Tekkiebelasting…vir ‘n goeie doel!
August 4, 2016
ASL celebrates Mandela Day
August 4, 2016

Trusts – Voorgestelde wetswysiging

Die Nasionale Tesourie en die Suid-Afrikaanse Inkomstediens (SAID) het die 2016-konsepbelastingwetswysigings op 8 Julie 2016 vrygestel. Dit bevat radikale voorgestelde wysigings van toepassing op trusts, veral indien daar rentevrye lenings is.

Daar is die afgelope twee jaar baie in die media bespiegel oor moontlike wysigings aan trustwetgewing, veral wat betref die belasbaarheid van inkomste in die trust en die deurvloei van inkomste na trustbegunstigdes.

Tradisioneel word die bates van ‘n persoon aan ‘n trust oorgedra op veral die volgende wyses:

  1. Die persoon skenk die bates aan die trust en betaal 20% skenkingsbelasting op sodanige skenking. Die inkomste van die trust kan dan egter kragtens artikels 7(3) tot 7(8) van die Inkomstebelastingwet, geag word in die hande van die skenker belasbaar te wees; of
  2. Die persoon verkoop die bates aan die trust en daar ontstaan ‘n leningsrekening waarop rente teen ‘n markverwante koers gehef word. In hierdie geval word die persoon op die rente-inkomste belas terwyl die trust die rente wat betaal is as ‘n aftrekking vir belastingdoeleindes kan eis; of
  3. Die persoon verkoop die bates aan die trust en daar onstaan ‘n leningsrekening waarop geen rente gehef word nie, of rente wél gehef word maar nie teen ‘n markverwante koers nie.

Die laaste opsie het sekere skenkingsbelasting- en boedelbelastingvoordele vir die persoon wat op hierdie wyse bates aan ‘n trust oordra.  Dit is juis hierdie situasie wat die voorgestelde instelling van artikel 7(C) in die Inkomstebelastingwet wil aanspreek.  Verder sal die rente wat geag word in die leninggewer se hande belasbaar te wees, ook nie kwalifiseer vir die artikel 10(1)(i)-rentevrystelling nie.

Die voorgestelde wetswysigings bepaal verder dat, sou die leninggewer nie die geagte rente op die lening binne ‘n periode van drie jaar van die trust verhaal nie, die rentebedrag geag word ‘n skenking te wees waarop 20% skenkingsbelasting gehef sal word.  Hierdie geagte skenking sal verder ook nie kwalifiseer vir die jaarlikse vrystelling (tans R100 000) van skenkingsbelasting nie.

Uit die aard van die saak sal die voorgestelde wysigings ‘n wesenlike invloed  op die meeste trusts hê. Kommentaar op die konsepwetgewing moet teen 8 Augustus 2016 by die Tesourie ingedien word waarna die wysigings gefinaliseer sal word.  Dit is dus moeilik om nou al behoorlik die effek van die voorgestelde wetswysigings op trusts te kwantifiseer en stappe te oorweeg om die hierdie effek tot die minimum te beperk.

Die voorgestelde wysigings behoort eers met ingang 1 Maart 2017 in werking te tree.  Alhoewel daar dus nie baie tyd sal wees om ‘n trust met ‘n rentevrye lening of lenings te herstruktureer nie, sal dit steeds moontlik wees voor die inwerkingtreding van die wetswysigings.

Ons sal u op hoogte hou van die vordering met die implementering van die voorgestelde  artikel 7(C). Indien u in die tussentyd die bogenoemde risiko’s vir bestaande strukture so belastingeffektief moontlik wil bestuur met die oog op 1 Maart 2017, is u welkom om u verhoudingsdirekteur te kontak of vir Pieter Aucamp by pieter@asl.co.za

 

Trusts – Proposed law amendment

The National Treasury and the South African Revenue Service (SARS) released the 2016 draft taxation laws amendments on 8 July 2016. They include radical proposed amendments applicable to trusts, especially if tax free loans are involved.

In the last two years there has been much speculation in the media about possible amendments to trust legislation, especially as regards the taxability of income in the trust and the flow of income to trust beneficiaries.

Traditionally the assets of a person are transferred to a trust chiefly in the following ways:

  1. The person donates the assets to the trust and pays 20% donations tax on such donation. The income from the trust can, however, in terms of articles 7(3) to 7(8) of the Income Tax Act, then be deemed to be taxable in the hands of the donor; or
  2. The person sells the assets to the trust and a loan account then comes into existence, on which interest is charged at a market-related rate. In this case the person is taxed on the rental income while the trust can claim the interest paid as a deduction for income tax purposes.
  3. The person sells the assets to the trust and a loan account comes into existence on which either no interest is charged, or interest is charged but not at a market-related rate.

The last option has certain advantages in terms of donations tax and estate duty for the person who transfers assets to a trust in this way. It is precisely this situation that the proposed introduction of section 7(C) in the Income Tax Act seeks to address.  Furthermore, the interest deemed to be taxable in the hands of the grantor of the loan, will also not qualify for the interest exemption provided for in section 10(1)(i).

The proposed law amendments further determine that, should the grantor of the loan not recover the deemed interest on the loan from the trust within a period of three years, the interest amount will be deemed a donation on which donations tax of 20% will be levied. This deemed donation will also not qualify for the annual exemption (currently R100 000) from donations tax.

Naturally the proposed amendments will have a material influence on most trusts. Commentary on the draft legislation must be submitted to Treasury by 8 August 2016 after which date the amendments will be finalised. It is therefore difficult to already properly quantify the effect of the proposed law amendments and to consider steps to limit the effect to a minimum.

The proposed amendments are likely to come into effect only as from 1 March 2017. While this does not leave much time to restructure a trust with an interest free loan or loans, it is still possible to do so before the commencement of the law amendments.

We shall keep you informed of progress with the implementation of the proposed section 7(C). Should you, in the meantime, wish to manage the above risks for existing structures as tax-efficiently as possible with a view to 1 March 2017, you are welcome to contact your relationship director, or Pieter Aucamp at  pieter@asl.co.za