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MARCH 2015 NEWSLETTER
You and Budget 2015
This budget has attracted more attention than is usual due to –
  • It being Minister Nene’s first budget, and 

  • It will give a good indication as to just how serious the government is about reining in debt. Ratings agencies have indicated that without a commitment to reducing debt South Africa’s national debt could attract junk status. 
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Treasury Tax Free Savings Accounts Launching 1 March: A Good Deal? 
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The Treasury department has been encouraging individuals to save more for several years and is following up on this by launching tax free savings accounts (TFSAs) on 1 March this year.
 
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PAIA – Remember The December Deadline 
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Certain Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises were given until the end of 2015 to submit a PAIA manual in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act. This is a reminder not to forget to submit the manual to the South African Human Rights Commission. As this is a relatively simple process, there is a small cost of compliance for business.
 
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Retirement Reforms Postponed: What You Should Do Now  
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There has been a considerable media spotlight on government’s intention to reform retirement funding. This has now been postponed as there is no agreement on proposals.  

It is worth taking advice on maximising your contributions in the meantime. The thrust of government’s approach is to limit the taxable amount of contributions that can be made to retirement funding which will effectively penalise high net worth individuals.
 
Cyber Crime: Beware The New Database Hijacking Threat! 
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We have warned before on the continuing rise in cyber crime (see for example November 2014’s CA(SA)DotNews) and it is now taking on a particularly sinister turn. Recent media reports refer to organised crime syndicates hijacking companies’ databases and demanding ransom for the return of the database. This happened for example at Target, one of the United States’ largest retailers, last year. 

Experts have no doubt that this has already begun happening in South Africa, so be proactive and ensure your systems are as robust as possible. 
 
Class Action Litigation – The Door Opens  
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Class action suits are seen as a way to give poorer communities access to justice by making it relatively easy and cost effective to sue large companies and government. The United States makes extensive use of class action suits.
 
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The information provided herein should not be used or relied on as professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your professional adviser for specific and detailed advice.

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