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Is the provision of graphic designer services considered a professional service?

23 January 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Author: SAIT Technical
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Author: SAIT Technical

Q: I have a client that is interested in registering for turnover tax. My client works as a graphic designer; would his services be considered professional services for turnover tax purposes? 

A: The interpretation of this definition is problematic as is the similar provision in s12E of the Income Tax Act which refers to personal service with the same exclusions. This is a government policy exclusion of "professional” rather than layman’s trades (e.g. hairdressing, fitter & turner etcetera) and in Interpretation Note 9 (issue 5) on section 12E it states that each of these entries must be construed in its widest meaning which is supported by the use of the word "field” to describe this wide meaning. So any trade that would fit within the field of the listed trades will be excluded. For example tax practitioner is not listed but is does fall within the fields of law, accounting and consulting and would therefore be excluded. In our view graphic designer would fall under the fields of either architecture or consulting.

Disclaimer: Nothing in this query and answer should be construed as constituting tax advice or a tax opinion. An expert should be consulted for advice based on the facts and circumstances of each transaction/case. Even though great care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the answer, SAIT do not accept any responsibility for consequences of decisions taken based on this query and answer. It remains your own responsibility to consult the relevant primary resources when taking a decision.  


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.


The Act requires that a minimum academic and practical requirments be set to register with a controlling body. Click here for the minimum requirements of SAIT.

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