Category: South Africa

Obama IRS Shares Private Financial Data With Foreign Tyrants

To comply with unconstitutional pseudo-treaties negotiated by the Obama administration without the consent of Congress or any semblance of constitutional authority, the IRS announced that it will be sharing private financial information on U.S. bank account holders with foreign powers. No warrant is needed for foreign governments or tyrants to… – Continue reading

COMPANY COMMENT: Offshore property funds; Shaft Sinkers

OFFSHORE property funds should outpace most local property funds in terms of capital growth this year. Many developed countries’ property markets are offering developers low interest rates amid increasing economic growth, while SA is expected to struggle to grow and a number of property funds here will be beset with… – Continue reading

Billions of rands leave SA under the radar

South Africa has lost out on billions in tax revenue in the past decade as large corporations, wealthy individuals and criminal syndicates slipped nearly R1-trillion out of the country. A Washington DC research and advocacy group, Global Financial Integrity, believes South Africa suffered “illicit financial flows” totalling more than $122-billion… – Continue reading

SARS ‘already fighting tax erosion’

THE South African Revenue Service (SARS) has already begun to tackle the erosion of the tax base through profit shifting, which was addressed in an interim report of the Davis tax committee that was released last month for public comment. SA loses billions of rand in revenue annually through the… – Continue reading

South Africa urged to finalise renegotation of Mauritius tax treaty

CAPE TOWN — South Africa needs to finalise the renegotiation of its tax treaty with Mauritius as soon as possible to prevent the loss of large sums of money through “treaty shopping” the Davis tax committee has urged. The committee released its interim report on ways to prevent base erosion… – Continue reading

Putin welcomes billionaires back to Russia – but will they come?

President Putin’s surprise amnesty allowing Russians with cash stashed abroad to bring it back home with no penalty may be a windfall, but then maybe not. The US, Mexico, Italy, Kazakhstan, and many others have tried it with varied success. When financial crises hit, governments have tried to reel in… – Continue reading

Four regulatory reforms you should know about

JOHANNESBURG – It has been quite difficult to keep up with the flurry of regulatory reforms in the financial services industry. Apart from the introduction of tax-free savings accounts next year and the fact that certain retirement reform regulations have been postponed, a number of other changes are also in… – Continue reading

Clarity on taxation of ‘expat’ pensions

Good news for South Africans who worked abroad. JOHANNESBURG – A number of pensioners and tax specialists heaved a collective sigh of relief after the South African Revenue Service (Sars) ruled that any pension South Africans accumulated while working outside the country will generally not be subject to local tax…. – Continue reading

Base erosion and profit shifting – a South African perspective

The concept of base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) has been debated at various international forums following discussions at the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meeting and the G20 Heads of State summit in Russia last year. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) BEPS Action Plan… – Continue reading

Tax man mulls new transfer pricing law

THE South African Revenue Service (SARS) is investigating possible changes to the law to make it easier for it to audit transfer pricing by multinational companies to ensure that they pay their rightful tax dues to the government. The need to maximise tax revenue has become particularly acute in the… – Continue reading

Opening a UK bank account has however been a longwinded and complicated process

An increasing number of South Africans are sending substantial amounts of money offshore each year due to frequent travel, a greater appetite for offshore investing, business interests abroad and a growing trend to educating their children there. The UK has proven to be the popular choice due largely to the… – Continue reading

South Africa: President Zuma Wraps Up Brisbane Visit

Pretoria — President Jacob Zuma has concluded his visit to Brisbane, Australia, where he led the South African delegation to the G20 Leaders’ Summit, says the Presidency. The main outcome of the Leaders’ Summit was a commitment to lift the G20’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by at least an additional… – Continue reading

Corruption: hiding in plain sight?

TRANSPARENCY International warns that just because a company has an anticorruption programme, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t corrupt —  it’s just less likely to be. This week, the organisation released “Transparency in Corporate Reporting”, a survey analysing 124 of the world’s largest publicly traded companies with a combined value… – Continue reading

Davis Tax Committee mulls ways to ‘detect and deter’ corporate tax avoidance

The revenue implications for South Africa of ‘base erosion and profit shifting’ by corporate taxpayers are firmly in the crosshairs of the Davis Tax Committee (DTC) and Judge Dennis Davis hinted on Monday that recommendations were being considered to “detect and deter” tax-avoiding financial flows. Speaking at a G20 study… – Continue reading

Switzerland Extends Olive Branch To India On Tax

Swiss authorities have confirmed that, if asked, they will assist India in efforts to confirm the genuineness of bank documents and will swiftly provide information on requests relating to non-banking dossiers. The commitment was made in a joint statement following a meeting between the Swiss State Secretary, Jacques de Watteville,… – Continue reading

Marikana: Don’t touch Lonmin on its Bermuda

The Alternative Information Development Centre (Disclosure: AIDC’s economist Dick Forslund contributes to Daily Maverick, most recently about Lonmin) has been served with an interdict application in the Johannesburg High Court to try to prevent the organisation from holding a press conference about Lonmin’s finances, especially relating to the use of… – Continue reading

Offshore property still looks a better bet

SOUTH African property punters are still making more money offshore than in their own backyards — in both rand and dollar terms. Latest figures from Cape-based Catalyst Fund Managers and UBS show that global property stocks, or real estate investment trusts (Reits) as they are commonly known, delivered a total… – Continue reading

Lonmin denies evading tax

Reports that Lonmin was evading tax were denied by a spokeswoman on Monday, after calls that the company should be investigated. “It is completely false, we are busy preparing a statement,” spokeswoman Sue Vey said. Vey said she was not sure when the statement would be released. Earlier, Sars spokesman… – Continue reading


Having recently blasted corporate tax evaders, the deputy president now has egg on his face after Lonmin’s Bermuda tax avoidance tactics surfaced. Evidence before the Marikana commission that Lonmin moved millions in platinum revenue from South Africa to tax-free Bermuda is likely to prove embarrassing for ANC deputy president Cyril… – Continue reading

Google, Apple and Amazon under fire in OECD war on tax evasion

The OECD wants to force businesses to declare their turnover and number of employees in each country where they are active. Among the multinationals targeted are digital giants Google, Apple and Amazon. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has announced an international action plan called “Project BEPS”, to target… – Continue reading

Sars wins war on tax dodgers

Johannesburg – More than 260 cases of tax evasion were successfully prosecuted by the National Prosecuting Authority during the last financial year. Sars spokeswoman Marika Muller said about 330 tax-related criminal cases were finalised during the 2013/14 financial year, of which 267 were successfully prosecuted. Muller said to deter non-compliance, Sars… – Continue reading

Who owes where?

This article was first published in the 2nd quarter 2014 edition of Personal Finance magazine. Your tax liability in the country in which you live and/or work depends on the tax laws of that particular country. Countries can levy taxes on a residence basis, because you live in the country,… – Continue reading

Facing up to Fatca

This article was first published in the 2nd quarter 2014 edition of Personal Finance magazine. Most people accept that they have to pay taxes in their country of residence. But citizens of the United States and green card holders who live outside that country – even if they have never… – Continue reading

Govt eyes more tax holiday deals

FRANCISTOWN: Government’s negotiations with other countries to sign Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements (DTAA) are underway to ensure investor benefits from tax holiday incentives continue, Boniface Mphetlhe of Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) has said. The Deputy Permanent Secretary in MTI, Mphetlhe, was speaking on the topic of Botswana Investment… – Continue reading

Investec offers One Place for banking by wealthy clients

WEALTHY South Africans’ banking needs have changed in the past decade as exchange-control regulations have eased, and they have found themselves forging complex relationships with multiple global financial service providers. A wealthy South African might have a private bank and investment banking relationship domestically, as well as offshore banking and… – Continue reading

101 Countries Sign Up For FATCA Network

Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) has been in force for a month and still more countries are joining the tax network. So far, 101 countries and financial jurisdictions have either signed or agreed to join FATCA. FATCA is aimed at identifying US taxpayers with offshore bank accounts and investments. Overseas… – Continue reading

Double Tax Arrangements in Nigeria: Imperatives for a wider network

THE National Tax Policy (NTP) has identified double taxation as one of the major hindrances to the growth of the Nigerian economy. Double taxation has become an issue paramount to investors and top executives of multinationals as income is generally taxable both in source and residence countries. In order to… – Continue reading

G20 to press for ‘rapid timeline’ for exchange of tax information

NEW DELHI: G-20, a group of developed and developing nations, is likely to press for adoption of “rapid timelines” by different countries for automatic sharing of information with a view to curb tax evasion. The issue of automatic sharing of tax information would figure prominently during the meeting of G-20… – Continue reading

Billionaire Eugene Melnyk: I’m a ‘whistleblower’ on tax allegations against Valeant

MONTREAL • Eugene Melnyk, the billionaire owner of the Ottawa Senators and founder of drug maker Biovail Corp., is waging war against the company that now controls his one-time business. Mr. Melnyk alleges that Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. is masquerading as a Canadian company to make use of this country’s… – Continue reading

The implications of FATCA in South Africa

The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) was enacted in 2010 by the US to target non-compliance by US taxpayers using foreign accounts. FATCA essentially requires foreign financial institutions to report information about financial accounts held by US taxpayers, or by foreign entities in which such taxpayers hold a substantial… – Continue reading

South Africa, US Conclude FATCA IGA

On June 9, 2014, South African Finance Minister Nhlanhla Musa Nene and the US Ambassador to South Africa, Patrick H. Gaspard, signed an inter-governmental agreement (IGA) to support international efforts to improve tax compliance. The agreement includes provisions allowing the reciprocal exchange of information, which requires that financial institutions in… – Continue reading

SA clamps down on offshore tax evasion

SA and the US have signed an intergovernmental agreement aimed at improving international tax compliance Yesterday a reciprocal agreement was signed by Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene and Patrick Gaspard, US Ambassador to SA that will force local financial institutions to report information about US account holders to the SA Revenue… – Continue reading

SA startups catch a tax break as Reserve Bank allows for offshore IP transfer

The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) has relaxed regulations for private companies in the country, which now makes it possible to transfer intellectual property (IP) offshore, reports TechCentral. According to ENS Africa IP director Chris Bull, restrictions on intellectual property assets has been one of the key obstacles for local businesses… – Continue reading

Federation to sign TIEA’s with Ireland and South Africa

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, May 21st 2014 (CUOPM) – The St. Kitts and Nevis Federal Cabinet has paved the way for the signing of Tax Information Exchange Agreements (TIEAs) with Ireland and South Africa.   Cabinet has approved the draft agreements between officials of the respective countries. “Those negotiation exercises have since… – Continue reading

Costa Rica, 46 countries commit to automatic exchange of tax, financial info

May 7th, 2014 ( Tax evaders and privacy advocates beware – Costa Rica and 46 other countries signed up yesterday to automatically share banking, financial, and tax information in what the OECD is touting as a major step towards cracking down on global tax evasion. The Declaration on Automatic Exchange… – Continue reading

iCreate and Convey team up to help global banks fast-track FATCA compliance

• Partnership creates end-to-end solution for enabling and ensuring FATCA compliance, including: data consolidation, indicia identification, additional KYC data/document capture, alerts/notifications and dashboards to monitor compliance, withholding calculations and remittance, and tax reporting. Banking analytics, risk and compliance pioneer, iCreate, today announced a strategic partnership with tax information reporting leader,… – Continue reading

More Countries Agree to Help U.S. Crack Down on Tax Dodgers

The Treasury Department added 19 nations to its list of countries that have reached agreements with the U.S. on carrying out a far-reaching law aimed at preventing offshore tax dodging by American citizens. The Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service said the 19 nations – including Australia, Brazil, South Africa… – Continue reading