SAIT half-day seminars: Planning for high net worth individuals – Jul/Aug 2014

Overview 

High net worth individuals (HNI) and families often look to a financial coach to advise them on various business, tax, financial and succession matters. The presentation covers a broad spectrum of topics which include tax, personal wealth management, retirement, business succession, estates, wills and trusts. Whilst tax is the underlying theme of the presentation, it does not cover highly technical aspects of tax.

The presentation is designed to encourage businesspersons, professionals such as doctors, engineers, owners of businesses, as well as high net worth individuals and families to be aware of the important aspects that affect them in the world of business, tax and finance.

Course content

  • Taxation and tax planning strategies
  • The South African Revenue Service (SARS)
  • Investment spectrum and personal wealth management
  • Retirement planning and managing wealth during retirement
  • Inter vivos trusts and the planning
  • Wills and estates planning
  • Exchange control and offshore investments
  • Women and personal wealth management
  • Corporate wealth management
  • Business succession planning
  • Planning wealth for generations

Who should attend?

  • Financial Planners
  • Accountants
  • Tax Advisors
  • Professionals – doctor, lawyers, engineers, etc.
  • Directors and shareholders of companies and members of close corporations
  • Businessperson and executives
  • High net worth individuals (asset base exceeding R10m)
  • Family groups

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

This event and successful completion of the online assessment will secure 4 hours verifiable output CPD points/units.

Cost

Option 1 – Seminar

  • Members: R1,390.00
  • Affiliated members: R1,590.00
  • Non-members: R1,790.00

Register for the seminar.

Option 2 – Live webinar broadcast

This CPD event will be broadcasted live on Friday 25 July 2014 from 09h00 to 13h00.

  • Members: R400.00
  • Affiliated members: R450.00
  • Non-members: R500.00

Register for the webinar.

Option 3 – DVD and electronic course notes

This CPD event will be recorded and available to purchase on DVD.

  • Members: R750.00
  • Non-members: R800.00

Purchase the DVD.

SAAA half-day seminar: Engagements for accountants and accounting officers (new rules) – Aug 2014

Overview 

Various pieces of legislation impacting accountants have been changed and/or introduced since 2009. The business reality is that companies are no longer required to prepare audited financial statements. Clients, banks, SARS and CIPC now require accountants to issue compilation, accounting officer or independent review reports. This changing landscape provides a business opportunity for professional and business accountants in practice.

Notwithstanding these opportunities, the Tax Administration Act 2011, Companies Act 2008, Close Corporations Act 1984 and International Standards lay down strict rules that accountants must follow when issuing these alternative reports. Failure to comply with the report requirements may lead to criminal and civil sanctions and also personal liability for the preparer accountant.

Expert professional accountant and presenter, Nicolaas van Wyk will facilitate a workshop on these topics to equip delegates to perform compliant compilation, accounting officer and independent review engagements for a range of clients including companies, close corporations, sole proprietors, schools, body corporates and co-operatives.

Course content

The themes that will be covered include:

  • Back to basics: the accountant’s liability and how to avoid this risk.
  • The legal landscape: the effect of recent legislative amendments on the accountant and accounting officer.
  • Risk management: what to do and what not to do when performing compilation, accounting officer and independent review engagements.
  • Record keeping: the structure of working papers and the process to follow when preparing working papers.
  • Quality control: establishing and maintaining a system of quality control.
  • Executing the professional engagement: planning and performing the engagement.
  • Types of reports and use: different types of compilation, accounting officer and independent review reports.

Who should attend?

  • Auditors
  • Chartered Accountants
  • Professional Accountants and Business Accountants that are responsible for advising their clients on legal matters and how they will affect their business.
  • This course is also relevant for Lawyers and Legal Advisors.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

Attendance of this seminar will accrue 4 + 1 hours’ CPD for members of a relevant professional body such as ACCA, SAICA, AAT, SAIPA, SAIBA, IAC, CSSA, ICB, LSSA, FPI, and the IBA.

Complete a free online assessment at the end of the event and receive an additional CPD point.

Cost

A variety of methods are available to participate in this event. You can either opt for:

  • A face-to-face presentation.
  • Listen to the live webinar.
  • Attend a live and interactive broadcast.
  • Purchase a DVD to watch.

Seminar

Live webinar

Live broadcast

DVD and notes*

All prices include VAT.

*Notes are electronic only.
*DVD will only be available 6 weeks after the JHB event.
*The DVD will available afterwards from the store for a higher price.

When and where

All seminars will run from 09h00 to 13h30.

  • 04 August 2014 – Cape Town – Lord Charles Hotel
  • 11 August 2014 – Durban – Riverside Hotel
  • 18 August 2014 – Johannesburg – Wanderers Club
  • 25 August 2014 – Pretoria – Diep in die Berg

TBC August 2014 – Live Broadcast:

  • Belville
  • Boksburg
  • Centurion
  • Die Moot
  • Roodepoort
  • Somerset
  • Vanderbijlpark

South Africa and the United States to share tax information

Article source: allAfrica 

 

Finance Minister, Nhlanhla Nene and United States (US) ambassador to South Africa, Patrick Gaspard have signed an intergovernmental agreement to improve international tax compliance and to implement the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act.

The agreement, which was signed on 9 June 2014, promotes transparency between South Africa (SA) and the US on tax matters, while also underscores growing international cooperation in the endeavour to end tax evasion worldwide.

South Africa is committed to automatic exchange of information for tax purposes and to thereby make the world a more transparent place from a tax perspective. This commitment has been expressed through South Africa’s role in both the G20 and the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes,” said Minister Nene.

The US enacted the Act in 2010 to combat offshore tax evasion by encouraging transparency and obtaining information on accounts held by US citizens in other countries. The Act calls for foreign financial institutions to provide the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) with information about US account holders annually. Failing that, a 30% withholding tax will be imposed on the foreign financial institution with regard to certain US source payments, such as interest.

The withholding tax is, however, waived if foreign financial institutions enter into disclosure compliance agreements with the US Treasury.

Ambassador Gaspard, who signed the agreement on behalf of the US, said the signing of the agreement is an important step forward in the collaboration between both countries to combat tax evasion.

When taxpayers overseas avoid paying what they owe, other taxpayers have to bear a disproportionate share of the tax burden. The intergovernmental Agreement to Improve International Tax Compliance and to implement the Act is an important part of the US government’s effort to address that issue.

In July 2012, the US introduced the option of a country entering into an intergovernmental agreement which would alleviate the need for financial institutions to enter directly into an agreement with the US.

The Agreement to Improve International Tax Compliance and to Implement the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act between the US and SA is a reciprocal agreement, which ensures that financial institutions in SA will report information about US account holders to the South African Revenue Service (SARS).

Betty Bookkeeper gives advice on legal VAT reconciliation – June 2014

Good day Betty 

I would like to know if you can help me. When I finish the books for the month and send the tax report to the accountant, can the accountant change the amount that gets submitted to SARS?

I thought the amount that’s on the Pastel tax report is what needs to be submitted to SARS. I asked the accountant about it, and he said that it’s all above board and that he’s not doing anything illegal.

How can a person reduce the VAT? The accountant doesn’t want to let me know.

Kind regards,
Caron

 

Hi Caron

I hope that you’re well, and thank you very much for your great question.

It is possible for the VAT per the report to differ from that submitted in the VAT return. Examples of such cases are:

  • Where an adjustment has been made directly to the VAT account and this does not reflect on the VAT report.
  • Where an adjustment is made that affects VAT in an earlier period.

However, a reconciliation should always be done to balance the VAT per the return to the VAT control account in Pastel. Your accountant should be able to provide you with this.

Hope that helps!

 

Don’t forget that I’m here to answer your questions about the ICBA, or just queries about your accounting work. All you have to do is email me!

Connected Services lightens the workload of HR and payroll managers

Written by Madelein van der Watt – Development Manager, Sage Pastel Payroll & HR 

 

If you are an HR manager or payroll administrator at an SME, you can now ease your ever-increasing workload with Connected Services from Sage Pastel Payroll & HR.

Work more smartly and efficiently

Connected Services gives you a web-based self-service tool that enables your employees to manage and maintain their own information online, relieving you of some of your HR administrative burden. Your employees can apply online for leave, loans, bursaries and travel claims, view their payslips and update personal information – wherever they are. All they need is an internet connection.

As soon as an employee applies for leave online and it is approved by management, your payroll & HR systems are updated automatically. The software also allows you to schedule leave, a particularly useful feature during December holidays when you need “skeleton staff” and where system warnings help you to manage minimum staff levels.

Your data is safe and secure

The self-service tool enforces stringent, internationally-accepted standards of access control to authenticate your employees, letting the right people in and the wrong people out.

Hosting gives you fast access at low cost

For a Connected Services application such as Self Service, you should consider a hosted solution. This guarantees you quick deployment at low implementation cost, so you don’t have to invest in additional infrastructure to host the online application. All you need is an internet connection and a computer.

Connected Services helps to bridge the gap between online software solutions and traditional desktop applications and provides you with a seamless upgrade path to a completely cloud-based model should you require it in the future.

Connected Services give you more time to focus on growing your business

Frictionless or automated updates of payroll legislation are also part of Connected Services. They enable traditional desktop applications to update seamlessly over the internet with minimal intervention from you.

So you no longer need to visit a website to download and install updates or CD versions manually. The Connected Services functionality does it all for you, directly from your payroll software, giving you more time to concentrate on the important issues such as achieving your business goals.

RSS Feeds keep you up to speed

With Connected Services you receive RSS feeds to your desktop, giving you the latest legislative and tax changes and new system-software releases. So you’re always on track and up to date.

Mobile app gives access anywhere, any time

Connected Services enables your payroll administrator to set up each of your employees with a mobile profile to which payslip and leave details can be published. Your employees simply download the mobile application from a mobi-site, log in and view their information.

Free tax calculator puts even more power in your employees’ hands

The mobile app includes a free salary tax calculator. The app itself is not exclusive to Sage Pastel Payroll & HR, but if your company uses this software solution, your employees enjoy both the calculator and mobile access to their salary and leave details.

Ignore that accounting problem at your own risk

This article was adapted for South Africa 
Written by Amrik Randhawa – article source

 

Show me an entrepreneur who says they’ve never encountered an accounting problem and I’ll show you a liar. That may sound a bit extreme, but the point is simple: from a lost invoice to overlooked write-offs to something perhaps more nerve-wracking (audit, anyone?), perfection in accounting is pretty much a myth. And that’s OK.

But just because perfection is a myth, it doesn’t mean that as you discover an accounting issue, you can shrug it off and chalk it up to the imperfect nature of the universe. Why not, you ask? Because accounting issues are like wounds: untreated, they fester. And they can get nasty – quickly.

Let’s say you do some car repair out of your garage. It’s a side gig – sort of. You quote jobs verbally and “invoice” the same. After all, you’ve only done work for friends and neighbors, although you have started gaining a few referrals to folks you didn’t previously know. When you collect payment, you prefer cash, but will take a check and deposit it into your personal checking account. You’re now pulling in a nice chunk of change each month from your “side gig.”

It should be pretty obvious by now that this scenario is a bad one for more than a few reasons – all of which are rooted in accounting issues. For starters, you should stop kidding yourself: this is not a side gig. It’s a business, and you should incorporate it not only for financial reasons, but also for your own protection.

From a tactical perspective, verbal quotes and invoices would make any accountant uneasy. What happens when there’s a dispute or a non-payment? What recourse do you have? No paper trail will inevitably spell trouble.

Then there’s the mixing of funds. You’re putting money earned through what is clearly a business into your personal bank account. How, then, could you accurately report your earnings for tax purposes? If you have a day job, you won’t be able to accurately reflect what you’re taking in for the year. And that’s a dangerous game. At a minimum, you need to open a checking account for this business.

But it’s cool, you say. This is all under the table. You’re doing work for friends and family. If you want to run that risk, go ahead – but remember what I said about festering. These habits will catch up to you. They will start to get confusing. Numbers won’t match up. And then you’ll open the mailbox one day to find an unexpected letter from you-know-who: SARS.

So what’s the lesson here? If you’re in business, you simply must keep accurate accounting records. But beyond that – remember, perfection is a myth – the “out-of-sight-out-of-mind” mentality does not apply here. When you come across an accounting error, make it right. Avoid the festering and the downward spiral that can follow.

The scenario painted in this article is completely fictional and the hypothetical outcomes are just that: hypothetical. As with all accounting and tax-related issues, your accountant or tax professional knows best. And they really, really appreciate it when you’re honest with them!

Betty Bookkeeper gives advice on the transfer duty on the purchase of a property – May 2014

Hello darlings. I hope that you all had a great April and are working hard! 

This month, I received a very good question:

Dear Betty Bookkeeper

Does the transfer duty on the purchase of a property in a property company get put to legal fees in the income statement?

Kind regards,

Karen

My answer is:

Hi Karen

I hope that you’re well, and thank you very much for your great question.

The transfer duty should be capitalised to a land and buildings/property (fixed asset) account. It should not be an expense.

Hope that helps!

 

Don’t forget that I’m here to answer your questions about the ICBA, or just queries about your accounting work. All you have to do is email me!

New requirements for input tax claims on importation of goods by a vendor

This article is reproduced with authority from MGI Bass Gordon GHF, Chartered Accountants (SA). 
Tel: 021 405 8500
Website: www.bassgordon.co.za
Article source

 

Currently, to claim back the tax levied on the importation of goods (import VAT) in terms of the Value-Added Tax Act (“VAT Act”), the vendor must provide the following:

1. Customs Declaration or other any other prescribed Customs document (usually the Bill of Entry); and
2. Proof that the VAT levied on the goods imported into the Republic has been paid to the South African Revenue Service (“SARS”) Customs either by the vendor, or that vendor’s agent.

In practice, requirement (1) above is contentious. This is because most vendors (including their clearing agents) make use of the deferred payment arrangement with SARS, which includes a window period of 30 days during which the import VAT levied can be paid. Therefore, while the import VAT is unpaid (because of a deferred payment arrangement in place), what truly constitutes an acceptable proof of payment to entitle the vendor to the import VAT claim?

While SARS, until now, has, in terms of the VAT Act, generally allowed vendors who account for VAT on an invoice basis to claim their import VAT on the earlier of invoice date (Bill of Entry date) or payment, it has also always been concerned about the mismatch of import VAT payment and claim arising from the deferred payment arrangement system which it operates with taxpayers. SARS expressed this concern in the following example:

If an importation is towards the end of a vendor (importer’s) tax period, there will be a timing difference/mismatch between the payment of the VAT to the agent and the proof that the agent actually paid the VAT to SARS (especially when that agent has a deferred payment arrangement- as most of them do). The problem seems to be that as long as the agent acknowledges to the vendor on a document (e.g. a tax invoice for services rendered) that the payment of the VAT on importation has been received, the vendor should, in principle, be allowed to deduct the VAT on importation as input tax despite the fact that the agent might not have paid it (or not paid the full amount) over to SARS at that time because of the deferred payment arrangement.

To remove the uncertainty as to what is acceptable proof of payment of import VAT to entitle the vendor to an import VAT claim, section 16(3)(a)(iii) of the VAT Act has been amended to the effect that a vendor can only claim the VAT levied on importation in the tax period in which the import VAT was actually paid to SARS. This amendment takes effect from 1 April 2014.

In response to the amendment above, vendors, whose imports are completely managed by their clearing agents must ensure that the clearing agent has actually paid over the import VAT to SARS in the tax period in which they intend to submit their import VAT claims to SARS. For vendors who make use of clearing agents but manage all payments involved, it will simply be business as usual in terms of monitoring payments to SARS. Overall, from 1 April 2014, the VAT levied on the importation of the goods can only be claimed in the VAT return covering the period in which the import VAT was actually paid to SARS.

Betty Bookkeeper gives advice on calculating PAYE for commission earners – April 2014

Hello darlings. I hope that you all had a great April and are working hard! 

This month, I received a really interesting question:

Dear Betty

I would appreciate some help with the following question…

How is the tax rate calculated for an employee that earns a basic salary, as well as commission? According to my understanding, you add the commission to the basic, and then work out the annual equivalent to get the taxable amount. The sliding scale is then applied to this amount.

I am not sure what happens in the following month if the commission earned is much less or much more than the previous month. Do the earnings-to-date and the tax-paid-to-date have an effect on the tax calculations of the following months?

Thanking you in advance,

Yumna

My answer is:

Hi Yumna

I hope that you’re well, and thank you very much for your great question.

According to SARS’ guidelines, each month should be worked out in isolation. Commission earners should submit an annual tax return, and at that point receive a refund if too much PAYE has been withheld. This is generally the case.

There is however, nothing stopping an employer to calculate the tax more accurately if they want to refer to year-to-date figures. They must just take care not to underwithhold PAYE, which would create a tax problem for the commission earner.

Hope that helps!

 

Don’t forget that I’m here to answer your questions about the ICBA, or just queries about your accounting work. All you have to do is email me!