You may be aware that Judge Dennis Davis was asked by SARS to review the South African tax system. The Davis Tax Committee has now released the first report on its findings.
Estate Duty appears to be under the spotlight. This is somewhat surprising to us all: only four years ago, it was announced in the Budget speech that Estate duty might be abolished. At that time, only R800 million of SARS’ income was derived from Estate Duty, and the view was that so many complex structures had been implemented to avoid paying this tax that SARS questioned its value.
Now Estate Duty has been identified as an opportunity for SARS to collect more tax. We know that an increase in personal taxes would result in a severe backlash from the general population. Estate Duty is a pure wealth tax and affects such a small minority that it makes sense to focus here for additional revenue. SARS believes that it could increase this revenue from the current R1.2 billion per annum to an estimated R15 billion per annum.
At present, the details are not clear, but there is talk of capping the abatement currently enjoyed when assets are left to your spouse – at the moment, you can leave all your assets to your spouse and pay no estate duty.
There is also mention of clamping down on the conduit principle in trusts; this is where you distribute income or capital gains from the trust to beneficiaries and reduce the tax liability. The other area drawing attention is taxing beneficiaries of offshore trusts.
We will keep you updated on further developments in this area.
The World Congress on Healthy Ageing
Kim Potgieter was invited to speak at this Congress recentlly. In partnership with Lynda Smith, CEO of The Refirement Network, Kim presented a new way of looking at retirement, one filled with opportunities to impact the world.
You can read more about the highlights of this international conference, click here.
A new face at reception
When you next visit Chartered House, be sure to welcome Pam Woolcott, Chartered concierge – you will quickly learn what her role entails and how she can help you, our Chartered clients. For those who have grown accustomed to Anne Russell’s kind offers of coffee and cake, do not fret: you will still be receiving your weekly communications from her, and hearing her voice answering your calls – she is relocating upstairs.