Global demand for greater tax transparency, emanating from corporate scandals such as Google, Amazon, Starbucks, Apple and Nike, is leading the boards and audit committees of South African corporations to ask more difficult questions than ever before about how organisations are governing their tax affairs and managing tax risks. The risk of reputational damage and financial loss is simply too high to be ignored.
Subject to any applicable exemption, donations tax is payable on the value of any property disposed of under any donation. With effect from 1 March 2018 an amendment to section 64(1) of the Income Tax Act, 1962 (the Act) introduced a dual system for donations tax.
The threat of the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a national lockdown in South Africa that commenced on 27 March 2020. This has brought about a significant change whereby many employees are now being required to work from home. The question now arises as to whether these employees will be entitled to claim any home office expenses incurred during the period that they are required to work from home.
The trade union federation Cosatu recently called for tax increases, particularly on the wealthy, to arrest South Africa’s economic down spiral. But economist Arthur B Laffer, known for popularising the Laffer curve, shows us that beyond a certain point, tax revenue will decline as tax rates increase.
Following President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement of fiscal relief for certain taxpayers, in light of other measures imposed to combat the COVID-19 crisis, National Treasury published explanatory notes on 29 March 2020, which outline exactly how the tax system will be used to ease financial distress during these times.
Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni will deliver his 2020 budget speech today. South Africa enters a new decade with a growth forecast of only 0.7% (according to ratings agency Moody’s).
The June Supplementary Budget had already made it clear that South Africa was in a dire financial state. So, from that perspective, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni’s Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) offered very little in the way of surprises.
The first period for provisional tax ends on 31st August. Provisional taxpayers must therefore have submitted their initial IRP6 return and settled any payments due by that date. In addition, COVID-19 relief allowances make the calculation of estimated tax all the more complicated and I advise those who wish to take advantage of this relief to act promptly to beat the deadline.