With the world focused on BEPS (base erosion and profit shifting), the question arises whether there are likely to be any indications in the imminent medium term budget policy speech (MTBPS) of how South Africa is likely to act in relation to this issue. It is a specific focus area of the Davis Committee which is looking into various aspects of the South African tax policy.
The difficulty of grappling with the topic of BEPS is that it is important that South Africa should not commit itself to any fundamental changes before it is clear that they are going to be embraced widely within the global community of countries. However, there are certain changes to our domestic tax laws that could be considered.
Perhaps the most tangible aspect of the whole BEPS topic is the issue of the digital economy - and how services (and even goods) can now be traded via the internet. This new way of doing business was not envisaged at the time when basic international tax principles were developed.
Section 240A of the Tax Administration Act, 2011 (as amended) requires that all tax practitioners register with a recognized controlling body before 1 July 2013. It is a criminal offense to not register with both a recognized controlling body and SARS.