Newsletters

  • April 2021 | Selected for SARS Verification or Audit? Here’s What to Expect… and What to Do

    01 April 2021
    Most of us – even the most dutiful taxpayers - know the cold dread that accompanies receiving SARS correspondence, and it is never colder than when the notification states that you or your company have been selected for SARS verification or audit. Given some of the recent developments in terms of SARS’ powers and increased scrutiny of taxpayers, you will do well to remain prepared for the ever-greater possibility of being selected.  In this article, we take a look at what th...
  • March 2021 | Budget 2021: What It Means to You

    01 March 2021
    Faced with apprehension, the first Budget Speech of the “new normal’ was generally well-received, with the Rand holding steady, markets reacting positively, and South Africans breathing a collective sigh of short-term relief.  A surprisingly optimistic 2021 Budget provided funding for COVID-19 responses without hiking direct taxes, and previously announced tax increase proposals were withdrawn.  As Finance Minister Tito Mboweni called it, the 2021 Budget fiscal frame...
  • February 2021 | Provisional Income Tax Due 26 February: Do’s and Don’ts for Companies

    01 February 2021
    By the end of this month, the second provisional income tax payments for companies are due for a financial year that certainly ranks among the most difficult in recent memory – a year in which many business owners realised, as Thomas Dewar once put it, that paying income tax is in fact better than being unable to generate sufficient income to be liable for tax.   As companies face intensified scrutiny and more punitive measures from SARS in 2021, we take a look at the issues ...
  • January 2021 | Companies: How to Manage Your Greater Tax Risk in 2021

    01 January 2021
    South African companies are exposed to a significant tax risk. Companies are liable for a range of direct taxes, indirect taxes and employees’ taxes that are continuously subject to legislative changes and administrative improvements by SARS and National Treasury. This means not only great complexity and high cost in terms of compliance, but also high tax liabilities that could total 40% of turnover and more. In addition, tax compliance is increasingly becoming a corporate governance and ...
  • December 2020 | A Remote Working Danger: Independent Contractor or Employee?

    01 December 2020
    The move to a much greater level of remote working this year has reinforced the need for small businesses to ensure that they classify the people that work for them correctly. One of the biggest challenges for small businesses is to ensure that independent contractors, especially sole proprietors, do not drift into a position where the South African Revenue Service or the Department of Labour would classify such a person as an employee. The failure by a small company to manage the relatio...
  • November 2020 | Leaving a Legacy: Ensure Your Business Survival with a Succession Plan

    01 November 2020
    It is a sobering statistic that 70% of family businesses do not survive into the second generation - a significant loss considering the time, effort and investment required to start, manage, and grow a business in South Africa. Ensuring your business can survive beyond the loss of an owner, a partner or another key individual requires a well-structured succession plan that unlocks business value not only in the long term but also in the immediate future. Covid-19 contin...
  • October 2020 | Employee Health and Wellbeing: A Strategic Priority for COVID-19 and Beyond

    01 October 2020
    Employee health and wellbeing (HWB) is vital for a company to sustain itself during the lockdown. But making your employees’ HWB a strategic priority creates a competitive edge that will be crucial for success now and beyond COVID-19. Employee HWB not only delivers significant benefits, it also creates an opportunity to play a leadership role in our communities and in our country. In this article, you will find a list of key focus areas revealed by recent research t...
  • September 2020 | How Chaos Sparks Business Innovation

    01 September 2020
    The greatest innovation is created in times of chaos, when opportunity abounds. Many successful business stories began during times of recession, depression, chaos and crisis, such as Uber, Airbnb, WhatsApp, Slack, Pinterest, Square, Disney, Sony and iPod.  In the midst of the unprecedented chaos created by COVID-19 on a global scale, we have witnessed great and inspiring innovation, as local and global businesses innovate ways to stay relevant in industries completely disrupted, if not...
  • August 2020 | Employees Working from Home: What Tax Deductions Can You Claim?

    01 August 2020
    Working from home is part of our “new normal” and home offices are predicted to remain a permanent feature of many employment relationships in the future. Both employees and their employers should be familiar with the tax angles, in particular the opportunity to claim tax deductions. When and how do you qualify for deductions? What expenses can you deduct? We discuss the various ins and outs with a simple practical example to illustrate. If you own your own home, read our tail...
  • July 2020 | Tax Season 2020 will be Easier Thanks to SARS’ New Approach!

    01 July 2020
    SARS has announced changes to this year’s tax filing season, driven partly by its ongoing innovation program and partly by the Covid-19 pandemic. Whilst as author Margaret Mitchell pointed out there never is a convenient time for “death, taxes and childbirth”, SARS’ new changes offer time-saving benefits to taxpayers, and it is important to understand how they will impact on us in practice. To that end we set out how Tax Season 2020 is now split into three time frames...
  • June 2020 | Technology, COVID-19 and How the World Will Change

    01 June 2020
    We must all adapt to the rapidly-changing world thrown at us by the pandemic. We have no alternative - both our businesses and our personal lives are already deeply dissimilar to what they were only a few short months ago, and there is no sign that things will start stabilising any time soon. What part is technology playing in this process, what part will it play in the future, and will it be used as a weapon or as a helpful tool? What will our post-pandemic world look like? Who better to as...
  • May 2020 | COVID-19 and Directors: Your Duties and Liabilities in the Coronavirus Crisis

    01 May 2020
    Your focus as a director right now will no doubt be on keeping your business afloat through these trying times. Don’t lose sight however of the fact that the onerous obligations and duties placed on all directors by the Companies Act still apply. Failure to live up to the required standards exposes you not only to a significant risk of personal liability for company debt, but also to criminal prosecution. We recap in summary what the Act requires of you, we discuss the impact of Kin...
  • April 2020 | COVID-19 Lockdown: Relief Programs for Businesses and SMMEs

    01 April 2020
    The National Lockdown, due to end on 16 April, presents businesses of all sizes with an unprecedented set of existential challenges.  Of course sooner or later this crisis will end, but for now it is a case of survival for many businesses, and particularly for those smaller enterprises forced now to close for 21 days. Don’t despair, help is at hand! We list the various relief initiatives announced to date. The list will change, as will the details of and processes for accessing...
  • March 2020 | Budget 2020: Some Tax Relief!

    01 March 2020
    The good news is that taxpayers have been given some money back with the Income Tax tables and there are no significant tax increases. Hopefully, this will help the economy to grow as it will encourage consumers to increase expenditure (about 60% of GDP depends on consumer spending).  Company tax has also not been increased and some reforms are mooted ahead of a plan to reduce corporate tax rates.   We end off with some tax tables conveniently summarising what’s new...
  • February 2020 | Take Advantage of the Venture Capital Company Allowance While You Can

    01 February 2020
    Here's some good news in the form of a way to save tax (a lot of tax), make a good investment, and directly boost both our economy and our SMEs - all in one go. That's where the VCC (Venture Capital Company) Allowance comes in. We'll have a look at the substantial savings you (or your trust or company) can achieve by using the allowance correctly; at how it works both initially and subsequently; at the need to beware of costs; and at how "finding a gem" could give you a (very) substantial af...
  • January 2020 | What Will The Next Decade Bring Us?

    01 January 2020
    As we settle into 2020 let’s all, with the wise old saying “Failing to plan is planning to fail” in mind, start thinking about not only what the next year or so holds for us, but about what our world could look like in 2030. Of course that means predicting the future, a notoriously difficult exercise at the best of times and perhaps a particularly challenging one in these days of increasingly frenzied change. We can however identify a number of global trends emerging whi...
  • December 2019 | Sometimes the Best Management Is To Take a Back Seat

    01 December 2019
    Will your business prosper, or will it fail? Your management style will always be a critical factor in deciding that, and the art of successful management requires that you understand when to get actively involved in an issue; and when to take a back seat while your staff team get on with it. But that’s not always easily achieved. Should you join the current fad for “Management By Walking Around”? What do you do about hostile employees? How should you handle criticism? ...
  • November 2019 | Celebrating the life of Lize-Marie Steyn

    01 November 2019
    Celebrating the life of Lize-Marie Steyn - A brilliant light that left us far too soon. Gone before she had the chance to graduate, she received a posthumous degree in Financial Accounting from Unisa on 1 October. We are grateful that Lize-Marie was able to receive her final marks before her passing. Ms Steyn touched so many lives while working with us at Middel and Partners, her presence will be greatly missed.Not preparing a comprehensive business plan for your business, and not updating...
  • October 2019 | A Tip for Anyone with Too Much Debt – Try the ‘Snowball Method’

    01 October 2019
    (Note - if you know (or employ) someone who might benefit from a pointer or two on how to bring their levels of debt under control, please do pass this article on to them.) Being heavily indebted is one of the most stressful and demoralising things a person can experience, and in these hard times a lot of South Africans are struggling to keep their heads above water. High levels of debt are also bad for the country, with 60% of our economy dependent on consumer spen...
  • September 2019 | Be Ready For SARS Employee Audits

    01 September 2019
    With SARS struggling to meet its revenue targets and individuals carrying the bulk of the tax burden, we can probably expect SARS to increase its audits of employees’ tax returns.  Forewarned being as always forearmed, we discuss the implications for both employees and employers, with suggestions on how employers should have their employees handle queries (whether they do it themselves or through their own tax advisers).  An audit can be a costly, stressful and time-consum...