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2019 Tax Amendment Acts Signed

January 15, 2020

The Presidency

15 January 2020

President Ramaphosa has assented to the 2019 Rates and Monetary Amounts and Amendment of Revenue Laws Act, 2019 Taxation Laws Amendment Act and the 2019 Tax Administration Laws Amendment Act.

The bills were passed by parliament and sent for assent in December 2019.

They were tabled in parliament during the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) on 30 October 2019.

The national assembly passed the bills and sent them to the national council of provinces for concurrence at the end of November 2019.

The 2019 Taxation Laws Amendment Act, published in Government Gazette 42951, focuses on the following key tax proposals announced in the 2019 Budget Review:

• Aligning the effective date of tax neutral transfers between retirement funds with the effective date of annuitisation for provident funds;
• Adjusting the withholding tax treatment of surviving spouses’ pensions to limit tax debts on assessment;
• Addressing abusive arrangements aimed at avoiding the anti-dividend stripping provisions;
• Clarifying the interaction between corporate reorganisation rules and other provisions of the Income Tax Act;
• Refining the tax treatment of long-term insurers;
• Refining investment criteria and anti-avoidance measures for the Special Economic Zone regime;
• Limiting the allowable deduction for investors investing in a venture capital company;
• Reviewing the controlled foreign company comparable tax exemption and addressing the circumvention of the anti-diversionary rules; and
• Reviewing section 72 of the VAT Act.

The 2019 Tax Administration Laws Amendment Act, published in Gazette 42952, gives effect to the following key tax proposals:

• Removal of requirement to submit a declaration to a regulated intermediary in respect of tax free investments;
• Authorisation for the Commissioner to prescribe rules relating to the making of advance foreign currency payments;
• Alignment of time limitations on requesting refunds;
• Model mandatory disclosure rules and non-compliance penalties; and
• Tax compliance certificates

Highlights in the 2019 Rates and Monetary Amounts and Amendment of Revenue Laws Act, published in Gazette 42950, include changes in rates and monetary thresholds to the personal income tax tables, adjustments to the eligible income bands that qualify for the employment tax incentive and increases in excise duties for alcohol and tobacco.

President Ramaphosa has also assented to the 2019 Adjustments Appropriation Act and the 2019 Division of Revenue Amendment Act.

The bills were also tabled in parliament on 30 October 2019 during the MTBPS.

The 2019 Adjustments Appropriation Act, published in Gazette 42948, aims to:

• effect adjustments to the appropriation of money from the National Revenue Fund for the requirements of the State in respect of the 2019/20 financial year; and
• provide for matters incidental thereto.

The 2019 Division of Revenue Amendment Act, published in Gazette 42949, aims to:

• amend the Division of Revenue Act, 2019, in accordance with the Money Bills and Related Matters Act, 2009; and
• provide for matters connected therewith.