Secundes

Is a maintenance payment a ‘donation’?

Helping someone out may be exempt from donations tax—but as always, the devil is in the detail… Donations tax is one of those strange taxes where people often question its existence.  After all, why would SARS be so mean as to want to tax someone’s generosity?  The main reason is estate duty—or, more specifically, the […]

Never do things just ‘for tax purposes’

A decision based solely on tax considerations is likely to be the wrong one “I HATE tax!” These were the words spoken by a director of one of the clients of the audit firm with whom I served articles. Whilst many would agree with this sentiment towards the tax-man, this particular individual’s zeal in devising […]

Securing your business’s future: FICA compliance in South Africa made simple

To thrive in South Africa’s ever-changing economic landscape, it is crucial to have a thorough understanding of your regulatory responsibilities, including compliance with the Financial Intelligence Centre Act (FICA). Recognised not just as an additional requirement to your current protocols, but rather as a fundamental component in upholding your business’s integrity, FICA ensures transparency and […]

The new SARS solar energy tax credit

The tax credit for individuals installing solar panels is here, for a limited time only.

The proposed new law regarding the tax credit available to individuals who install solar panels has been announced.

The system will be introduced in the form of a tax credit, as opposed to a tax deduction. This is good news, as it affords individuals with a uniform opportunity in claiming the same tax credit. Under a deduction form, a sliding scale is applied, which is dependent on each individual’s income and tax bracket.

Testamentary trusts still have their place

Trusts have received a lot of bad press over the past few years, what with SARS taking a dim view of the use of trusts as a means of avoiding tax.

A 2008 case involving a property trust, where the beneficiaries were changed in the hope of avoiding the payment of transfer duty, is but one example of SARS’ increased vigilance when it comes to trusts. In this particular case the loophole was closed, and the court found that transfer duty was in fact payable.

Renewable energy tax incentives

Government is encouraging investment in renewable energy—but as always, there are caveats While this year’s Budget was largely devoid of surprises, Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana made one announcement that was widely anticipated following President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation speech, and will hopefully help taxpayers alleviate some of the pain of dealing with loadshedding. […]

VAT treatment of irrecoverable debts

What happens to the VAT that was paid over to SARS? Vendors often provide goods or services to clients on credit. In the current economic climate, clients are more likely to acquire goods or services on credit and may thereafter be unable to settle these debts. Other factors, for example disputes, may also result in […]

Travel claims, but no allowance?

For commission-earners and the self-employed, the rules are slightly different—but travel costs can be claimed. The common mistake that I make when writing articles about travel allowances is that I tend to forget that not all of us are ‘wage slaves’. Indeed, there are many taxpayers for whom the saying, “If a man will not […]

Tax compliance lives beyond death

A deceased estate takes on a (tax) life of its own while being wound up I started my first job back in September 1987 at the tender age of 18, and approximately nine months later I received my very first income tax return from the Receiver of Revenue (as SARS was known in those days), […]

Beware the ‘Ides of SARS’

Telephonic audits are on the rise “A soothsayer bids you beware the ides of March”. These famous Shakespearean words forewarning the misfortune of Roman emperor Julius Caesar (which Caesar ultimately ignored and led to his demise) may not be as archaic as appears at first sight—especially in the realm of tax, and when SARS’ new […]

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