Tax Bills Sent for Assent

National Treasury

The Taxation Laws Amendment Bill (TLAB), Tax Administration Laws Amendment Bill (TALAB) and Rates and Monetary Amounts and Amendment of Revenue Laws Bill have all been passed by parliament and sent to president Ramaphosa for assent.

The bills were tabled in parliament during the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement in October 2018.

Some of the main tax proposals contained in the TLAB include providing more flexibility for the treatment of retirement fund transfers and withdrawals, introducing a fringe benefit exemption for lower-income employees who receive a loan from their employer for low-cost housing, reviewing the International Shipping exemption for purposes of accommodating the use of replacement ships, shortening the write-off period for electronic communications cables, refinements and clarification for the conversion of debt to equity, the refinement of the interaction between the anti-avoidance rules for dividend stripping with corporate re-organisation rules, inserting rules addressing the use of trusts to defer tax or recharacterise the nature of income, introduction of a one year income characterisation rule for amounts accrued to portfolios of collective investment schemes to provide certainty and limit potential abuse.

The main tax proposals contained in the TALAB include the removal of the requirement to submit tax returns for individuals receiving a tax-exempt dividend, anti-forestalling amendments for excise duties, clarifications on handling incorrect invoices for value-added tax refunds and allowing the collection of value-added tax payments to apply across branches and divisions.

Other issues dealt with that arise from previous legislative commitments include extension of the employment tax incentive, annuitisation for provident fund members and review panel for VAT zero-rated items.

The Rates and Monetary Amounts and Amendment of Revenue Laws Bill seeks to:

•    fix the rates of normal tax;
•    amend the Estate Duty Act, 1955, so as to amend the rate of estate duty;
•    to amend the Income Tax Act, 1962, so as to amend rates of tax and monetary amounts;
•    amend the Customs and Excise Act, 1964, so as to amend rates of duty in Schedule 1 to that Act;
•    amend the Value-Added Tax Act, 1991, so as to amend the rate of the Value-Added Tax;
•    amend a provision so as to provide for more efficient taxation of electronic commerce; and
•    provide for matters connected therewith.

The Special Appropriation Bill has also been approved by parliament and sent for assent.

The bill was tabled during delivery of the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement on 24 October 2018.

The bill provides for the appropriation of an additional amount of money (R5bn) for the requirements of the department of public enterprises to settle the debt obligations of the South African Airways SOC Limited; and to provide for matters connected therewith.

The Adjustments Appropriation Bill has also been sent for assent.

It seeks to effect adjustments to the appropriation of money from the National Revenue Fund for the requirements of the state in respect of the 2018/19 financial year.

Sabinet Cape Town Office

Related legislation: