Pretoria – Julius Malema is seeking to delay a sequestration case brought against him by the SA Revenue Service (Sars), the High Court in Pretoria heard on Monday. Malema’s legal team brought an application asking for the matter to be postponed because he wanted to reverse an admission of liability, which he signed last year during negotiations with Sars.
THE tax consequences of decisions made in the boardroom have been highlighted in some recent court cases, where judgments were made against parties who had entered into transactions that were motivated by the potential tax benefits it would bring rather than the profits they would generate. A judgment laid down in the case of ABC vs the South African Revenue Service (SARS) heard in the Western Cape Tax Court last year reiterated the importance of paying attention to the details of a transaction as reflected in the financial statements, including related taxes. ABC acquired land with a forest on it and carried on forestry activities on the land. It then sold the land together with the forest for a specific amount, of which R144.7m related to the forest. The question before the court was whether the R144.7m should be included in ABC’s gross income.
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.”
Durban tender queen Shauwn Mpisane has walked out of the Durban Regional Court a free woman after the state withdrew more than 100 tax fraud charges against her. Mpisane, the owner of Zikhulise Cleaning, Maintenance and Transport, was charged with defrauding the SA Revenue Service of R4.7 million by submitting false VAT invoices, but applied to National Director of Public Prosecutions Advocate Mxolisi Nxasana to have the case withdrawn over prosecutorial misconduct. This morning Nxasana was at court for the hearing, at which prosecutor Arno Rossouw told Magistrate Blessing Msane that he had been instructed to withdraw the case in terms of Section 6 (b) of the Criminal Procedure Act.
Author: Beric Croome (ENS) The Tax Administration Laws Amendment Bill, No. 40 of 2013 was introduced in Parliament on 24 October 2013. The President of the Republic of South Africa must still assent to the Bill and it must then be published in the Government Gazette before it becomes an Act. The Tax Administration Laws Amendment Bill (“TALAB”) contains various amendments of an administrative nature to various tax Acts administered by the Commissioner: South African Revenue Service. In this article it is not possible to deal with all of the amendments contained in the Bill and only the more important changes to the Tax Administration Act, No. 28 of 2011 will be dealt with.
Aurthor: Hugo Van Zyl (Cross Border Tax and Exchange Control Specialist) The first and very important note to make, in dealing with South African tax issues: tax year 2014 ends on the last day of FEBRUARY 2014. The South African tax year for most individuals, are 1 March until the last day of February in the next calendar year. Corporates can change their tax year-end to align with the last day of their financial year-end, yet Trusts partners in a JV or partnership, are obliged to file assuming a tax year-end on the last day of February, despite their financial year-end being the last day of another month. Yes, sadly this date, Friday 28th 2014, is not even listed on the SARS webpage on important dates, yet is an extremely important tax deadline.
It was, in part, this question which lay behind the appointment of a tax review committee in South Africa on 17 July 2013. At a recent dialogue facilitated by professional services firm Deloitte, Judge Dennis Davis, the Chairman of the Davis Tax Committee, for the first time revealed some of the background to the committee’s work and progress to date. As National Leader for Taxation Services at Deloitte, Nazrien Kader pointed out, “it has been nearly two decades since the Katz Commission undertook such a review in South Africa and global and local developments since have brought the applicability of our tax system under the spotlight.”
By Ingé Lamprecht Worldwide ranking improves from 32nd to 24th position –World Bank & PwC report. JOHANNESBURG – South Africa’s worldwide paying tax ranking has improved over the past year due to the success of the eFiling system and the abolishment of secondary tax on companies (STC). According to the Paying Taxes 2014 report,
South Africa operates a value-added tax (VAT) system whereby the VAT charged by suppliers is subtracted from the VAT charged to customers to calculate the VAT payable or refundable. This system was established to relieve the trader entirely of the burden of the VAT payable or paid in the course of all his economic activities.
Any taxpayer who wishes to object to or appeal against an assessment issued by the South African Revenue Service (SARS) must be aware that their obligation to pay any tax under that assessment is not automatically suspended by virtue of the submission of the objection or appeal itself. Any taxpayer who wishes for an objection or appeal to first be concluded before paying the tax due under an assessment would have to lodge a separate request for suspension of payment of tax in terms of section 164 of the Tax Administration Act No. 28 of 2011 (the TAA).