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February 2016 NEWSLETTER
Employers: How To Avoid Expensive Employee Recruitment Mistakes And Improve Productivity
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” (Benjamin Franklin

In South Africa it can be difficult to dismiss employees due to our inflexible labour laws. This makes firing employees a potentially expensive and time consuming exercise, which tends to put the business on a defensive footing and distracts it from performing its core functions.

Prevention being better than cure, having well-thought-out recruitment procedures is thus an important issue for any business.

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A New Tax: What Sort Of Footprint Will The Carbon Tax Leave? 
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Government is looking to spread its revenue base and from 2017 will almost certainly introduce the much debated Carbon Tax.

South Africa is one of the world’s worst offenders when it comes to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions due to our relying on coal fired power stations and large scale mining. On the plus side South Africa has become an enthusiastic participant when it comes to mitigating climate change and has committed to reducing GHG by 34% by 2020.
 
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Our Economy In 2016 –Trends To Look Out For 
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Last year was a difficult year with low economic growth, a declining currency, an increasing budget deficit and a substantial trade shortfall. The shock firing of Finance Minister Nene in December threatened to put the country into a downward economic spiral. The reappointment of Pravin Gordhan as Minister of Finance partially restored credibility to this crucial post. However, it has left South Africa entering 2016 with record currency lows, a need to re-establish fiscal discipline and restore confidence with our (mainly off-shore) creditors and investors.
 
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Tax Update 1: Disputes Can Now Be Lodged Via eFiling 
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As part of the process of improving customer service, SARS have added a new facility to eFiling.

Taxpayers can now:
  • Lodge a dispute
  • Request suspension of payment
  • Request  remission of interest and penalties (RFR)
These processes can also be carried out electronically at a SARS branch.
 
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Tax Update 2: Use The Correction Facility On eFiling  
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Don’t forget the Correction function on eFiling. This allows taxpayers to correct errors made in income tax and VAT submissions (you can only use the VAT Correction tab for understatements or overstatements). If you realise a mistake has been made, it pays to correct it. This should improve communications with SARS – if SARS pick up this error before you do, it could lead to unnecessary disputes and all the anxiety this can bring upon a taxpayer.
 
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Submit Your Budget 2016 Tips! 
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Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan makes his budget speech on 24 February and would like to hear your tips for the budget. Follow the Budget Tips link under “Treasury Links” on the National Treasury website at http://www.treasury.gov.za/ to submit your suggestions.

 
Your Tax Deadlines For February 
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The second provisional tax payment for the 2016 tax year is due by 29 February. Taxpayers are required to estimate their total taxable income (i.e. including any capital gains) for the tax year.
 
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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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