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Wessels & Van Zyl Attorneys Newsletter     |    August 2014
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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A Game Of Homes – Sea View Wars
A recent Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) judgment underlines once again the need to properly record any and all agreements relating to your property.

Sea views and servitudes: Neighbours at war
  • Cape Town (Bantry Bay) neighbours - let’s call them A and B - whose houses “enjoy spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean which contribute significantly to their huge value” came to blows when A (the neighbour in front of B), started building without municipal plan approval and in breach of restrictive title deed conditions and zoning scheme requirements.
  • At a “settlement” meeting, B agreed not to object to the planning applications for departure and title deed amendments that A needed.
  • According to B . . .
 
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Directors: Your New Risk Of Personal Liability For Pension Contributions
“Corporation: An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility” (P.T. Barnum)

All too often employees of a cash-strapped business only find out too late (when the business finally fails and is liquidated) that management has been deducting pension fund contributions from their earnings and not paying them over to the pension fund.  The losers of course are the employees, whose pension benefits are often seriously prejudiced.  

And until now, where the employer was a company or other corporate entity, employees had no easy recourse against management personally.  They were left with a claim (probably a worthless one) against the company itself as the actual employer.

That has all changed with new legislation which exposes directors . . .
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Liar Liar! Employers: Can You Use A Polygraph?
“…..the respectability of polygraph evidence, at best, remains an open question” (extract from Labour Appeal Court judgment below)

Many employers are confused as to whether or not our labour laws allow you to use “lie detector” testing in disciplinary investigations and/or other processes like selecting suitable candidates for promotion.  

In a nutshell, the answer is that our courts seem generally prepared to take polygraph test results into account in determining the probabilities of any investigation, but with important provisos . . .
 
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Tax Time – Your 2014 Deadlines
Tax Season has started for the tax year 1 March 2013 to 28 February 2014, and your personal income tax return (ITR12) deadlines are –  
  • By post or dropping it off in a SARS drop box – 26 September 2014 or
  • Electronically at a SARS branch (provisional and non-provisional taxpayers) – 21 November 2014 or
  • Non-provisional taxpayers who use eFiling – 21 November 2014 or
  • Provisional taxpayers who use eFiling – 30 January 2015.
Company income tax returns (ITR14s) must be submitted within 12 months after the end of the financial year.

Note that only a registered tax practitioner may submit returns on your behalf.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Employers, Employees: Note The New Earnings Thresholds
Overtime limits and pay, working hours regulation, meal intervals, rest periods, night, Sunday and Public Holiday work – these are some of the basic protections and benefits in terms of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA) which don’t apply to employees whose earnings exceed a specified threshold.

From 1 July that threshold increased to R205,433-30 p.a. (from R193,805-00) - but note that some of these benefits don’t apply to certain classes of employee (senior management, some sales staff, and employees working less than 24 hours a month) regardless of earnings, nor in certain circumstances – take advice in need.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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The August Website: Entrepreneurs And The Silver Bullet
“Silver Bullet, noun: A simple and seemingly magical solution to a complicated problem” (Oxford Dictionaries)

We all dream of finding one simple piece of advice that will magically deliver business success, but of course it’s a lot more complicated than that.  

As Entrepreneur Magazine points out in its article “There Is No Magic Formula for Small-Business Success -- Only This” (on its website at http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/234924) your foundation for success is always going to be hard work and experience.
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Disclaimer

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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