Back in 2017, the National Treasury and SARS announced that they would be introducing major changes in the tax exemption on South African expatriates in 2020.
South African tax residents abroad will be required to pay tax to South Africa of up to 45% of their foreign employment income, where it exceeds the R1 million mark.
There was a brief moment of recognition that things would change, then we kind of forgot about it.
Well, it’s officially time to revisit that announcement, because the proposed legislative amendment will come into effect on March 1, 2020, which is not that far away.
Here’s BusinessTech with tax expert Claudia Aires Apicella:
“With the commencement of the new law fast approaching, SARS has begun prosecuting taxpayers that are non-compliant and, in some cases, has the option to imprison the offender up to a period of two years,” said Apicella.
“This is in terms of the Tax Administration Act and with the help of the now fully active Common Reporting Standard (CRS).
SARS has already made amendments in preparation for the new foreign income tax law, including the following:
Apicella said that research provided by Treasury and SARS showed that the majority of South African passport holders and permanent residents have simply left the country without formalising their financial affairs.
This, of course, can have serious implications for the future, especially when it comes to your retirement.
“In some cases, individuals even indicated that they were unemployed on their tax returns while earning expatriate salaries,” she said.
While many expatriates may hope that SARS will drag their feet, the 2017/18 South African tax return already included targeted questions dealing with expatriate tax status, Apicella said.
There are already measures in place to start weeding out people who might try to cheat the system.
With laws changing and harsher measures being implemented to crack down on tax evaders, it’s tough to keep up with everything that you need to know to stay on top of your game.
Our suggestion? Partner up with an expert who can take the hassle out of your tax returns and emigration plans.
Galbraith | Rushby offer professional tax compliance and advisory services to individuals and businesses, and getting in touch with experts is probably the easiest way to file your tax returns and navigate the steps necessary to make the big career move to another country.
Given that SARS has made it clear that they’re not buggering around, it’s not worth the risk to run it alone.
Expert advice guarantees peace of mind, people.
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