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Personal tax consequences for South African executives on foreign boards – the Netherlands as an example

Introduction South African companies are increasingly looking to global expansion to build their capabilities and expand their operations into foreign jurisdictions. Where South Africans serve on the boards of foreign companies and render services to foreign entities, they typically do so in terms of split employment contracts in respect of their services rendered within and outside of South Africa. In addition to the remuneration, they may also receive directors’ fees for services rendered to the boards. Their employment contracts with the foreign company and the requirement that such services must be rendered outside of South Africa, are essential to ensure that these foreign entities are effectively managed in the countries where they are registered, and not in South Africa.

Tax season starts on Monday 01 July 2013

Taxpayers earning less than R250 000 a year may not have to submit a tax return this year 1 July marks the beginning of Tax Season. As from this date taxpayers can submit their Income Tax Return (ITR12) to the South African Revenue Service (SARS). The good news this Tax Season is that the annual income threshold for submitting a tax return has been raised from R120 000 to R250 000.

The matter of validity: was a trust even created?

Author: Trinette Hartley (Sanlam) Trusts (and more specifically inter vivos discretionary trusts) are known to be useful estate planning tools with numerous benefits. Unfortunately, many trusts are created without a full understanding of what trusts are and how they work. This leads to trusts being created for the wrong reasons, trust deeds being invalid and trustees abusing their power.  As a result, our courts are increasingly clamping down on trusts and one should therefore make sur

STC credits: Planning required to ensure it does not go to waste

When dividends tax was introduced with effect from 1 April 2012 many companies still possessed STC credits. These STC credits arose from the fact that more dividends were received by or accrued to the company in the last dividend cycle than dividends declared during such a dividend cycle. The balance of STC credits as at 31 March 2012 are carried forward into the dividends tax system in terms of section 64J of the Income Tax Act (hereafter the Act).

Busting tax fiddles

In recent years international lawyers and accountants have built a web of corporate opacity which has enabled tax avoidance and corruption on an alarming scale. Private financial wealth sitting on tax havens has grown to around US$ 21 trillion, of which $9trillion is from developing countries. Some minuscule jurisdictions, such as the Cayman Islands, have become the legal home to trillions of dollars of corporate assets, offering the unbeatable attractions of zero taxation plus secrecy. Some industries are now dominated by them: half the world’s shipping is registered there.

How the Mauritian tax treaty will affect business

Should foreigners invest directly into SA?   The news* of the revised double tax agreement between South Africa and Mauritius (“the new DTA”) on Monday, 27 May, rang alarm bells for both Mauritian companies investing into South Africa as well as for South African companies expanding offshore via Mauritius.

Tax on foreign employment income likely to change

It is common practice in many multinational organisations for employees to render services in more than one country. In the case of South African tax residents working abroad on long-term assignments, the recent announcement in the 2013 budget regarding proposed changes to the foreign earnings exemption may potentially affect their South African tax liability in relation to foreign-earned remuneration.

Safeguard Against Penalties With A Tax Opinion

South African Revenue Services (SARS) may raise understatement penalties if prejudice has been caused to them or the fiscus. Penalties can be imposed at 25% or 50% in the case of a ‘substantial understatement’. There are however circumstances when, notwithstanding that the taxpayer has erred, SARS will remit the penalty if the taxpayer is in possession of an opinion by a registered tax practitioner.

How tax can affect your residential property investment

Returns, pitfalls and tax breaks in a nutshell Tax can make or break the potential returns from an investment in residential property. To benefit from possible tax breaks while avoiding the pitfalls, investors should be aware that different investment vehicles can significantly increase or reduce their tax liability. In this article we focus on the purchase of property for the purpose of earning a return rather than for use as a primary residence.