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Is the additional 5% section 13sex allowance only applicable to improvements?

15 April 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Author: SAIT Technical
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Author: SAIT Technical

Q: Section 13 sex provides for an allowance equal to 5% of the cost of new or unused residential units or improvements. Then the further 5% is allowed for units that qualify under the "low-cost residential unit” definition.

What we are unsure about is whether the additional 5% for low-cost housing would also apply to only improvements. So i.e. the apartment itself qualifies according to "low-cost residential unit” definition, but is purchased second hand. Improvements are then done by the taxpayer for which he would want to claim 10% of the cost of the improvements.

Would this be allowed?

Also, in applying the definition of "low-cost residential unit”, would one include the cost of improvements made (for which you are claiming the 5%)?

And would the 10% increase rule (for purposes of determining the rental factor) be calculated from the date that the taxpayer purchased the property, even though it was not new and unused at time of purchase?

A: Section 13sex(1) specifically refers to "...the cost to the taxpayer of any new and unused residential unit (or of any new and unused improvement to a residential unit) owned by the taxpayer...”  Section 13sex(2) then allows to be deducted from the income of the taxpayer an additional allowance of five per cent of the cost of a low-cost residential unit of a taxpayer for a year of assessment if deductions are allowable to that taxpayer in respect of that unit in terms of subsection (1) during that year of assessment.

From that it is clear that the allowance (both) is available in respect of any new and unused improvement if the residential unit is a low-cost residential unit.  It is defined (in section 1(1)) as follows:

‘low-cost residential unit’ means—

(a) an apartment qualifying as a residential unit in a building located within the Republic, where—

(i) the cost of the apartment does not exceed R350 000; and

(ii) the owner of the apartment does not charge a monthly rental in respect of that apartment that exceeds one per cent of the cost; or

(b) a building qualifying as a residential unit located within the Republic, where—

(i) the cost of the building does not exceed R300 000; and

(ii) the owner of the building does not charge a monthly rental in respect of that building that exceeds one per cent of the cost contemplated in subparagraph (i) plus a proportionate share of the cost of the land and the bulk infrastructure:

Provided that for the purposes of paragraphs (a) (ii) and (b) (ii), the cost is deemed to be increased by 10 per cent in each year succeeding the year in which the apartment or building is first brought into use;

We submit that the cost of the unit would in fact include the cost of the improvement. 

As can be seen from the proviso, the 10% increase applies from the year the building (improvements in this instance) is first brought in use. 

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. 


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