Interest on loans from foreign persons

By Mike Betts, Tax Partner Grant Thornton Cape From 1 January 2015, the interest paid or due to non-residents from a source within South Africa (SA) will be subject to a 15% withholding tax, according to sections 50A to 50H of the Income Tax Act (‘the Act’). These provisions do not affect interest paid by, amongst others, any sphere of government, or any SA bank and will most likely affect loans from foreign shareholders and from other group companies located beyond the borders of SA.

Latest Research and Development tax allowance still missing the mark

By Barry Visser, Associate Director Grant Thornton Johannesburg Recent Research and Development (R&D) legislative amendments substantially changed the nature of the R&D allowance contained in section 11D of the Income Tax Act. However, despite the significant changes, this allowance still seems to fail to encourage many companies to undertake R&D. We highlight the most significant barriers and provide suggestions to benefit from the allowance.

Deductions for income tax and VAT

Broadly speaking, in their ordinary business operations, certain entities are entitled to claim certain deductions for income tax and value-added tax (VAT) purposes. In this article we discuss the tests used by South African courts and in practice, for income tax and VAT purposes, in order to determine whether a taxpayer will be entitled to such deductions. Consideration will be given specifically to the deduction of legal expenses incurred by a taxpayer in terms of section 11(c) of the Income Tax Act No. 58 of 1962 (the Act) and the deduction of input tax in respect thereof in terms of section 1 read with section 7 of the Value-Added Tax Act No. 89 of 1991 (the VAT Act).

Taxation of Income protection policies

 By Doné Howell, Tax Partner Grant Thornton Johannesburg The latest in the wave of changes that affect the taxation of insurance policies that exist for the benefit of an employee, but are paid by the employer, is the recent legislation regarding the taxation of income protection policies.  Although the effective date of this legislation is 1 March 2015 (the 2016 tax year), it is important for employers to be aware of the impending changes to the PAYE system and to consider the possible review and renegotiation of your policies in the next year.

Setting aside business rescue

An interesting judgment was handed down in the North Gauteng High Court on 3 October 2013 in the matter of Commissioner for the South African Revenue Service v Miles Plant Hire (Pty) Ltd (case no 23533/2013). Miles Plant Hire (Pty) Ltd (the taxpayer) was involved in a dispute with the South African Revenue Service (SARS) in terms of which an appeal was pending. The taxpayer adopted a resolution to file for business rescue. When SARS became aware of the resolution, it brought an application for the setting aside of the resolution, and for the taxpayer to be wound up in terms of section 177(1) of the Tax Administration Act, No. 28 of 2011 (the TAA).

Malema trying to delay case – Sars lawyer

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.

Income Tax and VAT consequences of E-Tolls

Introduction The levying of tolls for the use of certain highways in Gauteng, the so called e-tolls, took effect on 3 December 2013.   It is therefore appropriate to consider the income tax consequences arising from the payment of e-tolls in those cases where an employee is reimbursed for business travelling or is provided with a vehicle owned by their employer or where an employee receives a travelling allowance to finance the expenditure incurred whilst travelling on the employer’s business.

Firms seeking tax benefits face legal repercussions

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.

Shauwn Mpisane: More than 100 tax fraud charges withdrawn

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.

The limitation of deductions for untaxed interest

Author: Kyle Mandy (PwC) The Taxation Laws Amendment Bill 39 of 2013 proposes the introduction of a new section (section 23M) to the Income Tax Act (ITA) to limit the deduction of interest incurred by a debtor in respect of a debt owed to a creditor that is in a ‘controlling relationship’ with the debtor and the interest in question is not subject to South African tax. The restriction will apply to interest incurred on or after 1 January 2015. In essence, the section limits the deduction for interest paid between connected persons where the interest is not taxed in the hands of the recipient to an amount determined with reference to 40% of taxable income before interest and capital allowances.