TaxTalk Articles

Transfer Pricing Adjustments: Too Many Layers of Tax?


South Africa’s transfer pricing requirements outlined.


In the context of debt funding, a transfer pricing adjustment may be triggered in the hands of the borrowing South African entity if the amount of interest incurred in relation to the funding advanced by the foreign shareholder is considered excessive based on either the rate of interest or the level of debt, the latter being commonly referred to as thin capitalization.”


Many foreign-owned entities in South Africa enjoy substantial support and backing from...

Dispute Resolution with SARS: Is it Only Going to Get Tougher?


The article provides insight into the current revenue collection behaviour year at SARS and provides suggestions as to what challenges may lie ahead for taxpayers.


“Ideally, it would seem that there should be a continued focus on broadening the tax base, increasing tax compliance, eradicating fraud and implementing more severe enforcement actions on the illicit or non-compliant economy instead of over-burdening the already over-taxed compliant taxpayers.”


Introduction: Revenue targets and collecting the money

VAT Year in Review: The Value Adds and the Value Fads


It has been a year of headlines, court cases, legislative amendments and other interesting events for the VAT industry. We reflect on four VAT trends during 2016 and our expectations for 2017.


“Government intends to raise an additional R13 billion in taxes for during the 2017/2018 tax year.”


1. The never-ending speculation regarding a VAT increase


Every year there is renewed speculation that the VAT rate will increase. But, as seen in previous years, the government kept the rate at 14 per cent for...

Tax Ombud Complaint Procedure: Get Your Matter Dealt With


A vast majority of the complaints submitted to the Tax Ombud are rejected. Follow this guide to successfully lodge a complaint with the office.


The Tax Ombud released its report for the 2015/16 year on 6 October 2016.  Of the 2 133 complaints received, 938 (44 per cent) were rejected.  When one is already struggling with some aspect of a matter with SARS, the last thing one needs is to face further obstacles when complaining to the Tax Ombud.  To address these obstacles, we have put together some tips and pointers on how to get your matter dealt...

Experimental Treatment: Is the Youth Wage Subsidy Still the Answer?


The youth wage subsidy will probably be renewed for a further two years in 2016, but is it creating jobs or has Government invested in a political solution rather than an economic one?


“I don’t think that during this period we have an option in terms of whether to support it — we have to support it”


If you are a young person in South Africa, there is a good chance that you currently do not have a job. Over five million or 42 percent of those under 30 are unemployed. If you come from a poor community and you received limited...

Apple Doesn’t Fall Far from the Transfer Pricing Tree


In light of the European Commission’s high profile decision regarding Apple’s taxes, we surveyed South Africa’s transfer pricing landscape.


While it is debatable whether transfer pricing is ‘illicit’, the key takeaway is that transfer pricing is regarded as a culprit to be dealt with.”


The recent coverage concerning Apple's tax woes in Ireland set off yet another tremor in the tax world. The claim that has been made is that Apple has to "pay" an approximate €13 billion in tax. Worse yet is the fact that this was...

Current and Future Tax Administration Trends Reviewed


A review of four of the most serious issues facing taxpayers as well as what to expect in 2017.


Taxpayers are becoming more willing to enforce their rights against SARS, including litigating where appropriate.” 


Tax administration landscape 2016: Practical challenges experienced by taxpayers over the last year


As a background to the practical challenges experienced by taxpayers, one must consider the economic situation within South Africa as it relates to tax. At...

Separating the Sweet from the Sour: An Analysis of the Proposed Sugar Tax


“The norm for this tax, from a revenue collection perspective, should be ‘less is more’.”


This article takes a look at which beverages will be affected by the controversial tax on sugar-sweetened beverages (“sugar tax” on “SSBs”) before exploring certain practical issues relating to the possible implementation and administration of the tax.


Interpretation and assumptions


It seems that the primary objective with this preventive tax is to improve human health, not necessarily to generate revenue for...

The New GAAR 10 Years On – Part II: Mistakes and Missed Opportunities


In Part II of our special focus on GAAR, the author looks at where the act went wrong and delves into what the future may hold.


Unfortunately, SARS and National Treasury did little or nothing for many years to respond to these criticisms or to counter a growing impression that they lacked faith in or did not fully understand their own legislation. 




In November this year, the new General Anti-Avoidance Rule (new GAAR) will have reached 10 years of existence. It was an ambitious project,...