Deducting income tax and CGT for estate duty

Is subjecting taxpayers to estate duty on post-death asset growth appropriate? In 1789 Benjamin Franklin said that “in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes”. He was right about death—but anyone who has had to interpret our tax laws would know that the task is fraught with uncertainty. This […]

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 […]

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), […]

Ceasing tax residency: Changes on the horizon for interest and capital gains

Section 9H of the Income Tax Act provides that a natural person’s year of assessment is deemed to have ended on the date immediately before the day on which that person ceased to be a resident for South African tax purposes. Furthermore, that person’s subsequent tax year is deemed to commence on the day that […]

Is a voucher still the perfect gift?

On 12 January 2021, the Gauteng High Court delivered judgement in the matter of MTN (Pty) Ltd v CSARS (79960/2019) [2021], in respect of a declaratory order that MTN sought to confirm their interpretation of the VAT treatment of certain airtime vouchers. The VAT Act distinguishes between two types of vouchers – those that can be used […]

What is a “Transaction” for Transfer Duty Purposes?

According to reports, given current low interest rates, there have been an uptick in property transactions. Therefore, it is worthwhile considering the potential impact of any transfer duty taxes to be imposed on such transactions. The Transfer Duty Act imposes a transfer duty on the value of any property acquired by any person by way of a transaction, or in any […]

More time to benefit from the learnership tax incentive

The Learnership Tax Incentive, which was introduced in the Income Tax Act on 1 October 2001, is a programme that supports skills intensity through the tax system. To encourage skills development and job creation, the Learnership Tax Incentive provides employers with an additional tax deduction over and above the normal deduction on remuneration. The additional […]

Understanding VAT when temporarily leasing property

The VAT Act makes provision for the supply of residential fixed property by a VAT vendor (being a property developer) to be subject to VAT at the standard rate of 15%. The property developer has to charge VAT on the sale of the residential fixed property. Depending on market conditions, residential fixed property developers are […]

Usufructs and tax consequences

A usufruct is a limited real right in property. The usufruct construct takes the form of a common-law personal servitude, which, as a limited real right, grants the holder (the usufructuary) the right to use someone else’s property, including the fruits. Typical examples include where someone is granted the right to use a house, or […]

Changing more than your hold

The distinction between amounts received of a capital nature as opposed to a revenue (or income) nature is essential for income tax purposes. Non-capital amounts received, such as from the disposal of trading stock, are subject to tax at a higher effective rate compared to capital profits. The primary intention with which an asset is […]