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Tax Administration Laws Bill Heading for Parliament

November 11, 2021

South African Revenue Service

The Tax Administration Laws Amendment Bill is heading for parliament.

The South African Revenue Service published the draft bill’s explanatory summary in Government Gazette 45437.

The proposed legislation seeks to amend a number of acts including the Estate Duty Act; the Income Tax Act; the Customs and Excise Act; the Tax Administration Act and the Disaster Management Tax Relief Administration Act.

Proposed amendments to the Income Tax Act seek to enable the Commissioner to request certain information by public notice; to align the provision with regards to submission of a return by a foreign person in respect of withholding tax on royalties with that of withholding tax on interest; to align the refund limitation rules for dividends paid in specie with that of dividends paid in cash; to provide that the prescription periods will not apply with regards to certain deductions claimed by farmers and to provide for extended record-keeping periods; to provide for textual corrections; to provide for a penalty to be raised on an estimate of employees’ tax; to provide that a first provisional tax payment and return will not be required when the duration of a year of assessment does not exceed six months; and to provide for the deletion of a penalty.

Proposed amendments to the Customs and Excise Act aim to make technical corrections; to expand the purposes for which air cargo may be removed to degrouping depots to include consolidation and removal to transit sheds for export; to effect amendments consequential to changes to the SARS customs accreditation system; to expand the scope of matters that SARS may investigate to confirm the validity of a diesel refund claim; and to make the unlawful possession or use of a customs uniform an offence.

The draft bill will be tabled in parliament during the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement on 11 November 2021.

Meanwhile, national treasury has informed government institutions to continue to comply with the Preferential Procurement Regulations of 2017 in their procurement processes, until further notice.

Treasury had appealed the Supreme Court of Appeal judgement in the Constitutional Court.

The matter was heard by the Constitutional Court on 25 May 2021 and judgment was reserved.

“Should the Constitutional Court dismiss the appeal by the Minister of Finance and uphold the decision of the SCA, the Constitutional Court will, in its judgment, indicate the period of suspension of invalidity to allow the Minister time to amend the Regulations.”

In the meantime, the Regulations remain in force.