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HomeNews & Views

All news by: Grant Ward

SARS’ New Disclosure Requirements in Order to Remit Funds Abroad

On 24 April 2023, SARS announced changes to its Tax Compliance Status process, with immediate effect. The enhanced current tax clearance status (“TCS”) application form was introduced to consolidate Foreign Investment Allowance (FIA) and emigration applications into a single Approval International Transfer (AIT) application.
It is important to note that the new AIT process only applies for amounts in excess of R1 million for tax residents. Non-tax residents require the AIT for any amount to be remitted abroad. Here’s everything you need to know about how it affects taxpayers.

Provisional Tax Time

For all individuals, trusts and the majority of companies in South Africa, the second provisional tax return is due at the end of February. Here are some basic principles to bear in mind when attending to your provisional tax return for this period.

Tax Alert: Tax Advice could be Conceived as a Taxable Fringe Benefit

In a recent Supreme Court of Appeal case, BMW South Africa (Pty) Ltd v Commissioner for the South African Revenue Service (No. 1156/2018), the court unanimously ruled that services provided by professional tax advisors to expatriate employees of BMW constituted taxable fringe benefits in the hands of the employees, on which PAYE should have been withheld. Moore Cape Town’s Grant Ward looks at the implications.

Is HMRC taxing you on your UK Pension, interest or royalty income? Time to claim a refund!

The Double Taxation Agreement (“DTA”) between The United Kingdom (“UK”) and South Africa (“SA”) has been enforced since December 2002.  In terms of Articles 11,12 and 17 of the DTA interest, royalties and pensions, other than Government pensions, paid to a South African tax resident is only taxable in South Africa meaning HM Revenue & Customs (“HMRC”) do not have taxing rights on these sources of income.

Get the most out of your home office

It is well-known that sole proprietors who work from home are able to claim back certain expenses related to a home office, but individuals who are formally employed – and even those who don’t have a contract - can also claim back home office expenses, provided they can prove that these expenses were bona fide for the “more efficient performance of their duties”.

Proposal to Amend Foreign Employment Income Tax Exemption

Currently, if a South African resident is employed and works abroad for more than 183 days of which 60 days are continuous within a 12 month period, the employment income earned is exempt from tax in South Africa. This is commonly called the section 10(1)(o) exemption. Following the Budget announced on 22 February, this is now under attack.

Special Voluntary Disclosure Programme In Respect of Offshore Assets and Income

On 24 February 2016 the National Treasury released a Media Statement announcing a Special Voluntary Disclosure Programme (SVDP). According to the media statement, the purpose of the SVDP is to give non-compliant taxpayers an opportunity to voluntarily disclose offshore assets and income. The Common Reporting Standard (CRS), formally referred to as the Standard for Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information, is an information standard for the automatic exchange of information (AEoI), developed in the context of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The legal basis for exchange of data is the Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters and the idea is based on the USA Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) implementation agreements.


Dividends tax was introduced into the South African tax regime on 1 April 2012 and replaced secondary tax on companies (STC). STC was levied on dividends distributed by companies at the flat rate of ten percent. In terms of the dividends tax regime, a 15% tax is levied on the amount of any dividend paid by a company. The company is liable to withhold the amount of the tax in respect of cash dividends and pay it over to the South African Revenue Service (SARS).


Areas that could be of significance to entities that receive finance from abroad, are Sections 50A – 50H that came into effect on 1 January 2015.

These sections deal with withholding tax on interest paid to or for the benefit of any foreign person, to the extent that the amount is regarded as having been received or accrued from a source within South Africa.  According to the new regime, withholding tax amounting to 15% of the interest payable will be required to be withheld and paid by the South African resident entity to SARS by the last business day of the month, following the month in which the interest is paid.