RSM South Africa


SARS Automatic assessments for individual taxpayers

21 July 2020
As the 2020 tax filing season draws nearer, the South African Revenue Service (SARS) is introducing a number of initiatives to make the filing of income tax returns for individuals easier. Among these changes is the introduction of an automatic assessment to be issued to a significant number of non-provisional taxpayers from the 1st of August 2020.

A review of the Special Voluntary Disclosure Programme

31 October 2019
The Minister of Finance announced the Special Voluntary Disclosure Programme (SVDP) in his February 2016 budget speech, following the new global standard for the automatic exchange of information between tax authorities.

"Double-dipping" of government grants

5 September 2019
With the current downturn in the South African economy, many small and medium-sized businesses will turn to government to provide them with some sort of relief. This relief would come through the granting of government grants. These companies would then assume that the government grant they received will be exempt from normal tax, which is correct

When does interest paid by SARS accrue to a taxpayer?

7 August 2019
The “gross income” definition in the Income Tax Act, starts as follows: “in the case of any resident, the total amount, in cash or otherwise, received by or accrued to or in favour of such resident; or…”

The new Expat Tax on income earned abroad

23 May 2019
Many South African tax residents render services abroad for a period of time during their lives. At present, the Income Tax Act (“the Act”) exempts income received by a South African tax resident, during any year of assessment, if:

Religious institutions under the microscope with SARS

15 April 2019
In an effort to improve its revenue collection, the South African Revenue Service (SARS) has established an illicit economy unit that will be re-introduced in April 2019 to strengthen its tax collection process.

New anti avoidance tax rules on the use of foreign trusts

11 April 2019
For some time the government has been concerned by the use of interposed foreign trusts to avoid the taxation on controlled foreign companies (CFC’s). New rules were proposed in 2017, but were subsequently withdrawn due to their wide nature and complexity. The Taxation Laws Amendment Act, 2018 (Act No.

SARS clamps down on non-compliant corporates

18 October 2018
In terms of the Tax Administration Act No.28 of 2011 (“TAA Act”), with specific reference to Sections 210 and 211, SARS can impose a fixed amount penalty where a taxpayer is non-compliant due to a failure to comply with an obligation imposed in terms of a tax act.

Personal tax submissions for 2018

20 August 2018
This video looks at what you need to know to submit your personal tax returns to SARS for the 2018 tax season.

Tax deadline dates - Simplifying your obligations

2 July 2018
We all know that keeping track of your personal tax filing obligations can be difficult to track at times. To add to the complexity, it does not help that you could potentially be required to address filing obligations for 3 different tax years in one calendar year. We set out below the due dates for all tax return filings in a tax year:

Conversion of debt into equity

23 April 2018
South African Revenue Services (“SARS”) in their Tax Laws Amendment Bill of 19 July 2017, supported by the Explanatory Memorandum thereto, acknowledged that a common mechanism used in practice by taxpayers to enable a debtor to settle a debt is for that debt to be converted into equity.

The challenges of a VAT registration

18 December 2017
VAT registrations in South Africa can be challenging. However, the correct preparation can make the process much smoother.

Tax debt compromise - the last resort

17 November 2017
We live in hard times. Economic downturns, rising inflation, unemployment rates and the tightening of purse strings by companies all increase the financial stresses that are synonymous with our times.

The challenges of registering a trust as a taxpayer

3 November 2017
To get onto the SARS register nowadays has proven to be quite challenging and time consuming, even more so for a trust.

SARS - Know your rights but also your responsibilities

28 July 2017
There has been much ado of late regarding taxpayer refunds that have been delayed by the South African Revenue Service (SARS). Whether this delay has sinister implications is a discussion for another time. Practically the taxpayer must understand what his or her rights are in terms of their refunds.

An employee's guide to understanding your IRP5

19 July 2017
Another tax year has come to an end and the 2017 tax filing season for all individuals opened on 1 July 2017. This is the time when each individual who has received income during the period of 1 March 2016 to 28 February 2017 will need to submit their Income Tax Returns to SARS, either via eFiling or by means of going in to a SARS branch.

Important notification from SARS for all employers

18 July 2017
Notification from SARS for re-submission of 2017 employer annual reconciliation declaration (EMP501) and associated IRP5 /IT3(A) certificates

The importance of knowing your provisional tax status

13 June 2017
This article is intended to assist individual taxpayers in understanding their status as a provisional taxpayer. To fully comprehend who qualifies as a provisional taxpayer, we will look at the definition of a provisional taxpayer. A provisional taxpayer is:

Public officers and their duties

24 May 2017
In the Tax Administration Act, South African Revenue Service (“SARS”) sets out the requirements for the public officer of a company. A public officer is an individual who is residing in South Africa and must be a registered taxpayer with SARS. The individual representative who is approved by SARS must be a senior official of the company.

SARS and the taxpayer's rights

9 May 2017
SARS has the power to remove money out of your bank account. What are your rights as the taxpayer? The Tax Administration Act No. 28 of 2011 (TAA) came into effect on 1 October 2012, the main objective of which was to align the tax administration provisions of most of our tax Acts and consolidate these into one piece of legislation.

Transfer Pricing - New record keeping requirements

11 April 2017
In July of 2016 South African Revenue Services issued a draft notice in terms of Section 29 of the Tax Administration Act. The draft notice sets out additional record keeping requirements for transfer pricing transactions.

The Value of Professional Tax Advice

30 March 2017
In this day and age, with tax legislation becoming more complex and the process of applying the law ever more onerous, professional tax advice is valuable.

Amendments to Deceased Estates

19 December 2016
After recent amendments in the legislation, it has been announced that there will be certain changes in the tax treatment of a Deceased Person and the Deceased Estate.

The Fundamental Difference Between Section 6quat(1) and 6quat(1C) of the Income Tax Act

13 October 2016
Globalisation and foreign trade has been a most relevant and complex issue within the finance world since the dawn of technology. A great deal of services are being provided by South African companies to foreign companies which inherently has brought with it a risk of exposure to double taxation.

Trusts and interest free loans

19 July 2016
The 2016 Budget Speech contained a proposal to introduce new tax laws targeted at the prevention of estate duty and donations tax avoidance by making use of interest free loans to a trust. National Treasury recently released the Draft Taxation Laws Amendment Bill that contains the measures intended to give effect to the proposal.

Update: Tax Clearance Certificates

25 April 2016
On 18 April 2016 the Tax Clearance Certificate application process as we know it was amended by the South African Revenue Service (SARS). This is good news as your Tax Clearance Certificate may now be obtained online via e-filing immediately.

Individual tax deduction for amounts previously included in gross income

6 April 2016
A person may receive remuneration benefits such as maternity leave or retention bonuses by virtue of their employment contact. However, due to unforeseen circumstances the contractual obligations may not end up being fulfilled. The result is that the individual may be required to repay a portion of the benefit received back to the employer.

Another Transfer Pricing Dilemma

5 February 2016
As all multinational groups of companies should be aware Transfer Pricing is a significant tax issue when operating cross border in multiple tax jurisdictions. Transfer Pricing legislation exists in most established tax regimes and is becoming more and more prevalent in countries previously considered less tax sophisticated.

SARS - Friend or foe?

19 October 2015
“Good morning Remember every time when you register the company on efiling it will require you to submit the proof of registration form summary and certify copy of ID, in order to validate the efiling registration.Or are you getting an error message say we couldn’t verified your company information and what details that you need us to verified with you .

Fraudulent tax returns

25 September 2015
“I promise you will receive a refund from SARS if we submit your tax return!” That sounds too good to be true. As with all things in life, it probably is. SARS has issued a media release to taxpayers to exercise caution should any “tax advisor” promise you something as bold as this.