Taxpayers who have a dispute with the South African Revenue Service (SARS) can now benefit from new rules that aim to simplify and expedite the resolution process. The new rules, which came into effect on 1 July 2023, replace the previous dispute resolution rules that were in place since 2003.
The tax incentive available for businesses to promote renewable energy will be temporarily expanded to encourage rapid private investment to alleviate the energy crisis. The current incentive allows businesses to deduct the costs of qualifying investments over a one- or three-year period, which creates a cash flow benefit in the early years of a project. Businesses are able to deduct 50 percent of the costs in the first year, 30 percent in the second and 20 percent in the third for qualifying investments in wind, concentrated solar, hydropower below 30 megawatts (MW), biomass and photovoltaic (PV) projects above 1 MW. Investors in PV projects below 1 MW are able to deduct 100 percent of the cost in the first year.
The South African Revenue Service (SARS), in terms of the Tax Administration Act No. 28 of 2011, has made provision for the Voluntary Disclosure Programme (VDP) to be permanently available to a qualifying individual, company or trust that seeks to voluntarily disclose and regularise their tax affairs. This step is aligned to the SARS’ strategic objective, which seeks to provide clarity and certainty as well as make it easy and seamless for taxpayers and traders to comply with their obligations.
“Democracy will have little
Many may think that they are not old enough or wealthy enough to warrant
Taxpayers, your turn to file your tax return starts on 1 July this year. The good news is that a significant number of individual taxpayers will be auto-assessed again this year, and this process will start in July. You will be sent an SMS if you are selected to be auto-assessed. When you receive the SMS, log into eFiling or MobiApp to view your assessment. If you agree with the assessment there is nothing more to do.
On 31 March 2022, the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy jointly announced a temporary reduction in the general fuel levy of R1.50 per litre from Wednesday 6 April 2022 until 31 May 2022 to provide limited short-term relief to households from rising fuel prices following the Russia/Ukraine conflict. The relief was to be funded by a liquidation of a portion of the strategic crude oil reserves.
The Bounce Back Support Scheme, a loan guarantee mechanism of R15 billion which was first highlighted in the February 2022 budget speech, has come into effect in April 2022. The scheme aims to facilitate job creation and economic growth in the wake of shocks such as the Covid-19 lockdowns, the July 2021 civil unrest in Kwa-Zulu Natal and Gauteng, and the ongoing flood disaster.
It is normal practice for the new rates for travel allowances for the ensuing year to be tabled in the Budget speech in February. For some odd reason the last two years SARS has only made this information available post-budget.
The Minister of finance Enoch Godongwana tabled his Budget review on the 23rd February 2022. The following were the key tax issues arising.
The National Treasury has proposed a delay in the implementation of the ‘two-pot’ retirement system until 1 March 2025. This system is designed to allow people to access one-third of their pension savings before retirement. The delay is intended to provide the savings and investment industry with more time to administer the changes.
Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa has stated that his department is advocating for the tax incentive for solar PV to be extended to batteries and inverters¹. The government wants more businesses and households to opt for rooftop solar, and efforts are under way to push for a tax incentive to be extended to inverters and batteries part of solar PV systems.
The Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) presented by Minister Enoch Godongwana on 1 November 2023 outlined several key reforms aimed at delivering growth over the medium term:
The Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) for 2023 was unveiled by Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana on 1 November 2023. The MTBPS, also referred to as the "mini-budget", allows government departments to apply for adjustments to their budgets, apply for rollovers, and request additional funds for unforeseeable and unavoidable expenditures. It sets government policy goals and priorities, forecasts the macroeconomic trajectory, and projects the fiscal framework over the next three years by outlining spending and revenue estimates.
Extract from an article by Lucinda Steenkamp, senior legal advisor CIPC.
Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has unveiled a sweeping plan to overhaul the governance and management of state-owned companies, which he said have been plagued by corruption, inefficiency and poor performance. The plan, which was announced in his medium-term budget policy statement on Wednesday, aims to restore the financial viability and strategic relevance of the entities, which collectively have more than R1 trillion in assets and employ over 300 000 people.
The SARS PIT/PAYE journey to end state is to replace the current employees’ tax, provisional tax and assessment filing seasons for employers and individuals by a modern, fully automated process of near real-time tax liability estimation, withholding and paying to SARS of the correct tax due. This will be underpinned by a taxpayer account that reflects taxable events and 3rd party data in real time (or close to real-time), in a manner that allows SARS to transition all their value chain activities (like verification & disputes) to real-time.
The Companies First Amendment and Second Amendment Bill were tabled in Parliament on the 28 August 2023, and have been published. [The initial draft of the Companies Amendment Bill was published in 2018, followed by a revised draft Bill in 2021, both of which have undergone extensive public consultation and engagement].
The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has embarked on a digital transformation journey to modernise and enhance its tax administration capabilities. The aim is to improve service delivery, compliance, efficiency and effectiveness, as well as to combat tax evasion and fraud. Some of the key initiatives that SARS has implemented or is planning to implement include:
Employer Interim Reconciliation is part of the Filing Season. This year, the Employer Interim Reconciliation for Employers filing season starts on 18 September 2023 until 31 October 2023. During this period, all employers in both private and public enterprises must reconcile their Monthly Employer Declarations (EMP201). These reconciliations are based on the Monthly Employer Declarations (EMP201) submitted with the tax values of the interim IRP5/IT3(a)s certificates generated, accurate payroll information and employees’ tax (PAYE) payments made during the period 1 March 2023 – 31 August 2023. Thereafter, employers can submit an Employer’s Reconciliation Declaration (EMP501) to SARS.
In terms of the Companies Act, the business and affairs of a company must be managed by or under the direction of its board, which has the authority to exercise all of the powers and perform any of the functions of the company.
A living will is not the same as a last will and testament. A living will is a document that lets you express your preferences for medical care in case you become unable to communicate them yourself. A living will can help you avoid unwanted or unnecessary interventions, such as life support, resuscitation, or tube feeding, that may prolong your suffering or go against your values. A living will can also help your family and doctors make difficult decisions on your behalf, and reduce the potential for conflicts or disputes. A living will should be prepared separately from your last will and testament. Your last will and testament only takes effect after your death, while your living will takes effect while you are still alive but incapacitated.
SARS has increased the reporting requirements for trustees of resident trusts. As from the 1 September 2023, trustees, as representative taxpayers for a trust, are required to submit an IT3(t) form to SARS electronically – relating to the trust for which he or she acts as trustee. The IT3(t) will be due on the 30th September of each year in which the trust’s tax year ends. Trustees will be required to supply information about all distributions made from the trust to beneficiaries or other persons (in respect of any amount vested in a beneficiary including income (net of expenditure), capital gains and capital amounts distributed by 30 September during the preceding tax year of assessment, which ended at the end of February of the same year. In addition to the information about distributions, demographic information about the trust and beneficiaries will also be required to be submitted.
Progress reported in government and business partnership, with commitment to further accelerate key actions
The government and business leaders have announced the progress made in their partnership to address the most pressing challenges facing the country. The partnership, which was launched last year, aims to foster collaboration and innovation across sectors and regions, and to leverage the strengths and opportunities of both public and private actors. Some of the key achievements of the partnership include inter alia: