Category: South Africa

Countdown to the amended South African Expatriate tax law

The announcement by National Treasury and SARS in 2017 that the tax exemption on South African expatriates is set to change, has resulted in the lifestyle of many South Africans, who are employed by companies abroad, to rapidly change from a South African tax liability point of view. By Claudia… – Continue reading

Worldwide: UK Tax Round Up – November 2018

General UK Tax Developments Finance Bill The Finance (No 3) Bill 2018-19 (which will become the Finance Act 2019) was published on 7 November and includes legislation to enact the changes highlighted in our UK Budget blog post ( UK Budget Blog). Another key area covered by the Finance Bill… – Continue reading

Trade misinvoicing costs South Africa $7.4bn in tax a year

While SARS is scrambling to meet collection targets, a new report estimates the country lost $37-billion in revenue to trade misinvoicing in five years. Trade misinvoicing is thought to be the largest component of illicit financial flows, draining developing countries of much-needed finances. In a new report, Global Financial Integrity… – Continue reading

Brits living in SA must declare their offshore assets

The British High Commission has advised British citizens to report and pay their tax on foreign income and assets. In a media release, the Commission said as part of the British Government’s “Requirement to Correct” legislation UK taxpayers must make sure that all their foreign income and assets, where there… – Continue reading

A Bird’s Eye View on General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a regulation in European Law on data protection and privacy for all individuals within the European Union (EU). The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) superseded the UK Data Protection Act 1998 on May 25, 2018. Significant and wide-reaching in scope, the new… – Continue reading

What you need to know about buying Bitcoin from an offshore exchange

When it comes to cryptocurrencies, an area that is often overlooked is that of exchange control, and whether the acquisition or trading in cryptos may (even inadvertently) lead to a transgression under the exchange control regulations. According to Leon Rood, director at Werksmans Attorneys, while the South African Reserve Bank… – Continue reading

VAIDS: FG Amnesty On Tax Defaulter Ends March 2018 – Fowler

The Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr. Babatunde Fowler has said federal government tax defaulters have until March 2018 to declare assets and income via the Voluntary Assets and Income declaration Scheme (VAIDS) or face the consequence. Fowler speaking at the media workshop programme in Lagos, recently, said… – Continue reading

South Africa, Belgium, Jersey Extend CbC Reporting Deadlines

South Africa, Jersey, and Belgium are among a handful of territories that have recently announced an extension to the due date for country-by-country reports under the new frameworks being introduced under Action 13 of the OECD’s base erosion and profit shifting Action Plan. The CbC report is one element of… – Continue reading

Davis Tax Committee report

The Davis Tax Committee (the Committee) released a further report on “Tax Administration” on 13 November 2017 as part of the final six reports that were deliverable by the Committee. The report has five chapters covering: Governance of the South African Revenue Service Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Treatment… – Continue reading

New tax law sees increase in financial emigration

The government’s planned changes to the tax law for South Africans working abroad – either permanently or on a long-term contracts – has brought financial emigration into sharp focus. Financial emigration is a formal process with the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) to change your tax status from “resident” to… – Continue reading

SARS to crack down on multinational companies and subsidiaries’ tax returns

MEDIUM and large businesses with multinational ties will soon have to start supplying the South African Revenue Service (SARS) with more detailed reports of their relationships and transactions with connected entities residing in other countries. SARS has beefed up its Transfer Pricing Division and is now actively involved in the… – Continue reading

Investors would rather put their money in Mauritius than South Africa

Despite a larger economy and a much bigger population, South Africa’s political uncertainty and failure to draw cost-sensitive investors has given way for the rise of Mauritius as the top investment destination in Africa. Speaking to CNBC Africa, Bravura’s executive director, Soria Hay, said Mauritius is fast-gaining the reputation among… – Continue reading

Voluntary offshore disclosures: Final SARS deadline fast approaches

JOHANNESBURG — Despite question marks hanging over SARS, its chief Tom Moyane and the institution’s current ability to effectively collect taxes, the authority continues to push ahead with expanding its international net. A 31 August deadline for taxpayers to disclose their offshore assets and income to SARS is fast approaching…. – Continue reading

Deadline for SARS voluntary disclosure soon

Taxpayers have been reminded of the looming deadline for the Special Voluntary Disclosure Programme (SVDP) on 31 August 2017. SVDP is a window period for individuals and companies to regularise undisclosed or unauthorised foreign assets and associated income. It came into effect on 1 October 2016. Taxpayers are urged to… – Continue reading

SA taxpayers with offshore cash, assets given deadline to disclose info

The Common Reporting Standard (CRS) allows for the automatic exchange of information between tax authorities. Local taxpayers who may have stashed their assets in cash and property offshore have a month to disclose their earnings and ownership details to the South African Revenue Services (Sars). The deadline for the Special… – Continue reading

The consequences of scrapping tax exemptions on income earned outside SA

Economist Magnus Heystek says that government’s push towards scrapping tax exemptions for South Africans earning a salary in foreign country will encourage a tax revolt. South Africans have expressed a mix of concern and outrage over the past week, following the news that the government is seeking to scrap tax… – Continue reading

More clarity on reporting requirements for multinationals

Who is required to file, how it should be filed and what is necessary to disclose. Several South African-based multinational companies have less than six months to prepare their country-by-country reports for exchange with other tax jurisdictions. Many have realised the magnitude of the information expected and have been setting… – Continue reading

New reporting will be costly and time consuming

Pretoria – South African financial institutions, which include banks, long-term insurers and asset managers, will have to exchange financial account information in terms of the common reporting standard for the first time this year. Financial institutions, although having to do similar exchanges in terms of the US’s Foreign Account Tax… – Continue reading

Tax on offshore investments: time to come clean

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) launched the Special Voluntary Disclosure Programme (SVDP) in October 2016, providing taxpayers with the opportunity to make good on any tax and/or exchange control contraventions of which they may be guilty in relation to offshore investments. The nine-month window period opened on October 1,… – Continue reading

Hong Kong Signs AEOI Pacts With Portugal And South Africa

Hong Kong has signed agreements with Portugal and South Africa to automatically exchange financial account information in tax matters. The agreements expand Hong Kong’s Automatic Exchange Of Information (AEOI) network to include a total of 11 countries. The other reportable jurisdictions for Hong Kong are Belgium, Canada, Guernsey, Italy, Japan,… – Continue reading

Hong Kong signs agreements with Portugal and South Africa on automatic exchange of financial account information in tax matters

Hong Kong has signed agreements with Portugal and South Africa for conducting automatic exchange of financial account information in tax matters (AEOI), a Government spokesman said today (April 3). “We have been seeking to expand Hong Kong’s AEOI network with our tax treaty partners. The signing of agreements with Portugal… – Continue reading

Inflation: How government is collecting more tax revenues by stealth

These three CGT exclusions have remained unchanged for five years. Over the last few years government has collected a significant amount of tax revenue by not fully adjusting the personal income tax tables for inflationary increases in earnings, thereby increasing the effective tax rate of individuals. A middle-class individual earning… – Continue reading

New tax measure takes aim at Offshore Trusts

A bombshell hidden in the detail of the 2017 Budget review relates to the taxation of offshore trusts. It refers to the 2015 Budget review in which it was announced that measures would be introduced to the tax treatment of foreign companies held by interposed trusts. No specific countermeasures were… – Continue reading

SARS trust rules may put lid on asset disclosure

Tax experts believe significant sums of undeclared assets have been hoarded offshore by South African taxpayers but they might be reluctant to declare them under the special voluntary disclosure programme because of the way it deals with trusts. The Rates and Monetary Amounts and Amendment of Revenue Laws (Administration) Bill… – Continue reading

South African Tax Bills Approved By Parliament

South Africa’s Ministry of Finance has published the 2016 Taxation Laws Amendment Bill (TLAB), which has received parliamentary approval and gives effect to the tax changes announced in the Budget in February this year, together with legislation confirming the final details of the Special Voluntary Disclosure Program (SVDP). With changes… – Continue reading

South Africa Provides FAQs On CRS

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has released guidance, in a question and answer format, for financial institutions (FIs) seeking to understand the impact of the OECD’s Common Reporting Standard (CRS). The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s CRS obliges countries and jurisdictions to obtain financial information from their FIs… – Continue reading

Switzerland eyes AEOI with 21 countries

Switzerland, which has been working to end its years-long practice of banking secrecy, on Thursday said it aimed to dramatically increase the number of countries it cooperates with toward international fiscal transparency. The Swiss government said in a statement that it wanted to extend the automatic exchange of information (AEOI)… – Continue reading

Switzerland and South Africa sign joint declaration on introduction of AEOI

On 24 November 2016, Switzerland and South Africa signed a joint declaration on the introduction of the automatic exchange of information (AEOI) in tax matters on a reciprocal basis. Both countries intend to start collecting data in accordance with the global AEOI standard in 2018 and to exchange it from… – Continue reading

Tax havens are under attack

Ireland, accused of being a tax haven for multinationals such as Apple to pay nearly zero tax on the bulk of its profits earned outside the United States, finds itself with a new adversary in the global fight against unfair tax practices — Brazil. As of October 1, Brazil will… – Continue reading

UK aid programme “failing to tackle tax avoidance and evasion”

A report by the Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) has criticised the Department for International Development’s (DfiD) approach to tackling tax avoidance and its alleged failure to achieve value for money on HMRC collaboration DfiD has failed in its efforts to fully include developing countries so that they benefit… – Continue reading

Singapore-Africa trade relations set to deepen with new agreements

Trade relations between Singapore and Africa are set to deepen, with several agreements signed on Wednesday (Aug 24) at the fourth edition of the Africa Singapore Business Forum. These include the signing of the Avoidance of Double Taxation (DTA) with Ethiopia, a bilateral investment treaty (BIT) with Mozambique and an… – Continue reading

South Africa Urges African Transfer Pricing Advances

During a recent speech in Pretoria to the High Level Conference on Illicit Financial Flows, South African Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan noted that tax code improvements are required in African countries so that multinational enterprises (MNEs) “pay their fair share of taxes in the countries where they generate their… – Continue reading

Ghana losing tax revenue to extractive sector over lack of data

The absence of adequate data on the operations of businesses in the extractive sector continues to impede the GRA’s ability to fully implement Ghana’s transfer pricing policy. According to the Deputy Commissioner in charge of Policy Programs at the GRA, Edward Gyamerah, the issue makes it difficult to fully assess… – Continue reading

Chile seeks to eliminate double taxation with China

SANTIAGO, June 7 (Xinhua) — The Foreign Relations Committee of the Chilean Senate approved Monday legal proposals to eliminate double taxation with China and three other countries. Chile and China first signed an agreement over the matter on May 25, 2015 in Santiago. “China is our main trading partner and… – Continue reading

Panama snubbed SA on data exchange request

PANAMA, widely recognised as one of the world’s tax havens, declined a request by the South African government to enter into a bilateral arrangement for the exchange of information. However, the refusal was made before the huge leak of information about the offshore holdings of wealthy individuals and entities disclosed… – Continue reading

New rules so Georgia avoids double taxation with Kyrgyzstan

Georgia and Kyrgyzstan are stepping up bilateral cooperation to avoid double taxation, boost investments and increase economic cooperation. A delegation from Kyrgyzstan is currently in Georgia and holding meetings with Georgian authorities to discuss a cooperation agreement on avoidance of double taxation, prevention of evasion of income and capital taxes…. – Continue reading