​Medical Deductions Changes

Note: If the information pre-populated on your ITR12 does not match the information reflected on your medical scheme tax certificate(s) which you received from your medical scheme, please click on the Refresh Medical Data button to ensure that data from your latest medical scheme tax certificate(s) is populated onto your ITR12 return. We have introduced a few medical deduction changes to the ITR12 tax return from the 2017 year of assessment onwards. Below is a brief summary on how to complete your medical expenditure on your return:

New ITR14 requires country-by-country reporting in company tax returns

Authors:  Lavina Daya and Scott Salusbury. In October 2015, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (“OECD”) published its final reports on the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (“BEPS”) project, including the final report on BEPS Action 13, Transfer Pricing and Country-by-Country Reporting (“Action 13 Report”). The Action 13 Report recommended a three-tiered approach to transfer pricing documentation, requiring a global master file and local file to be submitted by multinational enterprises (“MNEs”) to local tax authorities and a country-by-country (“CbC”) report to be submitted by the “ultimate parent entity” of an MNE in the jurisdiction in which it is tax resident. The CbC report will contain information to provide the tax authorities with an overview of the global allocation of income, business activities and taxes paid within the MNE. The tax authorities of various jurisdictions will share CbC reports through automatic exchange of information mechanisms, such as the Multilateral Competent Read More …

Tax Administration – Correction of errors in assessments

The Tax Administration Laws Amendment Act of 2015, which was promulgated on 8 January 2016, amended section 93(1)(d) of the TAA and  in future SARS will not be permitted to entertain so-called ‘requests for correction’ of tax assessments, except if SARS is satisfied that there is a (currently undefined) ‘readily apparent’ undisputed error in the assessment. It is likely that taxpayers will be severely discriminated against by this amendment. What is ‘readily apparent’ to one person may not be so to another. The number of cases in which SARS is likely to grant requests for corrections is likely to drop dramatically and a lack of consistency in interpretation between SARS’ assessors may be taken as a given.

An uncompromising stance – the dispute between SARS and Julius Malema continues

The High Court (Gauteng Division, Pretoria) recently handed down judgment in the case of Malema v Commissioner for the South African Revenue Service (76306/2015) [2016] ZAGPPHC 263 (29 April 2016).  The issue before the court was whether the South African Revenue Service (SARS) was bound to a compromise agreement entered into between the Malema (Applicant) and SARS as a result of alleged non-disclosures and misstatements made by the Applicant, who expressly warranted the truth of the facts furnished by him. The compromise agreement was concluded in accordance with the provisions of s205 of the Tax Administration Act, No 28 of 2011 (TAA).

SARS Tax Clearance Certificate – be cleared online

Author: Sduduzo Mhlongo (ENSAfrica candidate attorney). The South African Revenue Service (“SARS”) has introduced a new Tax Compliance Status System (“TCS”)  from 18 April 2016 in an effort to improve compliance and to make it easier for taxpayers to manage their tax affairs. The Tax Compliance Status System is a holistic view of the tax compliance level across all registered tax types. The new system makes it stress-free for taxpayers to obtain a Tax Clearance Certificate (“TCC”) and allows taxpayers to obtain a Tax Compliance Status PIN which can be used by authorised third parties to verify the taxpayer’s compliance status online via SARS eFiling. There are 2 steps in the process of obtaining a TCS:

Section 104 of the Tax Administration Act and the meaning of ‘exceptional circumstances’ – a cautionary tale

Author: Heinrich Louw (Senior Associate). In terms of s104 of the Tax Administration Act, No 28 of 2011 (Act), a taxpayer who is aggrieved by an assessment or decision of the South African Revenue Service (SARS), may object to the assessment or decision. The Act states that the objection must be lodged within 30 business days from the date of the assessment. A senior SARS official may extend this period by no more than 21 business days, unless the official “…is satisfied that exceptional circumstances exist which gave rise to the delay in lodging the objection”.

Budget 2016 – Adjustments to personal income tax

Following an increase in individual tax rates in the 2015 Budget and in light of the current economic circumstances which include lower estimated tax revenues, it was highly anticipated that the Minister would announce an increase in personal income tax rates in the 2016 Budget. Expectations varied between an increase in the maximum marginal rate of tax of 1% to 4%, bringing the maximum marginal rate of tax within the 42% to 45% range. It is thus with great surprise that the 2016 Budget introduces adjustments to the bottom three personal income tax brackets which effectively relieves the impact of inflation on lower- and middle-income earners. No amendments to the marginal tax rates were proposed.

SARS’s investigative powers – a possible backstage pass to matters pending before court?

Author: Yashika Govind (Associate at CLiffe Dekker Hofmeyr). Chapter 5 of the Tax Administration Act, No 28 of 2011 (TAA) confers a broad range of information-gathering powers on the South African Revenue Service (SARS). Taxpayers are often assessed for more than one tax period at a time, however, the waters become muddied when there are parallel processes carried on in which the issues being investigated by SARS, overlap with disputes pending before the Tax Court. The taxpayer is then saddled with defending itself in respect of a tax period before court while simultaneously sourcing and providing relevant material pertaining to the same legal issues for an audit of a later tax period. In these circumstances, there is often an overlap of facts, law and witnesses which will ultimately be presented in court, thus rendering the information gathering process questionable.