To promote the competitiveness and development of our economy, the new Companies Act (the Act) has introduced a number of new regulatory bodies. These deal with the categorisation of companies and the registration process, safeguards for the rights of minority shareholders, the codification of the previous common law duties of directors, and various other matters.
With the promulgation of the new Companies Act and in particular chapter 6, which deals with business rescue (BR), a new era has been introduced. Business rescue refers to proceedings to facilitate the rehabilitation of a company that is financially distressed, with the aim of maximising its chances of continuing to exist as a solvent business.
Tax season is officially open, and many taxpayers are reaching for their computers and filing their tax returns. That’s how seemingly easy the process has become, thanks to e-filing. But don’t be lulled into thinking that filing your return has become a no-brainer, says Dirk Kotze, Tax Partner at global audit, tax and advisory firm Mazars.
Government Gazette no. 35090 (the Gazette), issued on the 29 February 2012, has fundamentally changed the access the South African Revenue Services (SARS) has to every person’s bank account information.
In March of this year, Mazars won the International Accounting Bulletin (IAB) “Audit Innovation of the Year Award” in London, for its Human Rights and Audit Practice.
Mazars was selected as the winner for taking the lead in assessing clients against the Mazars Indicators, developed to measure compliance within companies, in relation to their human rights and social compliance practices.
1 May 2011 saw the South African corporate landscape change with the implementation of the new Companies Act, No 71 of 2008 (the Act). The Act introduced a number of changes including the introduction of the Memorandum of Incorporation (MoI) and the concept of alterable provisions.
Sophisticated investors commit increasingly more of their portfolios to alternative investments and the changes to Regulation 28 of the Pension Funds Act allows increased portfolio allocation to hedge funds subject to proper due diligence. There is an increased need for hedge funds to adopt robust risk management frameworks, controls and business practices.
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SARS has always had the power to raise additional or estimated assessments if they believed that taxpayers had made errors on returns or neglected to render returns that were due. Now, however, the Receiver is also raising assessments if taxpayers fail to provide information the Receiver has asked for within specific deadlines.
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The background to the regulation of tax practitioners spans more than a decade but seems to finally have found a home in the Tax Administration Act (‘TAA’) promulgated during 2012.
As early as 2002, the South African Revenue Services (SARS) issued a discussion document regarding the regulation of tax practitioners, citing various examples and cases of the concept from other countries. This was followed by the introduction of section 67A into the Income Tax Act in 2004, setting out who tax practitioners are and how they should register with SARS to be able to continue rendering their services.
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The ‘prescribed officer’ is a concept created by the new Companies Act, with the aim of including in the scope of the Act anyone who fulfills the role of a director but who is operating – whether intentionally or otherwise ̶ under a different designation.
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