News

Heads up Trusts: Section 7C Has Arrived!

Many of us, especially those who have a significant number of assets and want some form of protection, have created Trusts over the years to benefit and administer our estates in such a way to minimise risk and as a consequence of common law and legislation, draw on the tax benefit it offers.
 
At the beginning of the year, the presidency signed into law the Taxation Laws Amendment Act, No. 15 of 2016, noted in the government gazette number 40562 on 19 January 2017 (the “Act”) which will change estate planning and how trusts are used.

Don’t Be Caught by These Common Scams - Part 3

From cellphone threats and malware, to organizations, innumerable numbers of threats exist across the cyber landscape. Because you can commoditize cyber crime, it is making it easier and cheaper to launch attacks on a global scale. Cyber security has become a buzzword in the business environment, due to the numerous breaches reported. In Part 3 of this series, we discuss fake technical support scams you may come across.

Fresh Optimism in Mining Sparks Opportunities for Moore Stephens

​The upswing in the mining industry, which was reflected at the 2017 Investing in African Mining Indaba in Cape Town in February, has opened up exciting opportunities for Moore Stephens. 
 
Michael Simms, Moore Stephens Mining and Energy leader, based in London, was upbeat about projects which had survived the downturn cycle. Together with the more optimistic outlook for a number of commodities, he expects the expansion of Moore Stephens firms and increased presence in African countries to lead to wider opportunities.

Cash, Cows and Tax

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.
 
More often than not, livestock farmers pay more tax in a year that is hit by a severe drought than in a year with an above average rainfall. The reason for this is that, in a dry year, grazing pastures are limited which leaves farmers with no other option than to sell a portion of their livestock. Should the rain not arrive early enough to provide sufficient grazing before the end of his tax year, farmers will be unable to purchase replacement livestock.

2016 in Perspective

For the majority of South African investors, these four numbers represent a year that most are quite happy to see at its end. The proverbial punches started in December 2015 with Nenegate, and in January last year, global financial markets produced their worst start in decades, preceded by a tumbling oil price.  Locally, a sovereign credit ratings downgrade plagued markets as our economy continued to slow down. 

Mining Indaba 2017

Moore Stephens International member firms are once again attending the Mining Indaba conference in South Africa, taking place between 6th - 9th February 2017. With over 6,000 delegates from organisations across the globe including mining and exploration companies, international investors, mining services providers, law firms and investment banks, the conference provides a great opportunity to network with key clients and targets.

POPI – It’s Time to Start Complying

POPI was signed into law by the President on 19 November 2013. Only certain parts of the Act have since come into operation, mostly the parts dealing with the establishment of the Information Regulator which, when the Act comes fully into operation, will be the governing body that will deal with any or all complaints in connection with personal information. The Act is expected to come into full operation within 12 months, being middle to end of 2017.

Is Your House in Order? Your Holiday Checklist

The holiday season is almost upon us, and it's an excellent time to get your financial house in order. One of the keys to stress-free living in the holiday season is to make a financial checklist, suggests Olivier Barbeau, Managing Partner at Moore Stephens Johannesburg. While all the festive detail is being sorted, serious financial elements can go adrift and target dates missed. A pre-holiday financial to-do list is a top priority, or should be, for many of us. Most of these tasks can be accomplished quickly, but the benefits can last a lifetime.

Don’t Be Caught by These Common Cyber Scams - Part 1 of 5

Cyber security has become a buzzword in the business environment due to the numerous breaches reported. In 2016 alone, there were reports about breaches in LinkedIn and MySpace. The Bangladesh Bank was robbed of $81 million via a SWIFT transfer, IRS, and the true extent of the Yahoo breach in 2014 is being reported. Hospitals and other healthcare organisations suffered ransomware attacks. In addition to attacks on companies, cyber criminals also target individuals with various different scams. In this series, we discuss more common scams you may come across, not only while browsing the internet or doing banking, but also in your everyday use of computers and other mobile devices. In this, Part 1, we cover Business Email Compromise, commonly known as Whaling.

Accounting Changes for Bearer Plants in The Agricultural Sector

Bearer plants related to agricultural activity are classified as property, plant and equipment under IAS 12 in the current financial period. (Effective date: For annual periods beginning on or after 1 January 2016). Previously, these would have been classified as biological assets along with the produce they bear, and valued at fair value per IAS 41. Produce continues to be classified as biological assets.

The Viability and Application of Polygraphs in The Conventional Investigative Processes

Polygraphing and its application can be a contentious issue. There are many reasons for this, but ultimately, as in all things, the level of input is equivalent to the resultant product.
 
The bulk of research done over the years, irrespective of personal opinion, is indicative of the fact that properly conducted polygraph examinations produce findings significantly better than chance. As such, this investigative tool has significant potential in the conventional investigative field.

Bringing Renewable Energy to Businesses in Rural Areas in Africa

Investors have identified opportunities to develop renewable energy in rural areas in several African countries, bringing power to small and medium-size businesses and the communities that surround them.
 
Together with technical partners, consulting and advisory firm, Moore Stephens Africa Advisory (MSAA) has a strategy to facilitate assisting rural communities and private developers to own and operate their own renewable energy farms.

SARS Special Stoppers

The issue of refunds remains of great concern to all involved. (See also the SAIT Member Alert 1 September 2016). We are sending this alert once again to inform you that you are not alone in your concerns. The issue of refunds is a widespread issue, based on the myriad of complaints that we receive daily, as well as on our discussions with other key recognised controlling bodies. The most urgent concerns relate to ITR12’s, with VAT refunds being an ongoing issue.

My Will and Estate Planning

We never like talking about death and taxes, but ensuring that you have a valid and current will can alleviate further hardship for the loved ones whom you leave behind. In this way, some unintended consequences are avoided, not to mention the unnecessary hardship for surviving family members during an already difficult time. 

Recent Developments in Terms of South African Transfer Pricing Documentation Requirements

South Africa’s transfer pricing legislation came into effect on 1 July 1995 and was followed by Practice Note 2 and Practice Note 7. These provided taxpayers with guidance on how the South African Revenue Service (“SARS”) intended to apply the legislation, including certain guidelines on transfer pricing documentation, which was largely based on the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (“OECD”) transfer pricing documentation guidelines. This remained the only point of reference for taxpayers and transfer pricing service providers until recently.  

Changes in The BEE Regulation Environment

Owing to recent changes in the BEE environment, our regulating body, the IRBA, has decided to withdraw from the regulation of B-BBEE assurance services with effect from 30 September 2016. All assurance engagements entered into prior to 30 September 2016, will be allowed a transitional period of three months until 31 December 2016 to complete these engagements.

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