NATIONAL BUDGET 2012/13

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1 NATIONAL BUDGET 2012/13 On 22 February 2012 the Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan delivered his National Budget Speech and announced the tax proposals for the forthcoming year as well as proposals which are being considered in future years. Personal Tax tables PERSONAL INCOME TAX The personal income tax tables have been adjusted to compensate for bracket creep. The maximum marginal rate of 40% is reached at taxable income of R (from R ). Direct personal income tax relief to individuals amounting to R9.5 billion is proposed. Personal tax tables (natural persons) Old: 2011/2012 tax year New: 2012/2013 tax year TAXABLE INCOME RATES OF TAX (R s) % of each R R % of the amount above R R % of the amount above R R % of the amount above R R % of the amount above R R % of the amount above R TAXABLE INCOME (R s) RATES OF TAX % of each R R % of the amount above R R % of the amount above R R % of the amount above R R % of the amount above R and above R % of the amount above R Rebates The primary rebate is increased to R per year (from R10 755), and The secondary rebate which applies to individuals aged 65 and over is increased to R6 390 per year (from R 6012); and The third rebate which applies to individuals aged 75 and over is increased to R2130 per year (from R2000)

2 2. Tax thresholds The threshold below which individuals are not liable for personal income tax is increased to: R (from R59 750) for individuals below age 65; and R (from R ) for individual from age 65 to 74; and R (from R ) for individuals age 75 and over 3. Capital Gains Tax (CGT) CGT inclusion rates for: individuals and special trusts has been increased to 33,3% ( maximum effective rate of 13,3%). This rate will apply to CGT on endowment products in a long term insurer s individual policyholder fund (IPF). all other persons has been increased to 66.6% Companies have an effective rate of 18.6%. This rate will apply to CGT on company owned endowment policies in the company policyholder fund (CPF) of a long term insurer Trusts will have an effective rate of 26.7%. However a trust which has natural person beneficiaries will participate in the IPF and will be taxed at the CGT rate applicable to individuals. The following exclusions have increased: Annual exclusion for individuals and special trusts - from R to R Exclusion on death - from R to R Disposal of primary residence - from R1,5 million to R2 million Maximum market value of Small business assets for over 55 s -from R5 million to R10 million Exclusion amount on disposal of a small business when person is over 55- from R to R 1,8 million 4. Interest exemption There was no change to the current interest exemption levels. The interest exemption for natural persons:- under 65 years of age remains at R per annum, and 65 years and older remains at R per year. Included in the exemption is the foreign interest exemption of up to R3700 per year. Foreign dividends received by individuals from foreign companies (shareholding of less than 10 per cent in the foreign company) will be taxable at a maximum effective rate of 15 per cent. (These were previously taxed at the maximum marginal rate) 5. No changes are proposed to Estate Duty, Donations tax and Transfer Duty

3 MEDICAL DEDUCTIONS CONVERTED TO MEDICAL TAX CREDITS National treasury is of the view that Medical tax credits are a more equitable form of relief than medical deductions because the relative value of the relief does not increase with higher income levels. 1. With effect from 1 March 2012 Income tax deductions for medical scheme contributions for taxpayers below 65 years will be converted into credits. Monthly tax credits will be increased from the proposed R216 to R230 for the first two beneficiaries and from the proposed R144 to R154 for each additional beneficiary. (apart from those with disabilities)where medical scheme contributions (in excess of four times the total allowable tax credits) plus (out-of-pocket medical expenses) exceed 7.5 per cent of taxable income, they can be claimed as a deduction against taxable income. Taxpayers 65 years and older, and those with disabilities or with disabled dependants, can currently claim all medical scheme contributions and out of- pocket medical expenses as a deduction against their taxable income. 2. With effect from 1 March 2014 Additional medical deductions will be converted into tax credits at a rate of 25 per cent for taxpayers aged below 65 years. Employer contributions to medical schemes on behalf of ex-employees will be deemed a taxable fringe benefit and such ex-employees will be able to claim the appropriate tax credits. The tax credits will, as from 1 March 2014, apply to all taxpayers. However, taxpayers 65 years and older and those with disabilities or disabled dependants will be able to convert all medical scheme contributions in excess of three times the total allowable tax credits plus out-of-pocket medical expenses into a tax credit of 33.3 per cent. The 7.5 per cent threshold will not apply in the case of taxpayers 65 years and older and those with disabilities or with disabled dependants. DIVIDEND WITHOLDING TAX AND FOREIGN DIVIDENDS 1. New rate The dividend withholding tax (DWT) will be implemented on 1 April 2012 at the rate of 15% and not 10 %, bringing an end to STC Pension funds are exempt from income tax, including DWT, and will receive their dividends tax free. For equity reasons it is proposed that the DWT will come into effect at 15 per cent five percentage points higher than the previous STC rate. The stated policy behind this is that Income from capital can be derived as interest income, dividends or capital gains, all of which should be taxed equitably. High-income individuals tend to receive a larger portion of their income in the form of dividends and capital gains. The higher rate will also help to reduce some of the revenue losses of switching to the new tax. The estimated net loss as a result of these changes will be R1.9 billion.

4 2. Collateral adjustments This new tax necessitates certain collateral adjustments, which includes: Foreign companies are taxed on domestic income at 33%, while domestic companies are subject to a 28 per cent rate plus a 10 per cent STC.. The additional 5 % compensated for the absence of STC on foreign companies. This charge will be dropped in light of the repeal of STC. Personal service providers are similarly subject to a 33 per cent rate, which will also be reduced to 28 per cent. STC credits were set to last for up to five years into the new regime. However, given the delayed implementation of the dividends tax (and the fact that the new regime has a higher rate), the transitional credit period will be reduced to three years. 3. Foreign Dividends Most foreign dividends received by individuals from foreign companies (shareholding of less than 10 per cent in the foreign company) will be taxable at a maximum effective rate of 15 per cent. 1. Mandatory statutory fund RETIREMENT FUND PROPOSALS It is proposed to establish a mandatory statutory fund to provide pensions, life insurance and disability benefits. The Minister has indicated that too few people save for their retirement. The introduction of contributions to a mandatory fund will address some of these problems The four main concerns are inadequate life savings, low levels of preservation on exits from employment, high fees and charges associated with pension, provident and retirement funds and low levels of annuitisation. Proposed reforms include mandatory preservation and portability, harmonisation of the tax treatment of contributions to retirement funds, reform of the annuities market and better incentives for saving. There will be consultation with trade unions, industry and other interested parties during Retirement fund contributions Employee deduction The Minister has proposed that contributions made by employers and employees to pension provident and retirement funds will be tax deductible in the hands of the individual employee and not the employer. Contribution limits Below age 45 years 22.5 per cent of the higher of the employment or taxable income- limited to a maximum of R Above age 45 years 27.5 per cent of the higher of the employment or taxable income-limited to a maximum of R A minimum monetary threshold of R will apply to low income earners. Contributions in excess of the threshold will be exempt on retirement when taken as either a lump sum or annuity. A rollover dispensation similar to the current retirement annuity contributions will be adopted to allow flexibility in contributions for those with fluctuating incomes.ie: contributions which were not deductible when contributed will be able to be carried over for later use. Contributions towards risk benefits and administration costs within retirement savings will be included in the maximum percentage allowable deduction

5 3. Vested rights, retirement payouts from provident funds and withdrawals Government proposes to limit retirement from provident funds to the one-third limit applicable to pension and retirement annuity funds. The implementation date for this is subject to consultations with trade unions and other interested parties, where vested rights will need to be discussed, but is likely to occur with effect from 1 March Job terminations in order to access retirement fund withdrawal benefits It is noted that employees often terminate employment for the sole purpose of gaining access to their retirement fund withdrawal benefit. Sometimes these employees are immediately rehired by the same employer shortly after. Steps will be taken to ensure that employees who terminate employment with the intention of gaining access to their retirement funds withdrawal benefits are precluded from doing so. 5. The Lump sum Retirement and withdrawal tables are unchanged 6. Taxation of payouts from South African or foreign retirement funds There are currently a number of anomalies in the source provisions relating to the tax treatment of lump sum and annuity payouts from South African or foreign retirement funds. An important factor is whether the services that relate to the payout were rendered in South Africa or elsewhere. The issue will receive due consideration during the course of 2012 and Taxation of divorce order-related retirement benefits The clean-break principle for divorcing spouses will be extended to the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF) and should roughly mirror private-sector funds. In the case of divorce orders issued on or after 13 September 2007, each individual spouse will be responsible for the tax on the portion that they receive. The transitional rules applicable to private-sector funds are extended to GEPF payouts, so that divorce awards made under orders issued prior to 13 September 2007 will not lead to any tax consequences for either spouse. Formula C, which preserves a public-sector fund member s right to a tax-free retirement benefit prior to 1 March 1998, will be extended to the non-member s portion of the pre-1 March 1998 interest. The proposed date of implementation is 1 March SOCIAL SECURITY 1. Health reform National Health Insurance (NHI) will be phased in over a 14 year period commencing in 2012/2013 in three phases. The first five years will focus on strengthening the public sector in preparation for the new system. Phasing in includes the financing and implementation of NHI. Over the medium term, general taxes will remain the primary financing mechanism for the public health system and national health insurance pilot projects. Over the longer term, new sources of financing will be required to fill the funding gap associated with improved access to more comprehensive health services. Funding options could include a payroll tax (payable by both employees and employers), a higher value-added tax (VAT) rate or a surcharge on taxable income, or some combination of these.

6 2. Grants and Social Security Funds Child support grants will increase from R265 to R280 per month. The old age and disability grants will increase from R1 140 to R1 200 per month with an additional R20 per month for persons older than 75 years. Child support grant: The grant will increase on 1 April 2012 from R265 per month to R280 per month. PRODUCTS AND FINANCIAL SERVICES 1. Tax incentivised discretionary savings product To encourage greater savings among South Africans, tax-preferred savings and investment accounts are proposed as alternatives to the current tax-free interest-income caps. This will encourage a new generation of savings products. With effect from 2014, government proposes that individuals will be permitted to save up to R a year with a lifetime limit of R in registered savings and investment products that would be free of tax on interest, CGT and dividends. The current tax free interest regime will be reviewed and possibly phased out. A discussion document will be published by May 2012 to facilitate consultation and refine these proposals. Product providers will be awaiting more detail of the consultation paper to assess the opportunities for product development. TAX COMPLIANCE AND ADMINISTRATION 1. Tax Ombud During 2012, South Africa will establish a dedicated ombud for tax matters. The office is intended to provide taxpayers with a low-cost mechanism to address administrative difficulties that cannot be resolved by SARS. 2. Voluntary disclosure programme By mid-february 2012, SARS had captured applications for relief, concluded agreements to the value of R941 million and collected R718 million in related tax. 3. Tax Administration Bill The Tax Administration Bill has been approved by Parliament and incorporates common administrative elements under the tax law. The Bill is expected to be promulgated and will be brought into force 2012.

7 EMPLOYER ARRANGEMENTS 1. Employee Share Schemes The various types of employee share schemes will be reviewed to eliminate loopholes and possible double taxation. 2. Determination of the value of fringe benefits In certain cases, the Income Tax Act prescribes the use of a formula to calculate the value of a fringe benefit to be taxed in the hands of the employee. However, in these cases, it is sometimes possible for the employer to determine or obtain the actual cost of providing the fringe benefit to the employee. To create a better match between the employees tax withheld and the tax calculation on assessment, it is proposed that where possible and practical, the employer be allowed to use actual cost to determine the value of the fringe benefit for the employee. 3. Employer-owned insurance intended to cover a contingent liability One unresolved issue which remains with the amendment to section 11(w) relates to the purpose for which genuine key person insurance is intended. Insurance to cover against operating losses due to the loss of an employee clearly should be deductible for an employer if desired. On the other hand, deducting premiums for insurance to purchase ownership interests of an employee-shareholder or to repay the allocation of debt (contingency liability plans) guaranteed by an employee-shareholder is questionable. The continued allowance of deductible premiums in these latter circumstances will be explored, along with other tax issues relating to this form of insurance. These issues will be resolved in 2012 or 2013 SMALL BUSINESS AND COMPANIES 1. Reducing small business compliance burden A small business with a turnover of less than R1 million per annum, currently has to file 18 returns per annum for turnover tax, VAT and employees tax. A combined form for all these taxes to be filed twice a year only from 1 March 2013 will be introduced. 2. Small business corporations To encourage the growth of small incorporated businesses, government proposes to increase the tax-free threshold for such firms for years of assessment ending on or after 1 April From R to R taxable income up to R will be taxed at 7 per cent (from 10 per cent); taxable income above R , will be taxed at the normal corporate tax rate of 28 per cent 3. Revised gambling tax A national gambling tax based on gross gambling revenue will be introduced from 1 April It will take the form of an additional 1 per cent national levy on a uniform provincial gambling tax base. A similar tax base will be used to tax the national lottery. 4. Other proposals affecting corporates Tax incentives for employers and developers constructing houses of less than R300, 000. Tax demarcation of debt funding versus equity funding to be reviewed to limit excessive debt. Direct and indirect debt funding to acquire a controlling interest in a company to be aligned.

8 NON RESIDENTS 1. Withholding tax on payments to non-resident investors Foreign investors are subject to withholding tax on royalties and dividends from a South African source, subject to Double Taxation Agreement (DTA) relief. With effect from 1 March 2013, interest accruing to these investors from a South African source will also be subject to withholding tax of 15 percent. 2. Financial services Government will eliminate the VAT zero-rating of interest earned on loans to non-residents to level the playing field. CONCLUSION The 2012 tax proposals are intended to support a sustainable fiscal framework, economic growth and a more competitive economy. Reforms are further intended to improve the fairness of the tax system, ensuring that income from capital is taxed more appropriately. Proposals are advanced to support small business, and to encourage household savings. Disclaimer: Please note that while care has been taken to ensure that the information provided in this publication is correct, it represents an overview of the topic under discussion and as such does not constitute advice. While Alexander Forbes Financial Planning Consultants have taken reasonable effort to ensure that the information contained herein is true and correct it will not be held liable in respect of any loss arising from any advice provided arising out of the contents of this circular.

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