January 19, 2021

What happens when debt is waived?

Many natural persons or trust shareholders in companies are confronted with the unintended tax consequences of owing an amount on a loan account to the company in which they hold those shares. These tax consequences specifically relate to the “deemed dividend” which arises on interest-free loans (related to so-called “debit loans” in companies). In many cases, there is no intention to ever repay the loan account, and shareholders and companies often consider simply waiving these loan accounts. The issue typically arises when the shareholder is not immediately subject to any of the adverse debt waiver provisions of the Income Tax Act. The shareholder often opts to absorb any tax recoupments or base cost adjustments as a result of the debt benefit […]
December 3, 2015

Donations tax

Donations tax is levied in terms of the Income Tax Act at 20% of the value of any property donated by South African tax residents. The tax is levied on the donor, although the Act does make provision for the tax to also be recovered from the person receiving the donation in certain instances if the donor fails to pay the requisite amount of tax. It is no coincidence that the tax is levied at exactly the same rate as Estate Duty is. It therefore acts as an effective anti-avoidance measure for Estate Duty to ensure that an estate is […]
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