April 19, 2021

Deductions on amounts already taxed

It often happens that a person may receive remuneration and other similar amounts (for services rendered or to be rendered, or by virtue of employment or the holding of any office), which subsequently have to be refunded, often because of contractual obligations not having been fulfilled, or due to an overpayment which was previously subject to tax. These amounts can include, for example, paid maternity or sick leave benefits, or retention bonuses, which are often refunded by the person in a subsequent year of assessment. The amounts refunded may qualify for an income tax deduction in the hands of the person under section 11(nA) […]
March 20, 2021

Budget 2021: Corporate tax amendments

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni delivered his third annual budget address on 24 February 2021. The corporate tax rate reduction from 28% to 27% for years of assessment commencing on or after 1 April 2022 was arguably the most significant windfall for corporate taxpayers, although the actual cash benefits thereof will only be seen in the 2023 calendar year. Below, we highlight some of the other significant proposals, which will likely be contained in the Draft Taxation Laws Amendment Bill to be published for public comment in June or July this year. Refining the interaction between anti‐value shifting rules and corporate reorganisation rules The Income Tax Act curbs the use of structures that shift value […]
December 11, 2020

Emigrating while retaining your property?

The exodus of South Africans to foreign jurisdictions has been well publicised, and due to this, much has been written about the so-called “exit tax” that applies when one ceases to be a tax resident in South Africa, as well as matters relating to foreign employment income earned. However, what is often overlooked is what happens when you emigrate but retain your home in South Africa. The general principle is that when you cease to be a South African tax resident, your home (constituting immovable property in South Africa) will not be subject to the “exit charge”, since that immovable property always remains a […]
November 9, 2020

Re-allocation of surplus retirement fund assets

Binding Class Rulings (BCR) are issued in response to applications by a specific class of taxpayers (usually persons that will have the same tax consequences apply to them from a transaction) and clarifies how the Commissioner for SARS would interpret and apply the provisions of the tax laws relating to a specific proposed transaction. BCR 068 determines the very technical consequences of transferring surplus retirement fund assets between funds and allocating assets from employer surplus accounts to retirement fund member accounts of members. Employers that are part of retirement funds should take note of the ruling and consult where necessary. The ruling considers sections 1(1) (specific definitions in the “gross income” definition), 11F and paragraph 2(l) of the Seventh Schedule of the Income Tax Act (dealing with […]
November 9, 2020

Clearing loan accounts through dividends

In terms of the Tax Administration Act, the South African Revenue Service (“SARS”) can issue, in response to an application, Binding Private Rulings (“BPR”) and clarifies how the Commissioner would interpret and apply the provisions of the tax laws relating to a specific proposed transaction. BPR 346 determines the income tax and dividends tax consequences of the redemption of intra-group loans by way of set-off against dividends payable. The ruling was made in connection with the interpretation and application of section 19 and section 64F(1)(a) of the Income Tax Act, dealing with debt waivers and dividends tax. The below-mentioned companies belong to the same “group of companies” and are the parties to the ruling: […]
October 15, 2020

Bursaries and scholarships: The tax rules are changing

Over the past several years, many employers and employees have made use of the beneficial tax treatment of bursary and scholarship schemes, as provided for in the Income Tax Act. The Act contains provisions that provide an exemption in respect of bona fide bursaries or scholarships granted by employers to employees or relatives of qualifying employees, subject to certain monetary limits and requirements stipulated in the Act. Essentially, an employee is not taxed on an amount granted to him/her when it meets the criteria as set out in the Act. In the case of a bona fide bursary or scholarship […]
May 11, 2020

The give and take of share transfers

Many business transactions are concluded in terms of section 42 of the Income Tax Act. The section essentially allows a transfer of an asset by a person to a company, in exchange for equity shares in that company, allowing for tax neutral transaction. The South African Revenue Service has recently issued Binding Private Ruling 339, relating to a transaction in which listed shares are transferred to a collective investment scheme (CIS) in exchange for participatory interests in a collective investment scheme. The parties to the transaction are a resident discretionary investment family trust (herein referred to as the Applicant), and a resident CIS as defined in the Collective Investment Schemes Control Act (herein referred to as the Fund). The facts The Applicant […]
April 20, 2020

When is Capital Gains Tax not incurred?

Section 9HA of the Income Tax Act deals with deemed disposals by a deceased person. This section of the Act often causes some confusion, especially where there are heirs or legatees other than the surviving spouse. In terms of the provision, a deceased person is treated as having disposed of his or her assets at the date of death, for an amount received or accrued equal to the market value of those assets as at the date of death.This deeming provision does not apply to the following circumstances: Assets of, or for the benefit of the deceased’s surviving spouse. An […]
March 4, 2020

Tax liability in financial emigration

Section 9H of the Income Tax Act deals with matters relating to the cessation of residency in South Africa. This section essentially states that where a person that is a resident ceases to be a resident during any year of assessment, that person must be treated as having disposed of his assets on the date immediately prior to ceasing his residency, and re-acquiring the same assets on a date immediately thereafter. This is referred to as a “deemed disposal”. Similarly, the year of assessment will be deemed to have ended immediately prior to the cessation and to have started on […]