SAIT Trending Topics

FEATURED: 2018 Employees Payroll Taxes

Payroll taxation can adversely impact the lifeblood of any business. Even one small deviation can trigger a huge liability because the deviation typically has a repetitive effect. This session covers the latest developments in payroll taxation at a legislative, interpretative and operational level. It also includes recurring pitfalls and issues of potential dispute.


Tarryn Atkinson (Head of Employees’ Tax and Benefits - FirstRand Bank Limited) will present in the following...

Tax Ombud Research on Systemic Matters Identified

Are you experiencing any SARS systemic challenges? The Office of the Tax Ombud has prepared a short questionnaire with the purpose of monitoring this issue. Kindly take 7 minutes to complete the survey.


In terms of Section 16(2)(f) of the Tax Administration Act (“TAA”) ,the Tax Ombud must identify and review systemic and emerging issues related to service matters or the application of the provisions of this Act or procedural or administrative provisions of a tax Act that...

The Office of the Tax Ombud
PWC Tax Alert: What you need to know when a third party contacts you on behalf of SARS to recover debt owed

SARS intends on reducing as much as possible of the R16.6 billion debt owed to them by taxpayers by the 28 February 2019 through the use of the 8 debt collection agencies appointed to assist them in recovering the amount owed, this was announced in a media statement released on Friday, 9 March 2018. The purpose of this alert is make taxpayers aware of their rights when receiving calls from such debt collectors.


Tax Administration & Interpretation
(SARS and Office of the Tax Ombud)

Guide to the Urban Development Zone Allowance

In line with many countries, South Africa has a number of urban areas that are impoverished and suffering from extensive urban decay. In order to address these concerns and maintain existing infrastructure, governments internationally have increasingly used tax measures to support efforts aimed at regenerating these urban areas.

Notice 95 GG 41473 2 March 2018 Adcock Ingram Healthcare
BCR 061 Foreign return on capital

This ruling determines the interpretation of the definition of “foreign return of capital” in section 1(1) in the context of a foreign unbundling of a part of the business of a dual-listed company to South African resident shareholders.


Income Tax Act: Protocol amending convention between South Africa and Brazil for avoidance of double taxation and prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income

Governments to amend the Convention for the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income, signed at Pretoria on 8 November 2003 (hereinafter referred to as "the Convention") as published in the Government Gazette of 9 February 2018 p. 109.

Benhaus Mining (Proprietary) Limited v Commissioner of the South African Revenue Services (13863) [2017] ZATC 4 (30 November 2017)

The main issue in this appeal is whether the appellant derived income from mining operations which would have entitled it to the mining capital allowances. 

Latest High Court Judgment

L Taxpayer v Commissioner for the South African Revenue Service (A124/2017) [2018] ZAWCHC 23 (27 February 2018):  This is an appeal in terms of s 133 of the Tax Administration Act against the judgment of the Tax Court handed down on 13 December 2016 in which it upheld the disallowance by SARS of interest deductions claimed by the taxpayer in respect of the 2010 to 2012 years of assessment.

Legislative & Policy
(National Treasury & Parliament)

Media Statement: Appointment of Mark Kingon as acting Commissioner for the South African Revenue Service
SAIT comments on Second Draft Carbon Tax Bill

We set out our high-level comments on the Second Draft Carbon Tax Bill (Bill) in this submission. Please click here to read more.

SAIT Tax Policy
Comment: Draft Amendments to Regulations prescribing electronic services

The National Treasury and the South African Revenue Service (SARS) invites you to comment on the Draft Amendments to Regulations prescribing electronic services that were announced during the Minister of Finance’s 2018 Budget Speech.  Details about commenting are available here: Draft Amendments to Regulations prescribing electronic services


Parliamentary Monitoring Group

Call For Comment
SAIT member comments can be directed to

Mineral and Petroleum Resources Royalty Act, 2008​

Draft IN on the meaning of "bulk" in Schedule 2. Next due date for comments: ​18 May 2018.

​Income Tax Act, 1962

Draft IN on section 13bis – Deductions in respect of buildings used by hotelkeepers. Next due date for comments: ​11 May 2018

National Legislation​

2018 Draft Rates and Monetary Amounts and Amendment of Revenue Laws Bill, Draft Amendments to Regulations prescribing electronic services, Consolidated Regulations after Draft Amendments to Regulations prescribing electronic services, Draft Explanatory Memorandum-Regulations prescribing electronic services. Next due date for comments:​ 22 March 2018 New


International and Regional News

OECD Secretary-General Tax Report G20 Finance Ministers, Buenos Aires, Argentina, March 2018

This report contains two parts. Part I is a report on the activities and achievements of the OECD’s tax agenda, and is made of two subparts: looking back at significant achievements and looking ahead at the further progress needed, in particular through the Inclusive Framework on BEPS. Part II is a Progress Report to the G20 by the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes.

Tax Challenges Arising from Digitalisation: More than 110 countries agree to work towards a consensus-based solution

More than 110 countries and jurisdictions have agreed to review two key concepts of the international tax system, responding to a mandate from the G20 Finance Ministers to work on the implications of digitalisation for taxation.

OECD Tax Talks: Save the date and register now

With a number of recent and upcoming developments in the OECD’s international tax work, we invite you to join experts from the Centre for Tax Policy and Administration for a live webcast.


CPD Events


S12J – making venture capital more accessible

On the emotional scale of investing, driven by fear and greed, venture capital comes in at the extreme end of both. Small businesses raising funds are often left in a precarious position. However, in South Africa, Section 12J of the Income Tax Act allows for investing terms that ensure a better survival rate for small businesses. Maitland can assist S12J venture capital companies with a comprehensive range of services.

Jacolene Otto & Charles Buchanan
Debt forgone for the benefit of mining companies

The South African Taxation Laws Amendment Act, 2017 was signed into law on 18 December 2017 and made some notable changes to the tax regime. In this article, we deal specifically with the amended section 36 of the Income Tax Act, 1962 (the “Act”) by the insertion of subsection 36(7EA) of the Act. The purpose of the insertion of this subsection was to address the issue that the debt waiver provisions in section 19 of the Act and paragraph 12A of the Eighth Schedule to the Act do not apply to...

Kristel van Rensburg & Gustav Van Den Berg
The “specific” doubtful debts allowance

Over the past few years, the South African Revenue Service (“SARS”) appears to have created a new category of doubtful debts allowances which they have termed a “specific” doubtful debts allowance, as distinct from the “ordinary” doubtful debts allowance to which a taxpayer is entitled under section 11(j) of the Income Tax Act, 1962 (the “Act”) in the ordinary course in respect of its doubtful debts. The “specific” doubtful debts allowance category has been created by SARS for the purpose of...

Robert Gad & Taryn Solomon
Uganda: when can domestic laws override tax treaties?

In the case of White Sapphire Ltd/Crane Bank Ltd vs the Commissioner General of the Uganda Revenue Authority (“URA”), the Ugandan High Court considered the notoriously controversial anti-avoidance provisions, in terms of which the benefits of a double tax agreement (“DTA”) concluded by Uganda would not be available where at least 50% of the underlying ownership of the resident of the other contracting state is not held by individuals resident in such other contracting state. The judgment,...

Celia Becker & Rachel Musoke
Amendments to Zimbabwe’s indigenisation laws to open economy to foreign investment

Amendments to Zimbabwe’s controversial Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act, Chapter 14:33 (the “Act”), were gazetted on 14 March 2018. These far-reaching changes, first announced in the 2018 Budget in December 2017, should pave the way for foreign investors wishing to establish operations in the country and boost the economy.In terms of the amendments, with effect from the gazetted date, the Act, which previously required at least 51% of all public companies and any other business to...

Celia Becker
Recent developments in the PBO arena - tax compliance in the religious sector and general tax provisions applicable to PBOs

On 26 January 2018 the South African Revenue Service (SARS) issued a media release (Media Statement) regarding its intention to investigate possible tax non-compliance in the religious sector. In this article we will discuss the issues raised by SARS in the Media Statement as well as some of the relevant legal provisions that have to be met in order for organisations, including religious organisations, to be approved as a public benefit organisation (PBO).

Louis Botha
Better road ahead for research & development incentive

The Budget has the task of funding a projected revenue shortfall of ZAR 48.2 billion in 2017/2018 and also of promoting economic growth in an economy which has shown signs of lethargy in recent times. One of the measures the Budget proposes to boost the economy is through better use of tax incentives, including the research and development (R&D) incentive in section 11D of the Income Tax Act (ITA).

Joon Chong
The VAT rate increase and real estate transactions

On 21 February 2018, former Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba delivered the annual budget speech. During this speech, what proved to be a very controversial decision was revealed: the Value Added Tax (VAT) rate would be increased from 14% to 15%, effective 1 April 2018. This marks the first VAT increase since 1993 (when we saw an increase of 4%). 

Gerhard Badenhorst and JD van der Merwe
PWC Tax Alert: Travel Reimbursements

With effect 1 March 2018, Government Gazette No. 41473 Notice 170, has removed all reference to the 12,000km threshold. In addition, the prescribed rate per kilometre has been increased to R3,61 per kilometre.

Barry Knoetze & Kerry Aylward

Tax News In The Press

It's Time to Call Off the Tax Revolt

[Daily Maverick] Just as we all suffer when the taxman fails, so it is that we all benefit when he succeeds. By WAYNE DUVENAGE.

SA Wine Tax for Books and Five Other Things About SA's Grand Old Lady

[News24Wire] The National Library of South Africa (NLSA) turned 200 on Tuesday, making it the oldest library and public institution of any kind in the country.

Rolling heads at Sars may prevent further downgrades

The removal of Tom Moyane as commissioner of the South African Revenue Service (Sars) has been on the cards for some time.

Amanda Visser
No Hawks Investigations Against Public Enterprise Minister Pravin Gordhan

[SAPS] Pretoria -Several media reports have suggested that the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) is investigating the Public Enterprise Minister Pravin Gordhan in relation to the SARS High Risk Investigation Unit probe.

'There Are No Investigations Against Gordhan' - Hawks

[News24Wire] The Hawks have denied allegations that they are targeting Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan for supposedly taking part in illegal interceptions and spying during his time as SARS commissioner.

'Your Report Can't Say Minister Dlamini Is a Liar' - Lawyer Tells Inquiry Chair

[News24Wire] Emotions ran high when Minister Bathabile Dlamini's legal representative argued that retired judge Bernard Ngoepe, who is chairing an inquiry into the minister, could not make adverse findings in his ruling on Monday.