SAIT Trending Topics


The Tax Ombud, Judge B M Ngoepe, confirms that he requested and obtained the approval of the Minister of Finance to conduct 2 (two) reviews. The first review pertains to problems in relation to fluidity of Pay As You Earn (PAYE) statements of accounts. The second review relates to SARS’s disregard of the time frames prescribed by the rules for the resolution of disputes. The Minister’s approval was required in terms of section 16(1) (b) of the Tax Administration Act 28 of 2011.


Tax Ombud
FEATURED EVENT: 2018 Tax Admin and Disputes in Practice

This seminar focuses on the administrative aspects of the dispute and controversy process, from the initial SARS query to the SARS appeals process. Issues under discussion will be both the law itself (e.g., the Tax Administration Act) and SARS operational responses.

Tax Conference
2018 Diesel Refund Survey Results

Diesel is an important input cost for many farmers. In terms of agriculture’s total expenditure on intermediate goods and services, fuel represented approximately 9% (R12 billion) in the 2016/17 financial year. The diesel refund system supports primary producers in the agriculture, forestry, fishing and mining sectors by giving full or partial relief for the fuel levy (FL) and the road accident fund (RAF) levy. 

Agri SA and SAIT

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


Tax Ombud to investigate complaints against SARS relating to PAYE Statement of Accounts and Non Adherence to Dispute Resolution Timeframes.

Tax Ombud
Summary of all Interpretation Notes - updated

Interpretation Notes are intended to provide guidelines to stakeholders (both internal and external) on the interpretation and application of the provisions of the legislation administered by the Commissioner.

Interpretation Note 103 – The value-added tax treatment of supplies of international and ancillary transport services

This Note sets out the – • VAT treatment of the international transportation of passengers and/or goods; • VAT treatment of ancillary transport services; and • rate of tax applicable to each of the aforementioned transportation services. This Note does not deal with the VAT treatment of exempt passenger transport as envisaged in section 12(g).



CSARS v Respublica (Pty) Ltd (1025/2017) [2018] ZASCA 109 (12 September 2018)

Value-Added Tax Act 89 of 1991 – whether the supply of a building and related goods and services to an educational institution for use by its students under a written agreement ...

SARS Court Cases
ABC (Pty) Ltd and C:SARS (Case number: 13879)

Under-declaration of gross income.

SARS Court Cases
Commissioner for the South African Revenue Service v ABC Holdings Limited (IT14294) (11 July 2018)

Tax Court – Practice – Exception; Rule 32 Statement.

SARS Court Cases

Legislative & Policy
(National Treasury & Parliament)

Speech by Deputy Minister Mondli Gungubele, at the Doing Business in South Africa 2018 Report
Speech by Minister of Finance Mr. Nhlanhla Nene 2018 Tax Indaba

It is my honour to give this opening address to the 2018 Tax Indaba. Tax policy and tax administration are not usually seen as especially interesting topics in the eyes of the general public, but that has certainly changed after the events of the past few years.

National Treasury
Media Statement: Release for public comment: Report by the Independent Panel on the review of the current list of zero-rated VAT items

The Minister of Finance today releases the report by the Independent Panel on the review of the current list of items that are zero-rated for VAT purposes for public comment by 31 August 2018. The Minister appointed the panel after the announcement in the budget in February of the increase in the rate of value-added tax (VAT) from 14 to 15 per cent effective from 1 April 2018. 

National Treasury

Call For Comment
SAIT member comments can be directed to taxpolicyadmin@thesait.org.za

Income Tax Act, 1962​

Draft Guide on MAPs: DTAs or tax treaties as they may be referred to, are international agreements between the governments of two jurisdictions aimed at eliminating double taxation with respect to taxes on income and on capital without creating opportunities for non-taxation or reduced taxation through tax evasion or avoidance.  Next due date for comments: ​15 June 2018 New!

Tax Administration Act, 2011

Draft notice about returns to be submitted by a person in terms of section 25:  Persons specified in the Schedule to the Notice must submit returns for the 2018 year of assessment, as defined in the Schedule, within the periods specified in the Schedule. Next due date for comments: 23 May 2018

​Income Tax Act, 1962

Draft Guide on the calculation of the tax payable on lump sum benefits (Issue 3). Next due date for comments: 29 June 2018 New!​​


International and Regional News

Saudi Arabia signs landmark agreement to strengthen its tax treaties

Today, Saudi Arabia signed the Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting. 

Few countries are pricing carbon high enough to meet climate targets

Governments need to raise carbon prices much faster if they are to meet their commitments on cutting emissions and slowing the pace of climate change under the Paris Agreement, ...

Public comments received on BEPS discussion draft on the transfer pricing aspects of financial transactions

On 3 July 2018, interested parties were invited to provide comments on a discussion draft on financial transactions, which deals with follow-up work in relation to Actions 8-10 ...


CPD Events


National Treasury responds to public comments on the 2018 Draft Rates Bill

On 13 September 2018, National Treasury released a draft response document (Response Document), in response to comments received regarding the 2018 Draft Rates and Monetary Amounts and Amendment of Revenue Laws Bill (Draft Rates Bill). The Draft Rates Bill was first released for public comment along with the 2018 Draft Regulations Prescribing Electronic Services and the Budget on 21 February 2018. The Response Document notes that National Treasury received 11 submissions related to the Draft...

Louis Botha - Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr
Mapping out MAP procedures

On 25 July 2018, the South African Revenue Service (SARS) published its Guide on Mutual Agreement Procedures (Guide) as a general guidance on the Mutual Agreement Procedure (MAP), providing parameters in which competent authorities from the governments of contracting jurisdictions can interact with the intent to resolve international tax disputes.

Jessica Carr - Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr
PWC Tax Alert: VAT apportionment: annual adjustment

All vendors that are required to apportion input VAT must recalculate (within 6 months of the financial year-end) the apportionment ratio applied in the previous financial year using the audited financial statement of that year. Following the VAT rate increase on 1 April 2018, performing your annual apportionment adjustment has just become significantly more complex.

Nigeria is ready for transfer pricing, are you?

Many of our readers have an exposure to transfer pricing risk in Nigeria, it being the largest African economy by GDP in 2017. So I thought I would share an update on Nigeria’s transfer pricing.

Marcus Stelloh - Transfer Pricing
More than one way to skin a cat? The High Court considers the power of SARS to issue reduced assessments

In terms of s93 of the Tax Administration Act, No 28 of 2011 (TAA), there are five circumstances under which SARS may issue a reduced assessment, so as to reduce a person’s tax liability. While s93, therefore, makes it possible to “skin a cat”, ie reduce a tax liability, in more ways than one, taxpayers should be mindful of the requirements that need to be met and the correct process to follow, in order to achieve the desired result.

Louis Botha - Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr
CFCs: Have we gone too far?

Controlled foreign company rules were introduced in 2001 to counter tax avoidance by preventing the use of low tax jurisdictions to shift income outside South Africa. Our authors ask whether it is time to review the old rules.

Cor Kraamwinkel and Wesley Grimm for TaxTalk Magazine
Expat Aftershock: Surviving without the exemption

Since 2001, employment income received by South African tax residents for services rendered outside the country was exempt from income tax. In terms of a 2017 amendment to the law, the exempt amount will be capped at R1 million. We look at the effect on employees and employers alike.

Arlette Manyi for TaxTalk Magazine
Interest-free loans to trusts: Does the compliance burden outweigh the benefits?

In the past, issuing of interest-free loans to discretionary trusts was widely used as a tool for domestic estate planning. We look at whether the benefits are worth the bother.

Hanneke Farrand for TaxTalk Magazine
Shaking the barren money tree: Collections during legal tax disputes

Our authors argue that during a dispute, proper administration of the Tax Administration Act will help to find the right balance between the interests of taxpayers and the fiscus, and may also increase collections of tax revenue.

Nirvasha Singh Nogueira and Wesley Grimm for TaxTalk Magazine

Tax News In The Press

Tax Ombud to probe Sars (again)

The Tax Ombud has received approval to launch two separate investigations into the South African Revenue Service (Sars).

Ingé Lamprecht
Vat zero-rating: ‘Alternatives should be considered’

The inclusion of all six items recommended by the Vat panel in the zero-ratings basket will be an expensive exercise that will only provide some relief to the poor and other alternatives should also be considered, the Tax Indaba has heard.

Ingé Lamprecht - Moneyweb
Nhlanhla Nene says corruption and slow economic growth may impact revenue collection

During the Tax Indaba in Sandton, Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene raised some concerns about revenue collection.  Minister of Finance, Nhlanhla Nene said during the annual Tax Indaba at Sandton Convention Centre that corruption and the slow growth of the economy might contribute to slow tax...

Sandton Chronicles
Ngoepe is for the people

The office of the Tax Ombud has made a submission to Parliament to allow it to initiate investigations into systemic problems taxpayers experience with the SA  Revenue Service (Sars) – without having to ask for ministerial approval. 

Amanda Visser - IOL
Panic, uncertainty about expat tax

Tax practitioners say their clients remain panicked and concerned about the ‘expat tax’, despite National Treasury adopting a relatively softer stance.

Ingé Lamprecht - Moneyweb
‘Higher taxes not the answer to revenue shortfalls’

SA must increase its tax base and adopt enabling policies, Tax Indaba hears.

Ingé Lamprecht - Moneyweb