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Industry News in 2014

Subordination agreements: the 8f trap by David Warneke, BDO South Africa

Date: 13 February 2014

Section 8F of the Income Tax Act, dealing with hybrid debt instruments was substituted by the Taxation Laws Amendment Act of 2013. In its substituted form the provision is considerably broader in scope than its predecessor. In particular it appears that certain subordination agreements may render the subordinated debt subject to reclassification as hybrid debt with potentially costly consequences. The new treatment applies to amounts incurred on or after 1 April 2014. Read More


Industry News in 2013

Know the facts before changing jobs

Date: 25 April 2013

Starting a new job may be an exciting prospect but carries certain risks that require proper inspection. Read More


Industry News in 2011

November MPC announcement predictions

Date: 9 November 2011

BDO's Wealth Advisory Managing Director, Allan Haynen gives his predictions for the MPC announcement. Read More


New VAT system has businesses tearing hair out

Date: 10 October 2011

New risk parameters set by the Receiver of Revenue are so stringent that the majority of value-added-tax returns are being queried, placing a heavy burden on business, a tax expert has cautioned. Read More


Memorandum of Incorporation - The facts

Date: 26 September 2011

The New Companies Act requires all companies to convert their existing Memorandum and Articles of Association to a Memorandum of Incorporation (MOI) Read More


Industry News in 2010

Long live the pensioner...

Listen to like companies and you'd think most pensioners are headed towards Skid Row rather than their golden years. It seems the problem is that pensioners are simply having too many of those golden years. Read More


New Companies Act to Come Into Force on 1 April 2011

Companies now have more time to plan and get their affairs in order, as the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) announced today the delay in the implementation of both the new Companies Act and the Consumer Protection Act. The proposed new effective date for the implementation of these Acts is the 1 April 2011. Read More


Warning of tax losses in new law on audits at small firms

Auditors say tax collections could be affected should the requirement for small businesses and private companies to be audited be removed in new company laws, writes Sancizia Temkin.

The debate intensified at the weekend as auditors raised concern about the financial competence of business advisers carrying out independent reviews on small businesses in the near future as the deadline for the new Companies Act looms.

Read More


Danger of new Companies Act leading to significant rise in fraud

Audits for small businesses will fall away and might result in corporate irregularities, such as theft and tax evasion, writes Sanchia Temkin

Auditors are concerned that impending company laws that will do away with audits for small business may lead to an increase in fraud and other corporate irregularities, such as theft and tax evasion.

Read More


Cheat the Tax Man? Beat him at his own game

Ifs a rare thing that an entrepreneur in the throes of establishing a new business would have the time or inclination to think of succession planning or estate planning, or even tax. But now may just be an opportune time to think of putting your assets into a trust. Read More


Industry News in 2009

Company home owners urged to use tax window

The South African Revenue Service recently proposed the introduction of a two-year tax window from January 1, 2010, during which people who hold their primary residences in close corporations or private companies can transfer the properties to an individual's name without incurring any liability for capital gains tax (CGT), dividend tax or transfer duty. Read More


For Every Door that Closes, Another Opens for BEE - 20 March 2009

Many of the black economic empowerment (BEE) deals struck in recent years after painstaking negotiations may have to be renegotiated – dealing a blow to the Department of Trade and Industry's goal for an unencumbered 25 percent of the economy to be in black hands by 2017, according to Werksmans Attorneys and auditors BDO Spencer Stewart. Read More


Executive Remuneration – will it recover to pre credit crunch levels?

The call by global and local governments' to cap executive salaries and to clamp down on bonuses – particularly those payable for 2008 when the credit crisis wiped billions of dollars off stock exchanges around the world – is set to change the nature of executive pay for ever. Read More


Creating a savings culture in South Africa now more critical than ever

One of the greatest challenges we face in South Africa is the lack of a savings culture. Currently only 4% of our population - or 1,8 million individuals - have positioned themselves to retire financially sound. The other 96 % are more likely to become a burden on the state when they reach retirement. Despite these shocking figures, Trevor Manuel has done little to actively encourage a culture of savings towards retirement. And Government's policy of taxing interest earned on savings is proving to be a disincentive to many. Read More


Internal Audit claims its rightful place in governance

The recently released draft King III Corporate Governance Report reinforces the need for internal audit (IA) in an organisation and gives further guidance on the nature of this function. "By giving recognition to the key role that IA plays in a business, King III elevates the function to where it should rightfully be – playing a pivotal role in the governance of a company" says Mark Dunn, BDO Spencer Steward director for risk management. "For too long, the role of IA has been understated, sometimes even viewed as a grudge cost to the company. However, it makes a vital contribution to the achievement of an organisation's strategic objectives. It does this through providing an effective challenge to all aspects of the governance, risk management and internal control environments in a business." Read More


2009 Budget

Last year, for the first time since 2004, tax revenues failed to meet expectations, falling R14,4 billion short of the R642,1 billion that was budgeted for a year ago. This was due to lower domestic consumption (with lower VAT revenues) and a dramatic fall in commodity prices and slowing economic growth. On a positive note, the increase in revenue SARS achieved last year is something virtually no other tax authority accomplished during the difficult economic times in 2008. The other good news was that the country's R787 billion infrastructure spending programme remains on track. Read More


Municipalities could fund infrastructure projects through property portfolios

As the credit crunch has amply demonstrated, some of the biggest risks are also some of the most obvious. In SA, the risk posed by public sector mismanagement is well-known but seldom addressed with any intensity. Read More


Budget fails to change the status quo

The government has once again missed the opportunity to make those strategic changes necessary to set the South African economy on a long-term sustainable growth trajectory – incentives for foreign direct investment (FDI), allowances to increase the savings rate of South Africans, and accountability by government to improve efficiency of how it spends taxpayers' money. Read More


SA to Post First GDP Deficit in Three Years

The global credit crunch and the local economic slowdown and lower tax collections is expected to wipe more than R45 billion off Government's balance sheet in 2008/09 tax year and will result in South Africa posting a GDP deficit for the first time in 3 years. Read More


Call on Manuel to Introduce Tax Incentives to Attract Much Needed FDI

Despite the fact that commentators are expecting that up to R45 billion will be wiped off Government's balance sheet in 2008/09 tax year, and that a GDP deficit will be presented at Manuel's budget speech, industry is calling for Trevor Manuel to use this budget to kick-start the economy. Read More


BDO Calls on Manuel to Introduce Tax Incentives to Encourage Greater Private Sector Participation in the Education of South Africa's Youth

The latest tranche of matric results has reinforced the overwhelming challenge that Government faces if it is to position itself to provide a quality education to all South Africans, an education that will provide every school leaver with an equal chance to actively participate in the country's economy in years to come. Read More


Tax on Savings to be Abolished - BDO

One of the greatest challenges we face in South Africa is the lack of a savings culture. Currently only 4% of our population - or 1,8 million individuals - have positioned themselves to retire financially sound. The other 96 % of South African's are more likely to become a burden on the state when they reach retirement. Despite these shocking figures, government is doing little to actively encourage savings. And its policy of taxing interest earned on savings is proving to be a disincentive to many. Read More


Convincing employees of the “benefits” of employee benefits

The next generation of employees is proving a handful for many companies. Fiercely independent and accustomed to making their own financial decisions, their focus is on the bottom line – instant gratification – as opposed to planning for the long-term. Cindy Wilson, director of BDO Spencer Steward Employee Benefits (Gauteng), explains ... Read More


Investing in resources: still such a good bet?

South Africa's history is inextricably linked to her mineral wealth, with today's JSE first being established during the goldrush era of the 19th century. Despite the volatility and sensitivity of international and local markets during recent months, the mining and resource sector has remained relatively insulated from the global fallout. Ursula van Eck, auditing director at BDO Spencer Steward, maintains however, that while there are no visible signs ... Read More


Make picket fences part of your portfolio

As a woman your investment portfolio plays a vital role in establishing your financial independence and creating financial freedom in your later years. With everyone from your personal trainer to your mother in-law giving you advice about how best to spend your money, Di Seccombe, senior tax consultant at BDO Spencer Steward (Cape) Inc., suggests that picket fences not only make good neighbours, but also very shrewd investments – and should definitely be a part of your portfolio… Read More


Industry News in 2008

The Auditor's Dilemma: light at the end of the tunnel?

Auditing which has been around for hundreds of years, has become ever more sophisticated, but has struggled to keep pace with the growth of complicated multinational companies and technology. Read More


The foxy economy

Clem Sunter berates business schools and urges inflexible, self-involved businesses to look to their nimble, entrepreneurial roots to survive the economic crisis. Read More


Employee benefits: assist staff, don't assume knowledge

With South African consumers coming under increasing economic pressure, many employees are questioning the real need for salary deductions such as provident funds. To ensure that its employees ... Read More


BDO Spencer Steward: helping clients understand property transaction tax implications

Date: 10 November 2008

Acquiring property generally involves three types of transactions, namely property investment, development and trading. Di Seccombe, senior consultant at BDO Spencer Steward Cape, discusses the tax implications of each. Read More


Investing: responsible advice linked to client understanding

Responsible investment is directly linked to the advice and guidance provided by financial advisors. It is therefore important that investment specialists understand their clients and their investment needs. So says Allan Heynen, director of financial services at BDO Spencer Steward. Read More


Your retirement: following the golden goose or creating a golden egg?

With a plethora of retirement products and options to choose from, perhaps the most challenging aspect of planning for these critical years is recognising that your retirement package cannot and should not resemble everyone else's. Read More


New retirement tax-free allowances: do the maths

1 October 2007 saw the first change in the taxing of lump sum withdrawals from retirement funds that South Africa has seen in the last twenty years. While it generated much excitement thanks to its increased tax-free allowances, Allan Heynen, director: BDO Spencer Steward Financial Services, says ... Read More


The Companies Bill: a challenge and opportunity

The Companies Bill, due to be enacted into legislation by 2010, requires all public companies to have their annual financial statements audited. In the case of private companies, the Minister will issue regulations prescribing which categories of private companies require audits. Private companies that fall outside of these regulations may choose to have an audit or an independent review. Until the Minister issues his regulations it remains uncertain exactly which private companies will have to be audited. Ian Scott, head of marketing business development at BDO Spencer Steward, believes there are many advantages to an audit as this means figures can be relied on by users such as banks, investors and so forth to make informed decisions… Read More


Improved tax benefits for foreign employees = more skills

Offering comprehensive tax incentives to inbound expats could significantly increase our skills base, says Kemp Munnik, director at BDO Spencer Steward Tax Services. Read More


BDO Spencer Steward partners with SARS to enable employers

It is critical that all employers know how to complete their PAYE returns accurately and timeously, especially now that all IRP5s have to be submitted electronically to SARS, says Marty Santana, associate tax director at BDO Spencer Steward. Read More


BDO Spencer Steward: managing client greed - Graham Earle

Client greed: something that cannot be regulated or controlled, but rather has to be strategically and proactively managed on an ongoing basis. Graham Earle, tax director: BDO Spencer Steward (KZN) Inc. maintains that client expectations need to be kept realistic and focused from the outset. If financial advisers fail to take this approach they stand the risk of eroding a client's capital base – and losing all professional credibility… Read More


Quo Vadis Financial Reporting and Audits

Auditing which has been around for hundreds of years, has become ever more sophisticated, but has struggled to keep pace with the growth of complicated multinational companies and technology. Read More


Your company audit – no replacement for risk management

The undertaking of a statutory audit does not preclude the need for a company to ensure they have a comprehensive risk management process in place according to Ursula van Eck, partner: BDO Spencer Steward. This makes new “risk management” legislation in the Companies Act exceptionally good news both for auditing firms and the businesses they audit. “While auditing will assist companies to identify potential areas of risk, the primary role of an auditor is to ensure that the financial statements of a company are representative of the company's financial position at a specific time. Read More


Call for change in the audit market

The accounting world is currently dominated by the Big Four, who audit the world's biggest companies. Those involved, including the financial press, argue that “big is better” and a safe choice which cannot be criticised by shareholders. Read More


Identity management: collaborative and continuous

We all like to think of ourselves as individuals – unique, one of a kind. With identity fraud on the increase, however, unless you safeguard your company's financial information religiously, you're bound to discover a whole new team of invisible employees who love using the company credit card. Worse still, give an identity fraudster access to company information and you might suddenly find competitors benefiting from highly “confidential” data. Mark Dunn, director of risk management: BDO Spencer Steward, explains that putting a comprehensive identity and access management strategy in place is thus critical for any business… Read More


Adapt tax policy. Enable expatriate assignments

As more businesses pursue opportunities around the globe, companies increasingly have to revisit their expatriate programmes both in terms of cost-efficiency and tax compliance. Kemp Munnik, director: BDO Spencer Steward Tax Services, explains that putting a standard tax policy in place is one of the best ways of reducing a company's expenditure on expatriate programmes. Given the trends in international assignments however, companies would do well to revisit this policy regularly, allowing a certain amount of flexibility. Read More


The Durban economy: more than sandcastles and shipping

While Johannesburg and Cape Town typically command most of South Africa's attention when it comes to discussions around the economy, Mark Stewart, managing director: BDO Spencer Steward (KZN) Inc. maintains that Durban's local economy is one that cannot be ignored. Less panicked by economic fluctuations, this burgeoning city has the potential to become one of the showcase cities of both South Africa and the continent. Read More


Ladies first: empowering your SME to succeed

Are you a woman with an incredible idea on which you want to base your own business? According to Ursula Van Eck, partner: BDO Spencer Steward, your time is now. It's all about how you empower yourself to succeed… Read More


Cape Town: finding the financial potential

Cape Town – typically associated with holidays and Table Mountain as opposed to business. Imtiaaz Hashim, director: corporate finance, BDO Spencer Steward (Cape) Inc, maintains however that the Cape market is not only buoyant, but holds significant business opportunities despite the jittery global economy – provided you know where to look… Read More


Avert retirement panic: plan

When you eventually walk out of your office or business at the age of 60 or 65, will you be financially ready for what lies ahead? Allan Heynen, director at BDO Spencer Steward Financial Services, says that whether you're just starting your working career or coming to the end of it, the best way to avert retirement finance panic is to plan - no matter the state of the economy or markets. Read More


Greenhouse Gas Advisory Services

Toronto, April 9: In a new initiative, BDO Dunwoody LLP (“BDO”) announces that it intends to become “carbon neutral” in its operations within five years. BDO is the first national accounting firm to declare its goal on this sensitive environmental issue. Read More


No fireworks

BDO Spencer Steward Tax Services is not expecting any fireworks in the 2008 budget. The provisions on preliminary taxation could also be changed to come down on companies who abuse the framework of the Tax Act to pay less tax... Read More


No surprises for Budget 2008

“As there were quite a number of big surprises in last year's budget, I'm not expecting any surprises in this year's budget”, Kemp Munnik, director, BDO Spencer Steward Tax Services... Read More


Not many changes expected in this year's budget

With the 2008/9 budget in mind, David Honeyball, director at BDO Spencer Steward (Cape) Inc in Port Elizabeth, is not anticipating many changes in taxation. Read More


Straightening up of budget

Graham Earle, Director at BDO Spencer Steward (KZN) Inc, gives his thoughts on the upcoming budget. Read More


Industry News in 2007

The National Credit Act

Read about how this act brings into existence the National Credit Regulator (NCR) which is responsible for the regulation of the consumer credit industry. Read More


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