SAIT Trending Topics

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

4 June 2019 - Tax season 2019

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has improved online filing and filing at a SARS branch with several exciting innovations for Tax Season 2019 to make it simpler and more convenient for taxpayers to file an income tax return.

BGR51 Cancellation of registration of a foreign electronic services supplier

The purpose of this BGR is to make an arrangement under section 72 for a foreign electronic services supplier that will have taxable supplies of a value not exceeding R1 million in a 12-month period to apply to cancel their registration.

BCR 066 Tax consequences for recipients of shares in an unbundled company

This ruling determines the income tax consequences for the recipients of listed shares in a company, following an unbundling of that company by its listed parent company.



A Company v The Commissioner for the South African Revenue Service (IT 24510) [2019] ZATC 1 (17 April 2019)

The taxpayer carries on business as a high street retailer of clothing, comestibles and general merchandise.  As part of the facilities offered to its customers, it ‘sells’ gift cards.  These can be redeemed for goods at any of the taxpayer’s stores.  The question in this appeal from the additional assessment by the Commissioner of the taxpayer’s taxable income in the 2013 fiscal year is whether the revenue from the ‘sale’ of the taxpayer’s gift cards during that year constituted part of its...

SARS Court Cases
MRS X vs C:SARS - TC - IT 13380 - 27 January 2016

The applicant derived income as beneficiary of four inter vivos trusts, namely the A Trust, the B Trust, the C Trust and the D Trust. Her tax affairs for the 2009 tax year were subjected to an audit by the respondent and it was found that the applicant had under-declared her income for 2009.

SARS Court Cases
XYZ CC vs Commissioner of the South African Revenue Services

The Commissioner for the South African Revenue Service (“SARS”) brought an application in terms of rule 56(1)(b) of the Rules of the Tax Court for default judgment against the taxpayer in terms of section 129(2) of the Tax Administration Act, 28 of 2011 (“the Act”).

SARS Court Cases

Legislative & Policy
(National Treasury & Parliament)

Media Advisory: Minister will introduce the new Commissioner for the South African Revenue Service (SARS)
Media statement: Appointment of new SARS Commissioner
Edward CHR Kieswetter CV

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

Customs Act amended to include Carbon Tax Rules for enforcement and collection

Draft rules have been inserted for implementation of the carbon tax, to provide details on the envisaged carbon tax administration, including the registration of clients, licensing of emissions facilities, carbon tax environmental levy accounting and application of allowances as rebates, all of which need to be synchronised with the essential systems development.  Due date extended to 14 June 2019


Income Tax Act, 1962

Draft Interpretation Note – Apportionment of surplus and minimum benefit requirements – Pension Funds Second Amendment Act. 

Due date for comments: 31 May 2019



National Legislation

Consultation paper and media statement  – Policy proposals for crypto assets. Due date for comments: 15 February 2019


International and Regional News

OECD launches new handbook to strengthen tax administrations' capacity to support the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing

The OECD is encouraging tax administrations around the globe to step up their efforts to support the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing with the launch of a handbook intended to raise the awareness of tax examiners, auditors, and investigators of the important role they can play in combatting these crimes.

Serbia joins international efforts against tax evasion and avoidance

Today, at the OECD Headquarters in Paris, Slavica Savicic, State Secretary for Finance of the Republic of Serbia, signed the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters (the Convention) in the presence of the OECD Deputy Secretary-General Jeffrey Schlagenhauf. Serbia is the 129th jurisdiction to join the Convention.

OECD Tax Talks

With a number of important recent and upcoming developments in the OECD's international tax work, experts from the OECD's Centre for Tax Policy and Administration give the latest tax update.


CPD Events


Norton Rose Fulbright bolsters white-collar crime, investigations and tax practices

Norton Rose Fulbright has expanded its white-collar crime, investigations and tax practices in New York with the addition of partners Carlos F. Ortiz and Mayling C. Blanco.

Looking abroad: Some possible insight into South Africa’s forthcoming gambling tax

In the 2019 Budget Speech, the Minister of Finance announced that draft legislation pertaining to the long-awaited gambling tax would be published for public comment in 2019. We discussed this announcement in our Special Edition Budget Speech Alert of 20 February 2019. The draft legislation will possibly be published with the...

Louis Botha & Louis Kotze - Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr
PWC Tax Alert - Get ready for carbon tax

Carbon Tax (“CT”) is set to become effective on 5 June 2019. SARS recently published the draft amendments to the rules and schedules as well as the forms relating to the registration requirements, collection and administration of the CT. The due date for comments on these draft amendments has been extended to 14 June 2019.

Investing abroad? The foreign investment allowance is at your disposal

It is common nowadays for South African persons to diversify their investment portfolio and to invest in foreign jurisdictions. When doing so, South African residents must ensure that they transfer funds abroad in a manner that complies with South Africa’s exchange control rules. In our Tax & Exchange Control Alert of 6 October 2017, we explained how South African resident individuals can make use of their annual single discretionary allowance (SDA) of R1 million, to transfer and take...

Louis Botha - Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr
PWC Synopsis April 2019

A monthly journal, published by PwC South Africa, that gives informed commentary on current developments in the tax arena, both locally and internationally. Through analysis of and comment on new laws and judicial decisions of interest, Synopsis helps executives to identify developments and trends in tax law and revenue practice that may affect their business.

The widening budget deficit: The need for a bigger economic pie

Budget 2019 was a difficult one. Our article unpacks some of the problems and looks at the options to make things better.

Greg Smith - TaxTalk Magazine
Bad and Doubtful Debts

Who decides when a debt has gone bad and what are the tax implications of a debt waiver for debtors and creditors? Our article looks at a complex minefield of changing rules.

Jerome Brink - TaxTalk Magazine
Two Sides to Every Bitcoin

Our article gets behind what Bitcoin is and describes the tax implications to be taken into account when transacting in it.

Natasha Wilkinson - TaxTalk Magazine
The True Cost of a Carbon Tax

Our authors examine the cost to corporate South Africa of complying with the soon to be implemented carbon tax and ask whether the tax rate is sufficient to incentivise behavioural changes in a low-growth environment.

Jenna Mason & Nicole De Jager - TaxTalk Magazine

Tax News In The Press

First 30 Days At SARS - Edward Kieswetter Finds His Feet, Makes Big Promises

 It has been a month since Edward Kieswetter walked into the South African Revenue Service as its newly appointed commissioner. So far, Kieswetter has focused on four areas in reforming SARS: Ridding the tax collection agency of rot after it was ravaged by State Capture, restoring taxpayer morality, depoliticising the agency (it should not even dabble in politics), and going after the illicit economy.

Ray Mahlaka - Daily Maverick
SARS takes another step to improve service to taxpayers

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has improved online filing and filing at a SARS branch with several exciting innovations for Tax Season 2019 to make it simpler and more convenient for taxpayers to file an income tax return.

Tax filing season: Don't miss out on your tax return

Taxpayers earning less than R500 000 per annum from one employer in a single tax year are not required by SARS to file their tax returns. However, tax consultants advise that taxpayers should still file their returns if there is a chance they would get a tax refund.

Lameez Omarjee - Fin24
SARS raises threshold for submissions, but it doesn’t exempt you from tax

The South African Revenue Service’s new head Edward Kieswetter has raised tax threshold for the submission of return from R350,000 to R500,000 –  what does this mean in terms of how these individual taxpayers must relate to SARS? To discuss the latest changes, Nompu Siziba speaks with Ettiene Retief, the chairman of the national tax and Sars committee, SAIPA. They also discuss the factors that will exempt certain people from submitting tax returns, but Retief emphasises that individuals...

Nompu Siziba - Moneyweb
SARS has changed the rules for tax returns in South Africa – here’s 3 other things you need to know

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has announced a number of changes ahead of the start of the 2019 tax season. Arguably the biggest change made is that taxpayers who earn below R500,000 are no longer required to submit returns.

Business Tech
Implications of the change to tax on foreign earnings

Earlier this year National Treasury announced that it intends to change the provision in the tax law that exempts South African tax residents from paying tax on income from foreign employment. Currently, anyone who renders services outside of South Africa for more than 183 days in a 12-month period, including a continuous period of more than 60 days, will not be taxed in this country.

Patrick Cairns - Moneyweb