Category: South Africa

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

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… – Continue reading

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… – Continue reading

No more double taxation for Zimbos working in SA

Government has gazetted a Statutory Instrument (SI) to stop double taxation of Zimbabweans living and working in South Africa or South Africans working in Zimbabwe. The provision was gazetted last Friday. Part of the SI reads: “Subject to the provisions of article 16, 18 and 19, salaries, wages and other… – Continue reading

Botswana, Malawi sign double taxation pact

Botswana and Malawi have signed an Agreement for the Avoidance of Double Taxation that aims to facilitate closer cooperation tax issues and allow for the exchange of information between their revenue authorities.Speaking at the signing ceremony on Wednesday, Botswana’s Finance Minister Kenneth Matambo said it was also pleasing that the… – Continue reading

Mauritius lead in Zim investments

MAURITIUS has emerged as the biggest source of investment into Zimbabwe, accounting for projects worth $4,56 billion in the past five years. According to statistics released at an investment strategic meeting in Harare this week, a ZBCtv report indicated Mauritius was leading in terms of investments into the country while… – Continue reading

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… – Continue reading

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… – Continue reading

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… – Continue reading

‘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… – Continue reading


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… – Continue reading

Gordhan to target offshore funds

FINANCE Minister Pravin Gordhan is widely expected to announce a new foreign exchange control and tax amnesty in his budget on Wednesday in a bid to encourage taxpayers who have not disclosed billions of rand worth of offshore assets to declare them and pay the due tax. The move would… – Continue reading

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… – Continue reading

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… – Continue reading

Extent of tax fraud unknown – SARS

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) still does not know the full extent of tax evasion, despite its work probing foreign bank accounts held by South African residents. It has been a year since SARS confirmed some account holders had been using their offshore accounts to evade their tax obligations,… – Continue reading

UK government urged to end “unfair” colonial-era tax treaty with Malawi

THE UK Government is being urged to end a colonial-era tax treaty with Malawi which campaigners say is depriving the one of the world’s poorest countries of vital resources. Under an agreement dating back to 1955, it is possible for UK companies operating in the south-east African country to pay… – Continue reading

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… – Continue reading

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… – Continue reading

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… – Continue reading

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… – Continue reading

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… – Continue reading

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… – Continue reading

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… – Continue reading

Uncompetitive tax?

Generally, if a South African taxpayer sells shares in a foreign company, he will be hit with South African capital gains tax (CGT) on any gain realised on that sale. However, South Africa provides exemptions from this CGT in certain circumstances, one of which relates to the sale of foreign… – Continue reading

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… – Continue reading

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… – Continue reading


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… – Continue reading

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… – Continue reading

£50m big catfight: Claws out as divorcing tiger sanctuary wife launches new battle for her husband’s millions

The woman who claims her banker husband has hidden millions of pounds of her divorce settlement in a tiger charity is set to launch a new legal battle – and says he cared so little for animals he wouldn’t even allow her to have house cats. Li Quan, a former… – Continue reading

Retrospectiva2015: Angolan diplomacy in the context of diversification of the economy

Luanda – Throughout the year just ended, as in the previous, the country’s economy “found himself grappling” with a major setback if they can be considered, due to the continued drop in oil prices, which is in the house $ 37 a barrel, far from the historic $ 122 value,… – Continue reading

Gordhan halts SARS revamp

SOUTH African Revenue Service (SARS) commissioner Tom Moyane has been instructed by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan to halt the implementation of his ambitious restructuring plans. The far-reaching restructuring project for the tax authority was one of the first initiatives undertaken by Mr Moyane following his appointment as commissioner in October… – Continue reading

SARS Explains 2015 Tax Administration Amendments

On December 17, the South African Revenue Service (SARS) issued an explanatory memorandum on the 2015 Tax Administration Laws Amendment Bill (TALAB). In particular, the memorandum looks at the TALAB provisions giving effect to the collection of information from South African financial institutions (FIs), and the associated obligation on the… – Continue reading

OECD Recommends Revenue Raising Measures For South Africa

South Africa has a “well-balanced, modern tax system” but additional revenues will be needed in the coming years to expand social spending and infrastructure, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has said in a new report. The report, entitled How can South Africa’s tax system meet revenue raising… – Continue reading

ATAF pushes for scrapping of double taxation

THE African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF) has come up with a draft document on avoidance of double taxation and prevention of fiscal evasion within the continent. The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra), a member of ATAF, has said avoidance of taxation and prevention of fiscal evasion was with respect to taxes… – Continue reading

Tax Amendments 2015

INTRODUCTION The Taxation Laws Amendment Act, 2015 and the Tax Administration Laws Amendment Act, 2015 have now both been passed by Parliament, but await signature by the President. Once again, and for the second year running, the number and scope of the changes to the various fiscal Acts (mainly the… – Continue reading

Worldwide: A Guide To The Top 20 Offshore Fund Locations

There are a variety of benefits to moving offshore, yet few would argue the assertion that tax neutrality is paramount among them. As anyone familiar with the phrase “tax haven” would surely recognize, many countries offer strongly favorable tax terms as an incentive to draw new business. Written by CT… – Continue reading

Coming soon: More disclosures for MNCs in India

Firms over a certain threshold group turnover may be required to give detailed info of financials. MULTINATIONAL companies in India over a certain threshold group turnover may be required to make comprehensive disclosures relating to their revenues, taxes paid, staff strength and assets in different countries where they operate from… – Continue reading

Call for comment: Proposed draft amendments to the Common Reporting Standards in RSA

Legislative amendments to the Tax Administration Act were affected in the Tax Administration Laws Amendment Bill, 2015, in order to implement a scheme under which SARS may require South African financial institutions to collect information under the OECD Standard for Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information in Tax Matters, which… – Continue reading

SA ranks higher than Nigeria in illicit outflows

SOUTH Africa ranks seventh among developing countries in terms of illicit financial outflows, a Washington-based research organisation has found. Illicit outflows from the country are of great concern to the Treasury, which has introduced a number of measures to curb it, particularly the outflows achieved through profit shifting by large… – Continue reading

Tax amendments – 2015

INTRODUCTION The Taxation Laws Amendment Act, 2015 and the Tax Administration Laws Amendment Act, 2015 have both now been passed by Parliament, but await signature by the President. Once again, and now for the second year running, the number and scope of the changes to the various fiscal Acts (mainly… – Continue reading

Is SA heading for a tax revolt?

Taxpayers fume about wastage and corruption, but large-scale evasion seems unlikely. JOHANNESBURG – There seems to be increasing concern that South Africa could be heading for a tax revolt. This comes amid an outcry against corruption, wastage of taxpayer money and the fact that the country’s deteriorating fiscal situation will… – Continue reading

South Africa Briefs On CRS Regulations

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has issued draft regulations to require certain financial institutions (FIs) to report on accounts held or controlled by foreign residents. The OECD’s Common Reporting Standard (CRS), which the regulations are in response to, obliges countries and jurisdictions to obtain financial information from their FIs… – Continue reading