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Tax

Hawks confirm investigation of SARS’ Makwakwa

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Monday, 06 November 2017
Criminal Law Tax Law
The Hawks have confirmed that an investigation into the second-in-command SARS executive and alleged money-launderer Jonas Makwakwa is ongoing, says a HuffPost SA report. Makwakwa was returned last week to a crucial job at the under-performing revenue authority after a year's suspension. SARS spokesperson Sandile Memela said the executive would not be suspended again following the Hawks confirmation that an investigation is still in progress.

R35bn worth of foreign assets declared

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Wednesday, 20 September 2017
Tax Law
South Africans have declared almost R35bn worth of foreign assets under the government-initiated special voluntary disclosure programme (SVDP) that closed last month, according to Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba. He said that 2 002 SVDP applications were received by the cut-off date of 31 August, and the government had already identified over R1bn in tax liabilities.

Foreign earnings exemption to be amended

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Friday, 15 September 2017
Tax Law
The Treasury has agreed to significantly amend its proposal to repeal the 183-day tax exemption on income earned abroad by retaining the exemption and introducing a R1m ceiling on what can be claimed under it. A Business Day report says implementation of the proposal will also be postponed until 1 March 2020 instead of the initially proposed 1 March 2019 in order to give individuals more time to either adjust their contracts or their circumstances or to formalise their tax status, as is deemed necessary.

Treasury urged to reconsider repealing overseas exemptions

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Wednesday, 30 August 2017
Tax Law
Tax experts yesterday urged National Treasury to give careful consideration to the economic implications of repealing a provision that exempts certain South Africans who work overseas from paying tax in SA. According to a Fin24 report, Parliament’s Standing Committee on Finance hosted public hearings to allow stakeholders to give input on a range of new tax proposals from National Treasury.

Exemption on earnings outside SA to be scrapped

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Thursday, 20 July 2017
Employment Law Tax Law
The Treasury has proposed to remove the foreign employment income tax exemption for South African residents working abroad from March 2019. Treasury deputy DG Ismail Momoniat said the aim was to make sure that the tax system was fair to all and that people did not exploit offshore tax havens.

Any change means queuing at a SARS office

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Friday, 30 June 2017
Tax Law
Taxpayers will in future have to appear in person at a branch office of the SARS if any of their details registered with the agency change. In the past this verification was necessary only when the taxpayer’s banking details changed. However, they will have to visit a branch if a telephone number or an address changes, notes a Moneyweb report.

Backdating of dividend witholding tax questioned

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Wednesday, 07 June 2017
Banking & Finance Law Tax Law
Government’s decision to increase the rate of a dividend withholding tax and apply it from 22 February 2017 when the Budget Speech took place creates tax uncertainty, Parliament was told yesterday, according to a Fin24 report. The Standing Committee on Finance hosted public hearing on the Rates and Monetary Amounts and Amendment of the Revenue Laws Bill, which will enable tax rates changes announced during the 2017 Budget.

Tax laws not always fair – SCA ruling

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Wednesday, 26 April 2017
Litigation Tax Law
A recent SCA tax case demonstrated quite clearly how paying tax under a ‘statutory obligation’ might seem ‘unfair’, but that there was nothing ‘unjust’ about it, says a report in Business Report. In this case the taxpayer – a company – sold a property for a huge gain, was taxed on the capital gain, but was not paid the total amount. However, the company remained liable for the original capital gains tax assessment.

R5.4bn dividend tax saves SARS’ target

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Monday, 10 April 2017
Tax Law
An unexpected R5.4bn dividend tax windfall enabled SARS to hit its target for the latest tax year, despite shortfalls in other taxes – which a Business Day report says raises questions about what might come to SARS’ rescue as it works to meet even tougher targets in the coming year.

Scramble follows dividend tax announcement

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Monday, 27 February 2017
Tax Law
The unexpected retroactive increase in dividend tax has caused consternation among listed companies that have declared but not yet paid dividends, says a Business Day report. On Friday, a slew of companies that have recently declared dividends were forced to issue Sens announcements informing shareholders the after-tax dividend paid out would be reduced in line with the budget announcement.

Kumba agrees to R2.5m SARS settlement deal

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Monday, 06 February 2017
Business & Industry Law Tax Law
Anglo American’s disposal of its stake in SA’s largest iron ore producer became easier on Friday, when Kumba Iron Ore agreed to a R2.5bn settlement with SARS – a penalty much smaller than feared. A Business Day report notes Anglo is in the throes of a major portfolio restructuring as it sells off assets in bulk commodities to repay billions of dollars in debt and to focus the business on platinum, copper and diamonds.

Tax changes affecting Trusts: Interest-free or low-interest loans to trusts

By Ashersons Attorneys | Andrew Goldschmidt | Published on Thursday, 13 October 2016
Business & Industry Law Tax Law
The South African National Treasury is moving forwards with their promises to tighten up the income tax laws which are applicable to trusts, which relate specifically to instances where trusts have been granted interest-free or low-interest loans by individuals.

Selling Property? Check for VAT Before You Sign

By Ashersons Attorneys | Selwyn Zackon | Published on Friday, 30 September 2016
Litigation Property Law Tax Law
You sell your property for a good price and, with the deal in the bag, you start daydreaming about how to spend the proceeds. Then – disaster of disasters – you realise that in the excitement of the sale you forgot all about VAT.

Hawks swoop on Gordhan and former SARS colleagues

The knives are out for Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, who is not only facing possible arrest by the Hawks tomorrow – he has been asked to present himself at their offices in connection with the alleged ‘rogue unit' at SARS – but is also the centre of what a News24 report describes as ‘a massive new forensic probe into deals concluded during his tenure at the organisation’.

SARS spent R26m on ‘rogue unit’ investigations

SARS paid financial services firm KPMG R23m to investigate allegations of irregularity and misconduct involving the so-called ‘rogue unit’ established to investigate tax evasion, says a BDlive report. This was in addition to the R332 177 spent to finance the work of the Kanyane committee and the R3m paid to the Sikhakhane Panel, both of which were mandated to investigate allegations against former SARS employee Johann van Loggerenberg, who was involved with the unit.

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