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.
“Democracy will have little
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.
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.
The Minister of finance Enoch Godongwana tabled his Budget review on the 23rd February 2022. The following were the key tax issues arising.
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 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.
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.
The Ministry of Finance has published the draft legislation for the "two pot" retirement system for comment. The draft legislation aims to implement the reform of the pension system that was agreed upon by the government and social partners in 2020. The "two pot" system consists of a mandatory basic pension that covers the minimum subsistence level, and a voluntary supplementary pension that allows individuals to save more for their retirement. The draft legislation also introduces incentives for longer working lives, such as a gradual increase in the retirement age and a bonus for working beyond the statutory retirement age. The Ministry of Finance invites all interested parties to submit their comments and suggestions on the draft legislation by August 31, 2023.
Ms Yanga Mputa has been appointed as the new Chief Director of Tax Policy at the Ministry of Finance. Ms Mputa has a wealth of experience in tax administration and policy, having served as a senior manager at the South African Revenue Service (SARS) and as a tax consultant at PwC. She holds a Master of Commerce degree in Taxation from the University of Cape Town and a Bachelor of Accounting Science degree from the University of South Africa.
In South Africa, idiosyncratic factors continued to weigh on domestic financial sector resilience and overall economic growth prospects. The most notable country-specific vulnerability is the increasingly detrimental and widespread ramifications of an insufficient and unreliable electricity supply, while concerns over the deteriorating South African rail and port infrastructure networks also continue to grow.
Filing of Beneficial Owner information is required by the General Laws (Anti-Money Laundering and Combating Terrorism Financing) Amendment Act 22 of 2022. The Act amended the Companies Act and gave the Commission (CIPC) a mandate to request companies to file and update Beneficial Owner information. The Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition together with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) have published Companies Amendment Regulations under Government Notice 48648 on the 24th of May 2023.
The tax implications for the leasing of property can be complex. For your information, we set out the basic TAX implications for the leasing of property.
When you apply for a Tax Compliance Status (TCS) in respect of foreign investment allowance for individuals, you are required to submit the following supporting documents:
The reserve bank has published an overview of the current and historical rates for various taxes, duties and levies collected by the South African Revenue Service (SARS). For the most important types of taxes, the coverage dates back to 1979, but for the less important ones, only a more recent subset is covered. It makes for interesting reading so we have summarised some of the key taxes over the years. The full publication is available here.
In March the Monetary Policy Committee decided to increase the repurchase rate by 50 basis points to 7.75% per year, with effect from the 31st of March 2023. Three members of the Committee preferred the announced increase. Two members preferred a 25 basis points increase.
Employers are required to submit their annual reconciliation declarations (EMP501) that reflect accurate and the latest payroll information about their employees, monthly employer declarations (EMP201) for PAYE, UIF and SDL; payments made (excluding penalties and interest paid); and employee tax certificates (IRP5/IT3(a)s generated, covering the full tax year from 1 March 2022 to 28 February 2023.