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Standard on Tax Information Amended

October 13, 2020

South African Revenue Service

Changes have been introduced to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development Standard for Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information in Tax Matters.

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) published the revised Standard in Government Gazette 43781.

The Standard calls on jurisdictions to obtain information from their financial institutions and automatically exchange that information with other jurisdictions on an annual basis.

The Standard focuses on, inter alia, general reporting requirements, general due diligence requirements, due diligence for pre-existing individual accounts, due diligence for new individual accounts, due diligence for pre-existing entity accounts, special due diligence rules and mandatory disclosure rules.

The amended regulations take effect on 1 June 2021 except for paragraph B of Section XI that takes effect on 1 March 2023.

Section XI focuses on mandatory disclosure rules while paragraph B deals with the requirement to disclose CRS avoidance arrangements and opaque offshore structures.

Meanwhile, in Notice 1069, SARS published an amendment of paragraph 8 of Schedule 1 to the Value-Added Tax Act.

According to SARS, the amendment is due to the insertion of rebate item 406.04 in Schedule no. 4 of the Customs and Excise Act.

The amendment is designed to regulate the exemption from value-added tax on the importation of goods for official use by an organisation or institution in terms of an agreement entered into by South Africa.

Notice 1068 contains the amendment to Part 1 of Schedule No. 4 by the insertion of rebate item 406.04/00.00/01.00 in order to provide for a rebate of duty on goods imported for official use by an institution or organisation that has an agreement with South Africa.

In a separate matter, the South African Reserve Bank published, in Notice 555, the dimension of, design for and compilation of the year 2020 R2 commemorative circulation coin that celebrates human freedom: “freedom and security of the person”.