Below, please find issue 58 of ENSafrica's tax in brief, a snapshot of the latest tax developments in South Africa.


  • Tax Court of South Africa I ABC Bank Limited v Commissioner for the South African Revenue Service SARSTC VAT 1904 [2020] (26 November 2020)
    • The appellant claimed a deduction under section 16(3)(c) of the VAT Act, 1991 (the "VAT Act") for their unsecured lending business in which they would, upon the retrenchment or death of their clients, settle their outstanding loans up to a specified amount.
    • ABC does not charge any fees for the loan cover but does charge an initiation fee, service fees and interest.
    • The South African Revenue Service ("SARS") contends that the loan cover payments do not qualify for an input tax deduction in terms of section 16(3)(c) of the VAT Act because the supply of the loan cover did not constitute a "taxable supply" in that: (1) the loan cover was provided for no "consideration" and accordingly the supply of the loan cover had no "value", and (2) the loan cover constituted, alternatively was in respect of, an exempt supply.
    • The court had to determine whether the loan cover is a "taxable supply" as required by section 16(3)(c) of the VAT Act.
    • The court held that the fact that the supply of the loan cover is not charged for in a separate fee would not disqualify it from being a taxable supply.
    • Furthermore, because the supply of loan cover advances the entire business of advancing credit and this includes a taxable supply, the loan cover advances a taxable supply for consideration.
    • The requirements of section 16(3)(c) of the Vat Act are thus satisfied and ABC qualifies for the deduction provided for therein.
    • Find a copy of this judgment here.
  • Medtronic International Trading SARL v CSARS (33400/2019) [2020] ZAGPPHC (15 February 2021)
    • The applicant seeks to review two decisions taken by the respondent, SARS, in terms of the Promotion of Administration of Justice Act, 2000 ("PAJA"), alternatively on the principle of legality, the common law and section 33 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa.
    • This review essentially involves two interrelated decisions, the first being the review of the decision taken by the respondent refusing to consider the applicant's request for remission in terms of section 39(7)(a) of the VAT Act. Additionally, the decision not to withdraw such aforesaid decision in terms of section 9 of the Tax Administration Act.
    • The court held that the applicant has shown that the impugned decisions taken by the respondent were pertinently swayed by errors in law, they were not authorised by any empowering provision and lastly important considerations were not considered whilst irrelevant considerations were.
    • The applicant thus succeeded in demonstrating grounds for the review and setting aside of the decisions made by the respondent in terms of PAJA.
    • Find a copy of this judgment here.


  • Draft Notice on amounts for purposes of definition of retirement annuity funds
    • Due for comment 31 March 2021.
    • Find a copy of the Notice here.
  • Draft Notice on UIF remuneration limits
    • Due for comment 31 March 2021.
    • Find a copy of the Notice here.
  • Draft Rates and Monetary Amounts and Amendment of Revenue Laws Bill
    • Due for comment 31 March 2021.
    • Find a copy of the Bill here.


  • SARS published General Note 16 (Issue 2) which is a replacement of the content of the original General Note 16 and all its addenda.
    • It concerns Commutation of Small Annuities.
    • Find a copy of the general note here.
  • SARS offices have opened on 17 February 2021
    • SARS has re-opened its branch offices to serve the public.
    • Bookings can only be made via the SARS website or the SARS MobiApp.
    • All virtual bookings via the SARS site will continue to be honoured via a virtual engagement (MS Teams or telephonic engagement).
    • The SARS Contact Centre will continue to service any queries from members of the public.
    • All South African Ports of Entry manned by SARS customs officials will continue to operate during this lockdown period.
    • COVID-19 protocols must be followed in all SARS buildings.
  • SARS published the Estate Duty implications on key man policies external guide
  • SARS published Public notice 101 in terms of section 25(7) of the Tax Administration Act, 2011 ("TAA") extending the deadline to file Country-by-Country Report returns by persons as specified in the notice
  • SARS published tender documents in respect of request for proposal (RFP) 26/2020: Appointment of a Qualified Service Provider for the Provision of Auctioneer Services for SARS Nationally
    • Find a link to the documents here.
    • SARS published an updated list of tender bids received.
    • Find a copy here.
  • SARS published the 2021 National Budget and associated documentation
  • SARS published an Income Tax Notice | Determination of the daily amount in respect of meals and incidental costs for purposes of section 8(1) of the Income Tax Act, 1962 ("ITA")
    • Find a copy of the Notice here.
  • SARS published an updated Employers Guide to the Third Party Appointment Process
  • SARS published the trade statistics for January 2021

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