Newsletters and Case Studies

Trusts – do they stay or do they go

Trusts - do they stay or do they go 18 October 2017 Constant legislative changes affecting the taxation of trusts have raised questions about the future viability of the structures which are in place. Many ask if the time has not come to rather unwind them. Trust specialists say there are very obvious reasons for registering and keeping a trust. If the main reason has been to reduce tax liabilities it may be a good time to rethink its future. Normally the most obvious reasons for registering a trust is to protect ones assets, to limit liability from creditors and to ensure “multi-generational planning” for family owned businesses. Another important reason is to consolidate assets within the trust. This enables trustees to have greater investment diversity, especially with share portfolio’s. Returns are paid quarterly, and the assets grow in the trust rather than having it distributed to each individual beneficiary. Trusts are the highest taxed...
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Drastic increase in taxpayer complaints against SARS

Drastic increase in taxpayer complaints against SARS 18 October 2017 The Office of the Tax Ombud has seen a drastic increase in the number of complaints raised by individuals and representatives from taxpayers. The complaints increased by 62% from 2 133 to 3 454, placing considerable pressure on the complaints resolution process at the Tax Ombud Office, as the number of staff members dealing with the complaints did not increase. Tax Ombud Bernard Ngoepe said during the launch of his office’s annual report for 2016/17 the complaints centred around dispute resolution, delayed refunds and the incorrect allocation of payments by the SA Revenue Service (Sars). Keith Engel, the chief executive of the South African Institute of Tax Professionals, said it was clear that many of the issues raised were operational and not because of “some evil plot” to get back at taxpayers. Author: Amanda Visser (IOL)...
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  SARS release 17 August 2017: 95 years for VAT fraudsters: Three men, accused of fraudulently claiming Value Added Tax refunds to the value of approximately R300 million, were sentenced in the Gauteng South High Court on Wednesday, 16 August 2017  to a total of 95 years imprisonment—25 years for Fraud, 25 years for Uttering, 25 years for Forgery and 20 years for Money Laundering. The sentences will run concurrently. This means that each of the accused will spend 25 years in prison. The VAT fraud, as well as other criminal activity, took place under the pretext that electronic equipment was being imported from the United States of America and then exported again. This practice was used in 18 different companies, where the accused were directors, to elicit approximately R300 million in VAT refunds from the South African Revenue Service (SARS). The accused, Mr Anton Meyer, Mr Garth Coetser and Mr Clifford...
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