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National Treasury and the South African Revenue Service (SARS) provided important feedback at the recent sitting of the Standing Committee on Finance as part of the parliamentary process regarding the much anticipated two-pot retirement system.
The 2023 Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) was tabled to Parliament on 1 November 2023 by South African Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana.
The draft tax law amendment published in August and targeting foreign employers has inadvertently led to an uproar amongst South African remote workers who fear the law change may disincentivise foreign employers from retaining the services of South African talent.
South Africa remains a hot spot for remote work. On the one hand, digital nomads and remote workers with foreign employers get to enjoy the South African lifestyle, good weather, and the luxury of earning Dollars and Pounds. On the other, foreign companies benefit from employing skilled South Africans, comparatively cheaper than their foreign counterparts, and without the burden of adhering to South African tax compliance regulations.
On 31 July 2023, National Treasury released their annual draft tax law amendments, for public comment. Although still at the draft stage, there are some pertinent proposed changes for which the supporting systems have already been implemented i.e., the “Beneficial Ownership Registers”.
The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has been hinting at introducing a wealthy individual “specific asset” disclosure for some time – and it is finally here! As of the commencement of the 2023 Tax filing season, individuals holding assets valued at R50 million or more now need to provide a “high level” disclosure to SARS.
Considerable negative public comment notwithstanding, the National Treasury and the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) have pressed ahead with the establishment of a new statutory body, this time a state insurer of bank-deposits.
Revisions to the draft legislation on the “two-pot” system for retirement funds were published on 9 June 2023, incorporating proposals mentioned in Chapter 4 of the 2023 Budget Review.
The proposed "two pot" retirement system would allow people to have the best of both worlds – early access to a portion of their retirement funds, should it be necessary, while still preserving a significant portion for when they retire. The changes are set to take effect on 1 March 2024, but without further draft legislation being published in February, there are concerns that industry players will not have time to implement changes to meet this deadline.
Every South African is currently faced with the ongoing negative effects of rolling electricity blackouts, which Government euphemistically refers to as “load shedding”. It affects our businesses, our homes, our livelihoods, our safety and our faith in the future of our country.