TaxTalk Articles

Paying for Polluting: Why Carbon Tax is a Good Idea


The author argues that carbon tax is a necessary government intervention that will bring about needed structural change towards a greener economy without excessively dampening economic growth.


One of the goals of the legally binding Paris Agreement, which was signed by representatives from 195 countries, is to limit the increase of the average global temperature to well below 2°C and pursue efforts to limit global temperature increase to 1.5°C. To achieve this, the agreement will require sizable reductions in energy-related carbon...

Tinkering with the Tax Engine


A look at the five areas where tax administration law could be improved during the upcoming Budget Review 2017.


The Tax Administration Act, which came into effect in 2012, opened up a whole new sphere of tax law which seemed hidden within the various tax acts.


Given that the current negative South African economic climate has created a situation where most taxpayers (whether corporate or individuals) are financially strained, there is a greater need for the taxpayer to engage with SARS. This communication is needed...

Subordinated Loans: The Wrong Catch

Subordinated loans made to companies that are frequently in distress have been falling foul of anti-avoidance measures. Although legislation changes are set to open the net for these loans, more can still be done to detangle them.


Subordination agreements and the hybrid debt instrument provisions


On 1 April 2014, the anti-avoidance tax provisions concerning hybrid debt instruments were entirely overhauled. These provisions target debt instruments issued by companies that contain certain equity-like features...

Killing the Kindest of Loans


We take a closer look at measures introduced to prevent the transfer of wealth without paying donations tax.


Many trusts are established for bona fide estate planning purposes. These may include protection of assets from creditors, protection against spendthrift beneficiaries, flexibility, continuity or in aid of benevolent purposes (public benefit organisations) to name a few.


Typically, the estate planner would transfer growth assets to the trust. The trust, often set up as a discretionary trust, would then invest these assets....

How to close a R28 billion tax void


A look at the types of tax increases that may be brought about from the 2017 National Budget.


 Why we need to raise R28 billion


The bad news for taxpayers is that Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has to raise an additional R43 billion in the next two years. Some of this will come from reduced expenditures; most of it will come from additional taxes. It was announced at the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) that R28 billion in additional tax revenue measures will be...

Declare Now or Forever Hold Your Pieces


The age of inter government information sharing is upon us. We explore the two options taxpayers have when it comes to normalising their financial affairs.


 Global tax transparency and the conversation around compliance has evolved significantly. Governments around the globe have become increasingly aware of the extent of undisclosed wealth held in offshore accounts which is not being reported for tax purposes. These governments’ revenue authorities are now collaborating with each other and collecting and sharing data.


Cash, Cows and Tax


In times of drought, farmers face tough financial and emotional burdens. Many farmers, and some practitioners, are unaware of tax relief options offered by the Income Tax Act.




Many South African farmers are suffering due to the effects of the severe drought that recently hit South Africa. Although fellow South Africans are trying to help farmers reduce the drought’s side effects, the taxman is not so sympathetic should the farmer not follow the correct procedures.



Armed with Responses


How to tackle five common SVDP questions that clients may have.


The SVDP, now being a reality, will be part of our tax horizon for most of 2017. It has brought with it a number of interesting questions from clients. It is my hope that by discussing these questions, tax practitioners will be better equipped to deal with future queries that they may receive from clients. Before addressing these, it is necessary to tackle two commonly held misconceptions that have a bearing on many taxpayers’ affairs.


The difference between a...