Category: South Africa

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...

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,...

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,...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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)...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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....

Troubling Implications of the BEPS Project: Interest Deductibility

On October 5, 2015, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) issued final tax policy recommendations stemming from its Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) project. The reports, endorsed by the G20 Finance Ministers on October 8 and by the G20 leaders at their November 15-16 summit, consist primarily...

South Africa Issues Draft CbC Regulations

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has issued draft regulations for the purpose of specifying a new country-by-country (CbC) reporting standard for multinational enterprises (MNEs). Legislative amendments to the Tax Administration Act, 2011, were effected during 2015 in order to implement CbC reporting in South Africa. They implement the OECD’s...

20 Caribbean, Latin American Nations Named Major Money Laundering Countries

Twenty Caribbean and Latin American nations have been named by the U.S. as “major money laundering” countries in the 2016 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR) from the U.S. State Department released Wednesday, Mar. 2, 2016. A major money laundering is defined by statute as one “whose financial institutions engage...

South Africa CRS Regulations Come Into Effect

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has issued final regulations that require certain financial institutions (FIs) to report on accounts held or controlled by foreign residents from March 1, 2016. The OECD’s automatic tax information exchange standard, the Common Reporting Standard (CRS), which the regulations are in response to, obliges...

Experts hail withdrawal of ‘unworkable’ withholding tax

THE withdrawal of a withholding tax on service payments to foreigners, decried by many as unworkable, has been widely welcomed. The Treasury acknowledged that the tax had introduced “unforeseen issues, uncertainty on the application of domestic law and taxing rights under tax treaties”. The withholding tax was introduced into legislation...

‘Tax me if you can’: Tax activism of a different kind

It’s unlikely anybody was particularly surprised when Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan announced a number of initiatives to increase the amount of tax revenue; from sugar tax to a “tyre levy” to an increase in a number of existing sin taxes. But it’s perhaps the relaxing of voluntary disclosure rules that...

BUDGET2016 – IS THERE ROOM TO PAY MORE TAXES?

Anthea Scholtz calls for a careful balance between ‘spending’ and ‘revenue-generating’ activities. All eyes will be on Parliament on 24 February 2016 when South Africa’s annual national Budget will be presented by the newly re-appointed Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan. The Budget speech has over the years given South Africans...

Tanzania: Information Exchange With Tax Bodies

Double tax treaties enable competent authorities of the treaty partners to exchange important tax information necessary for implementing the treaty or the domestic laws on taxes of every kind and description imposed. For instance, exchanges of information may be made regarding tax avoidance by companies of the contracting states.Nevertheless information...

Avoiding tax traps: don’t forget about non-competition agreements

Non-competition agreements can be a valuable tool for purchasers who want to protect their investments in new businesses. However, non-competition agreements can have unintended and unexpected tax consequences, particularly to sellers who grant non-competition agreements to purchasers. The Income Tax Act (Canada) (the Act) contains specific provisions regarding the taxation...

Kenya: Treasury Defends Controversial Mauritius Tax Agreement

Treasury is still fighting to keep a tax agreement out of parliament after a lobby group sued them over a pact it signed with Mauritius back in 2012. The double taxation avoidance agreement allows firms registered in the two countries to pay taxes in only one country. It also allows...

Another chance for taxdodgers to come clean

The announcement of another tax and exchange control amnesty in this year’s budget is keenly awaited by some South African taxpayers. The looming implementation of the Common Reporting Standard for the automatic exchange of financial information between more than a hundred countries seems to be fueling the desire for another...

OECD BEPS deal of little significance to mining right now

JOHANNESBURG – A data sharing agreement signed by 31 countries – including South Africa – in a bid to enhance transparency by multinational enterprises, is unlikely to have an immediate impact on mining companies. Through the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement on the Exchange of Country-by-Country Reporting, signed by members of...

Tanzania: Managing Tax Risks – Double Tax Treaties and Implications

Can tax treaty provisions override domestic law?In our last article we defined double taxation as an exposure to tax more than once on the same profit or income. We also highlighted the two types of double taxation i.e. economic double taxation and juridical double taxation and also noted that a...

Greater tax transparency for multi-nationals a step closer

The South African Revenue Service (Sars) has published additional record-keeping requirements for large multi-national companies which they will have to comply with in future. Many companies have already included some of the required information in their transfer pricing documentation and on their annual tax returns, but there seems to be...

31 nations sign agreement on exchange of country-by-country transfer pricing reports

In an effort to provide their tax administrations with more tools to combat corporate tax avoidance through transfer pricing, officials from 31 countries today signed an agreement setting out the parameters for automatic exchange of country-by-country reports on large multinational corporations. The agreement — the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement on...

Can new guidelines get Nigerians into tax net?

The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) which is now saddled with the onerous task of getting alternative sources of revenue for the federal government has since adopted a stick and carrot approach to bringing tax payers into the tax net. Assistant Editor, Nduka Chiejina looks at the issues contained in...

Tanzania: Managing Tax Risks – Double Tax Treaties and Implications to Undertakings of Multinationals

The term double taxation refers to an exposure to tax more than once on the same profit or income. There are two types of double taxation i.e. economic double taxation and juridical double taxation. Economic double taxation is broad and occurs in a situation where an amount of income is...

Implementation of POEM rules may hit investments

The implementation of place of effective management (POEM) rules in the current scenario in India could not only hurt the nation’s outbound investments, but also discourage overseas multinational companies from setting up their regional hubs here, feel industry watchers. The draft guidelines for implementing POEM, which was released on December...

2016 CHALLENGES FOR COMPANIES OPERATING IN JERSEY

Last year Jersey cemented its position as a leading centre for companies looking to list – as reflected in the rise in volume and value of Jersey companies listed on exchanges around the world. Here are some challenges that lie ahead in this jurisdiction over the next 12 months. In...

Nigeria: A Review of the Major Tax and Fiscal Policy Events in the Past Year

The year 2015 will be marked as the year of slow economic growth and haphazard fiscal and monetary policies due in part to the uncertainties brought about by the change in government. There were also leadership changes at the FIRS and a number of state tax authorities. This article outlines...