Taxes and Accounting in South Africa
- Tax Year
- The tax year begins on 1 March and ends on the final day of February the following year
- Accounting Standards
- Accounting principles are very strict in South Africa and in accordance with International Accounting Standards Board.
- Accounting Regulation Bodies
- Accounting Reports
- In accordence with international accounting rules, the accounting structure is as follow: the balance sheet, the profit and loss account and the notes to the accounts. For more information, you can consult the Guide (See pages 24-28) published by the Accounting Standards Board.
- Publication Requirements
- All the companies must hold their accounts in English, these recordings must include: capital and obligations of the company, the fixed assets register, the incomes, the annual stock report, a summary of the goods sold and bought.
Moreover, they have to produce their annual financial statement. It must contain the balance sheet and the annexes, a report on the incomes with annexes, a report made authentified by the director, a report authentified by the executives and a profit and loss account.
- Professional Accountancy Bodies
SAICA , South African Institute of Chartered Accountants
SAIPA , South African Institute of Professional Accountants
- Certification and Auditing
- The companies have to seek a statutory auditor to conduct an annual audit of the financial health of their organization.
You can consult an external auditor: Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA) ; ERNST & YOUNG in South Africa ; KMPG in South Africa ; PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS in South Africa
- Accounting News
South Africa Accounting News
- Nature of the Tax
- VAT = Valued Added Tax (BTW = Belasting op Toegevoegde Waarde in Afrikaans).
- Tax Rate
- Reduced Tax Rate
- Reduced VAT rates range from 0% (on education services, basic foods, diesel fuel and gasoline, export of Goods and Services) up to the standard rate of 14%. For example, VAT on hotels and retirement hostels is charged at 8.4%.
- Other Consumption Taxes
- Public Benefit Organization under Section 30 of South Africa's Income Tax Act is eligible for exclusion from taxation.
- Company Tax
- Tax Rate For Foreign Companies
- Residents and locally controlled companies are taxed on worldwide income, where as foreign companies (meeting certain criteria are considered non-resident for tax purposes ) are taxed on South African-source income and capital gains on immovable property in South Africa.
- Capital Gains Taxation
- Charged at the normal income tax rate on 50% of the gain i.e. at 14.5%.
- Main Allowable Deductions and Tax Credit
- Motor vehicle expenses, legal expenses, medical and dental expenses, bad and doubtful debts, and contributions to pension and provident funds and retirement annuities. Lease premiums may be written off for the period of the lease. Municipal rates may also be deducted from taxable income.
- Other Corporate Taxes
- Capital duty, Payroll tax, Real property tax, Social security, Stamp duty, Transfer tax, Gift tax.
|ZAR 0 to 132,000||18%|
|ZAR 132,001 to 210,000||25%|
|ZAR 210,001 to 290,000||30%|
|ZAR 290,001 to 410,000||35%|
|ZAR 410,001 to 525,000||38%|
|ZAR 525,001 and above||40%|
- Allowable Deductions and Tax Credit
- Medical aid, Contributions to government approved pension and retirement funds, Charitable donations, etc.
- Special Expatriate Tax Regime
- No special expatriate tax regime exits in South Africa. Expatriates are taxed at the same rates as locals, but only on their South African-sourced income.
Double Taxation Treaties
- Countries With Whom a Double Taxation Treaty Have Been Signed
South African Revenue Service
- Withholding Taxes
- Withholding tax rates for non residents are 0% for dividends, 0% for interest, 12% for royalties and 15% on payments to artists and sportsmen.
Sources of Fiscal Information
- Tax Authorities
South African Revenue Service
- Other Domestic Resources
South African Info
South African government online
Statistics South Africa (Stats SA)
South African Revenue Services guides and other publications
- National Organizations
- The national organization for the protection of trademarks and patents is the
CIPRO (Companies and Intellectual Property Registration Office).
Also exist the South African Institute of Intellectual Property Law.
South Africa signed the Agreement of Paris for the protection of industrial property, as well as the agreement establishing the World Intellectual property Organization (WIPO).
- Regional Organizations
- African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO)
- International Membership
Member of the
WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization)
Signatory to the Paris Convention For the Protection of Intellectual Property
National Regulation and International Agreements
|Type of property and law||Validity||International Agreements Signed|
Patents Act, 1978.
|| Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT)
Trade Marks Act, 1993.
|10 years|| Trademark law treaty
South African Designs Act 195 of 1993
|Aesthetic design:15 years, Functional design:10years|
Copyright Act of 1978
|50 years|| Berne convention
- Independence of Justice
- Equal Treatment of Nationals and Foreigners
- Foreign nationals can largely expect impartial trial from the country's judicial system.
- The Language of Justice
- In any of the official language of South Africa.
- Recourse to an Interpreter
- Services of an interpreter are available in case the language of the proceedings is not understood by the accused.
- Sources of the Law and Legal Similarities
- The legal system is based on Roman-Dutch law and English common law.
South African commercial laws and company laws are similar to the laws of the United Kingdom.
- Checking National Laws Online
Legislation South Africa
- National Standards Organizations
South African Bureau of Standards (SABS)
Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA)
Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)
- Integration in the International Standards Network
- SABS is a member of :
- International Standard organization (ISO);
- International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC);
- African Organisation for Standardisation (ARSO).
- Classification of Standards
- SABS Standards
- Online Consultation of Standards
- SABS Online Standards Webstore
- Certification Organizations
SANAS South African National Accreditation System.
- General Information
Communicaid, South African business culture.
Kwintessential, South African culture and custom on the Kwintessential website.
Executiveplanet, South African business culture on the Executiveplanet website.
- Opening Hours and Days
- Generally, business hours are weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Offices are closed on Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday, Shops are open till 1.00 p.m. and Banks till 11.00 a.m.
|New Years Day||January 1|
|Human Rights' Day||March 21|
|Good Friday||Friday before Easter Sunday|
|Family Day||Monday after Easter Sunday|
|Freedom Day||April 27|
|Workers' Day||May 1|
|Youth Day||June 16|
|National Women's Day||August 9|
|Heritage Day||September 24|
|Day of Reconciliation||December 17|
|Christmas Day||December 25|
|Day of Goodwill||December 26|
- Holiday Compensation
- If a public holiday falls on the week-end, it is shifted to next Monday.
Periods When Companies Usually Close
|Christmas time(2-3 days)||Dec 25 - 27|
|New-Year time (1-2 days)||Jan 1 - 2|
|Summer holidays||A week between Christmas and the New Year.|
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