Are civil judgments susceptible to rescission?

On 11 March 2022, the Constitutional Court (CC) of South Africa granted leave to appeal and set aside an order from the High Court of South Africa (HC), Western Cape Division. The issue before the court in Barnard Labuschagne Incorporated v SARS was whether a certified statement filed by SARS that is treated as a […]

Is your disclosure “voluntary”?

In December 2021, the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) handed down a judgment dismissing an appeal against a decision of the Tax Court. The issue before the SCA was whether the South African Revenue Services (SARS) was correct in rejecting Purveyors South Africa Mine Services (Pty) Ltd’s (Purveyors) Voluntary Disclosure Programme application (VDP application) for […]

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 […]

Is it time for SARS to end arbitrary tax and VAT inquiries?

The Tax Administration Act provides for the audit and verification of taxpayers’ tax returns for all taxes administered by the Commissioner for the South African Revenue Service (SARS). In many instances, such requests for information are general, boiler-plate letters received by taxpayers, not indicating specifically what additional information SARS requires in the circumstances and which supporting […]

Tax assessment errors: What do I do now?

With the 2020 tax filing season in full swing, many taxpayers will likely engage in dispute proceedings as SARS issues their income tax assessments. This will particularly be the case where errors are contained on the so-called “auto-assessments” (which in itself is a misnomer). But how should the dispute process begin? When an assessment is issued by SARS, they (usually) provide […]

What’s new in the world of tax?

On 21 July, National Treasury and the South African Revenue Service (SARS) released the second batch of draft tax amendments for the 2019 legislative cycle, which includes both proposed substantive tax amendments, and administrative changes. This follows the release of the first batch on 10 June 2019, dealing predominantly with addressing abusive arrangements aimed at […]

SARS dispute: What are the reasons?

Generally, disputes with the South African Revenue Service (SARS) are the result of an assessment which has been issued by SARS to a taxpayer. An assessment is the determination of an amount of a tax liability or refund, by way of self-assessment by the taxpayer (such as in the case of VAT) or assessment by […]

VAT regulations dealing with the supply of electronic services

Since 2015, foreign suppliers of electronic services (such as audio-visual content, e-books etc.) in South Africa are deemed to operate an enterprise for VAT locally. Although the regime has been in place for several years, new regulations in this regard are continuously published, the latest being on 18 March 2019, with an effective date of […]

Recent court case on the imposition of understatement penalties

The Supreme Court of Appeal (“ZASCA”) delivered a judgment[1] on 26 February 2019 on the imposition of understatement penalties as provided for in the Tax Administration Act[2]. In this case, the taxpayer paid provisional income tax (“IT”) of R13.8 million to the South African Revenue Service (“SARS”) for the 2011 to 2014 years of assessment. […]

Zero-rating of services to non-residents

South African value-added tax (VAT) vendors are often unsure of the tax consequences of issuing invoices to foreign customers or clients and whether such services should be invoiced at the standard rate of 15% or be zero-rated. As is generally the case with tax (especially VAT), the answer is that it depends on the circumstances. […]