Various South Africans are required to work abroad. Many questions arise related to the taxing of income earned by these South Africans. Double tax agreements, the location of the employee’s family and home, the duration of the agreement and various other factors could impact the tax consequences and considerations. An assessment is then necessary of whether the South African is tax non-resident or has emigrated because of a treaty or other circumstances, and whether the correct process was followed from a financial, legal and tax perspective. The new tax rules impact differently on expats, all depending on the Income Tax Act’s definition of “tax resident” as applied to their personal circumstances.
Join Hugo van Zyl who will share his expertise on, inter alia, the following practical problems:
An update on the process already put in place by SARS (existing and new processes).
What does South African employers of seconded staff need to do?
What are the VAT implications of assignment-related cost charges?
Are the assignment-related costs borne by the home entity deductible for corporate income tax purposes?
Some countries in the Middle East have double tax agreements with South Africa, but the problem is that a lot of them don’t have a tax revenue office, which means you cannot get a tax resident certificate to prove to SARS that you’re a tax resident there. What process should then be followed?
If a couple is based in South Africa, and one spouse is predominantly working outside the country in Africa and the other is working in South Africa, will they be regarded as SA tax residents?
Does it matter whether you work in a country with no double taxation agreement or in a country where there is a double taxation agreement? Does it have an impact on residency?
What is the (financial, legal and tax) process to change my residency status? Can I do this myself or do I need to get a professional involved? How does it impact on my employer?
If I change my residency status to not resident, can I still own property in SA?
What will be the tax consequences when changing my residency status and are there ways of reducing this tax?
Must I give SARS a physical address in SA or outside SA when I am a non-resident?
Does the fact that I have a dual passport impact my residency status?
I have left SA and don’t have the intention to return. Could I be subject to penalties on my unplanned return? If so, can I get them reduced or remitted?
Do I still need an active tax reference number if I become non-resident and own property in SA or have an investment in SA?
As a non-resident, must I still submit a return when withholding tax was withheld on interest or royalties or dividends?
OK, I am liable for expat tax, but when and how do calculate it and how do I pay SARS?
Hugo van Zyl
CA (SA) TEP MTP(SA) MCom (Tax)
Based in Cape Town, Hugo runs his own private tax practice as well as a joint venture tax and formal emigration business.
Hugo emigrated his first client in May 1993 two months after the Chris Hani murder, and since then he has lectured SA expat, SA CGT and income tax in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, London, Amsterdam, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Mauritius, as well as locally throughout South Africa. Since 1993, Hugo has assisted several ex-pats, Saffas and global citizens in entering and exiting South Africa, not only from a tax perspective but also as a cross-border exchange control and multi-jurisdictional trust and estate specialist.
In 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2019 Hugo was an active tax specialist and fiduciary panelist at the Tax Indaba. In 2020 he was a guest speaker at national AGM of the Fiduciary institute of South Africa. For SAIT and The Tax Faculty he has done more than five webinars and a country-wide roadshow on the then new section 7C tax rules.
Hugo is not only a PBO/NGO specialist providing tax and practical advice; he also spent many years as national treasurer for both the Association of Round Tables (ARTSA as it was then known) and Chaine des Rôtisseurs Afrique de Sud (www.chaine.co.za).
Hugo is known by his international Twitter name @wegkaner.
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