The ATO (the Australian Taxation Office) recently announced and published significant PROJECT DO IT information on the tax amnesty for foreign assets held in own or trust / entity name.

As of 1 March 2014, South Africans can now emigrate or exit their SA private company to be owned directly below an Australian trust or even better below an Australian Hold Co, either owned by an Australian trust or in certain cases as a subsidiary of a self managed Super.

More detail can be found on the more recent blog – just follow the link

Hugo may not advise on the Australian structure yet can ensure the trust is properly dissolved (where advisable and legal). I am Hugo van Zylquite willing to run this past the various families and what is important to IRM’s is that most South Africans in Australia incorrectly reported in SA and Australia i.e. they may need to do a VDP (voluntary disclosure or amnesty like) application in South Africa before or simultaneously with the ATO’s project DO IT.

Where there is a tax refund in SA, VDP will not be applicable as VDP is only where there is a tax due on revision or update.

Feel free to contact me should have questions.

See Me On TaxConnections

USA celebrates 4th of July! Aliens funds the party

As Americans recover from their 4th of July parties, it is indeed time to consider the tax cost and consequence for aliens investing with Uncle Sam

Yes, South Africans are aliens. President Trump may or may not have referred to people from South Africa as living in a s’hole country, who am I to say!

The IRS and USA tax laws most certainly labels us South Africans without an USA passport or green card as non-resident aliens.

We may not be from Mars nor Jupiter yet we are, upon death to pay FET (Federal Estate Tax) on our USA situs assets.

FET’s maximum rate is 40% and there is no spousal roll over. The exempt amount is a mere $60 000. No further SA estate duty is payable on the said USA assets, as there is a treaty in place

No spousal roll-over you ask? Yes, no roll over and the take home is that USA stock and cash held by you USA stock broker, should NOT be bequeathed to your spouse!

No, not to the offshore trust either as your wife will be taxed, upon her death assuming she is the surviving spouse, on the USA situs assets held within the offshore trust.

Who then, should be nominated as the named legatee in your will, as the person to inherit eBay, Facebook and all other USA equities?

Indeed an interesting question and one best addressed during a one-on-one meeting, with your SA accountant, duly present.

Need an appointment? Feel free to make contact on

Contact information Hugo

R10m SARS process now the same as the R4m FIA process

sars r10m

Formal Emigration – Not advisable for all!

Formal Emigration – Not advisable for all!.

First publisched by:

Formal or financial emigration is the process to formally change your exchange control status from resident to non-resident. It is also sometimes known as Excon Exit.

Financial emigration will not affect a South African’s right to retain their South African citizenship or dual citizenship. It is thus a purely financial process.

Following financial emigration from South Africa, a person can remain tax resident in SA, based on the time spent in the country and subject to the double taxation agreement (DTA) in which the person will be living in future.

Tax emigration or exiting the SA tax system is not subject to formal emigration.

It is a complex process and not advisable for all, but why would one consider the options? What will be the costs?

The process

Before a person can start the process of formal emigration his/her tax affairs must be in order and up to date, as a tax emigration clearance certificate from SARS is needed to get the ball rolling.

As soon as a tax clearance certificate is obtained from South African Revenue Service (SARS), an application is lodged through a South African Bank also known as an authorised dealer (AD) of the SA Reserve Bank (SARB). All assets need to be declared to SARB. The AD then applies at the South African Reserve Bank for an Exchange Control Approval Number (ECA) where after a blocked account is opened alternatively an existing account is converted into a blocked account. Each immigrant may have only one blocked account.

Once the emigration process has been completed, capital transfers have to flow offshore via this ‘blocked’ account.

Capital acquired and income earned post formal emigration need not flow through this blocked account. Typically inheritances received once you have been formally emigrated can be paid by the executor to you foreign bank account.

Should you only leave a pension or living annuity behind, there is no need for a blocked account as the fund can pay directly to your foreign bank account.

Funds allowed to be taken out of South Africa

The South African Reserve Bank allows emigrants the following facilities:

Foreign Capital Allowance (FCA) – R10 million per adult per calendar year or R20 million per family unit per calendar year.

In the year of actual departure, a travel allowance of up to R1 million per adult and R200 000 per child under the age of 18 years is allowed. The travel allowance may not be accorded more than 60 days prior to departure; and

Export of household and personal effects, motor vehicles, caravans, trailers, motorcycles, stamps, coins and minted gold bars (excluding coins that are legal tender in South Africa) within an overall insured value of R2 million.

Any remaining assets in South Africa will be blocked, but can be used for locally for any purpose and more recently SARB will allow listed and unlisted equities to be transferred out of SA as part of your annual R10m FCA.

What BCBA can do for you

Many service providers focus on formal emigration or retirement annuities only. They therefore encourage clients to formally emigrate. In fact, formal emigration services are sold as a free consultation.

The days, if it ever existed, of free lunches is long gone.

Not only can you personally manage the formal emigration process, you can often legally avoid the cumbersome process

For certain clients, formal emigration is often the only option available for the cost of a telephone conference (R969). We will be able to analyse your position and suggest the best solution.

Where clients so elect, we will complete the entire formal emigration process on their behalf. The process will be explained to you in detail and once again, we facilitate the free flow of funds. Your SA Rand will at all times remain under your own control.

BCBA will also be able to assist and advise you on how funds from the blocked account can be accessed.

For clients with “trapped” retirement annuities, preservation funds and so called living annuities, BCBA will provide the necessary guidance and where required, we will facilitate with or without formal emigration.

You formally emigrated and need advice or a second opinion? Call on us and we will assist and guide you in the right direction.

Clients having inherited funds or assets need not formally emigrate. There may be a cheaper and easier alternative.

For more information in your unique circumstances, please contact Hugo van Zyl

Rykes waai in hul hordes: ‘Wurggreep van geldreëls’ dwing hulle uit SA

Rykes waai in hul hordes: ‘Wurggreep van geldreëls’ dwing hulle uit SA

Source: Rapport Deur Pieter-Louis Myburgh Sondag 05 Oktober 2014 3:07 nm.

Ryk Suid-Afrikaners emigreer in hul hordes omdat hulle vertroue in die land se ekonomie verloor het.

Voorts is Suid-Afrika se “ar­gaïese” valutabeheerstelsel, wat veronderstel is om te verhinder dat te veel geld die land verlaat, ’n groot rede vir dié valuta-uittog.

Rapport het met drie finansiële praktisyns gepraat wat mense met hul geldsake help wanneer hulle emigreer of geld in die buiteland wil belê.

Al drie sê al hoe meer welvarende en hoogs opgeleide Suid-Afrikaners neem hul geld en vaardighede na die buiteland.

Dit kom nadat die Suid-Afrikaanse internet-miljardêr en ruimtereisiger Mark Shuttleworth die afgelope week ’n geskiedkundige sege teen die Suid-Afrikaanse Reserwebank in die appèlhof behaal het.

Die bank is beveel om die R250 miljoen wat Shuttleworth in 2001 onder protes moes betaal om sy fortuin van meer as R4 miljard na die buiteland te skuif, aan hom terug te betaal.

Shuttleworth het aangekondig hy gaan die geld in ’n trust belê om ander Suid-Afrikaners by te staan wat die regering oor grondwetlike kwessies in die howe wil pak.

“Miljarde der miljarde rande verlaat tans die land saam met welvarende Suid-Afrikaners wat emigreer,” sê Michael Honiball van die regsfirma Webber Wentzel se belastingafdeling.

Die presiese bedrae wat die land verlaat, is onbekend en die Reserwebank wou nie dié besonderhede aan Rapport beskikbaar stel nie.

“Kragtens art. 33 van die Suid-Afrikaanse Reserwebank-wet kan die Reserwebank nie hierdie inligting deel nie,” het Hlengani Mathebula, die bank se woordvoerder, in sy reaksie per e-pos geskryf.

Honiball sê dit is baie kommerwekkend om te sien in watter getalle welvarende Suid-Afrikaners die land verlaat.

“Dit is mense wat werk hier skep, ons het hulle nodig. Maar die wurggreep van (ekonomiese) regulasies waarmee ons hier moet worstel, dwing hulle om oorsee te gaan sake doen,” sê Honiball.

Hy kry veral te doen met plaaslike entrepreneurs wat hul maatskappye soms vir honderde miljoene rande verkoop en dan met hul fortuin na die buiteland trek.

Ryno Viljoen, stigter van die maatskappy Cashkows, sê hy kry nou tot 150 aansoeke elke maand van mense wat die land wil verlaat.

“Dit is skrikwekkend,” sê ­Viljoen. Hy hanteer kliënte wie se bates enigiets tussen R20 000 en R200 miljoen beloop.

Volgens Viljoen voel welvarende Suid-Afrikaners genoop om die land te verlaat omdat daar onsekerheid is oor kwessies soos eiendom- en grondregte.

“Dit het vir hulle meer sin om hul kapitaal na die buiteland te skuif,” sê Viljoen.

Hy is skepties oor die uitwerking van veldtogte wat Suid-Afrikaners in die buiteland aanmoedig om terug te kom.

“Uit my eie ervaring kan ek sê daar is baie min mense wat terugkom,” sê Viljoen.

Hugo van Zyl, ’n belastingpraktisyn wat in internasionale transaksies spesialiseer, sê net die pensioene van sy kliënte wat reeds oorsee is, beloop elke maand R9 miljoen.

Hy sê die Reserwebank se streng reëls oor intellektuele ­eiendom, waarvolgens Suid-Afrikaners nie patente in die buiteland kan registreer nie, dryf baie innoverende individue landuit.

“Hulle gaan doen hul navorsing oorsee in plekke soos Silicon Valley (in die VSA),” sê Van Zyl.

Honiball sê Suid-Afrika skiet homself in die voet met sy ar­gaïese valutabeheerstelsel.

“Dink logies daaroor. Watter land ter wêreld laat jou nie toe om jou eie geld landuit te neem soos jy dit goeddink nie?

“Alle lande het in ’n mindere of meerdere mate valutabeheer, maar Suid-Afrika is die laaste land ter wêreld wat só streng is,” meen Honiball.


FATCA in Afrikaans? BRS:AEOI? Is this Marmite on Toast you ask?

BRS: AEOImeans Business Requirement Specification: Automatic Exchange of Information

There is so many new tax acronyms, one can’t be blamed for not always knowing  the full phrase behind the tax acronym.

To guide you, we add a few new once, all from an SA perspective yet they are all well-known international acronyms or abbreviations.

Here they are, but it is not an exhaustive list:

  1. AEOI – Automatic Exchange of Information aka AEFAI as per SARS press release on BRS
  2. AEFAI – Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information
  3. ATO – Australian Tax Office
  4. BRS – Business   Requirement   Specification or Direct Data Flow Channel Guide  aka SARS Modernised 3rd Party Reporting platform, used to report inter alia PAYE, VAT, Investment Income (IT3’s).
  5. CRA – Canadian Revenue Authority –
  6. eFile – the South African online tax filing portal
  7. Excon – Exchange Control aka FinSurv- SA monetary laws administered by SARB
  8. FATCA – Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act – FFI and other tax offices dotted over the word reports on you to the IRS. An USA Act see
  9. FBAR – Report on Foreign Bank Account reporting – you tell IRS
  10. FFI – foreign (non-USA) financial institutions – FATCA terminology compare with USFI or FI that is USA based
  11. FinSurv – Financial Surveillance, previously known as Control or SARB’s Exchange Control watchdog
  12. HMRC – Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs – UK tax office
  13. IGA – Model 1 and Model 2 intergovernmental agreements (IGA) or FATCA agreement between IRS and SA on the AEOI process using the BRS designed and implemented in the various IGA jurisdictions
  14. IRD – Inland Revenue – New Zealand aka Maori as Te Tari Taake
  15. IRS – Inland Revenue Services in the USA
  16. MTP (SA) – Master Tax Practitioner in SA – the Who’s Who in SA tax environment 
  17. PR – Tax practitioner registered with SARS
  18. SARB – South African Reserve Bank, equivalent to the Central Bank in international terms
  19. SARS – South African Revenue Service –
  20. TAA – Tax Administration Act – South African Act dealing with C:SARS rights to administer tax acts
  21. USFI – U.S. financial institutions the internal US hold Co aka as lead FI reporting for all FFI’s in the FI Group

OK, you still lost? Need some more info on all the buzz words and your compliance risk and obligation? Feel free to ask the questions:

Breaking news …..

SKYPE: hugo.van.zyl

Hugo van Zyl Contact Detail


Breaking news….

  1. New office numbers as of July 2014, for now use mobile number or the following SKYPE numbers
  • USA                   – + 1 818 924 5001
  • UK                     –  + 44 20 3239 7756
  • South Africa  – 021 813 9775 / 012 743 6564 or mobile above
  1. ATO Amnesty for offshore trusts – that is your SA Trust’s come out of jail card
  2. Just Do IT – The ATs’ Australian Campaign re offshore assets not fully disclosed
  3. Retired and living outside South Africa – think twice before your emigrate as your SA pension is now freely transferable i.e. neither a tax clearance nor a formal emigration is required. Pensioners Freedom
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