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November 2023

Dear Client / Geagte Kliënt



Maximizing Tax Benefits for Your Bonded Property in South Africa:  Understanding Tax Deductions


In our ongoing exploration of property investment in South Africa, we delve deeper into a crucial aspect - the tax benefits of bonding your property. We'll clarify the legal position, statutory provisions, and incorporate case law that sheds light on these provisions. Let's explore the nuances of these Tax deduction benefits.

Legal Position & Statutory Provisions

Tax benefits for bonded properties are primarily governed by the Income Tax Act, 1962 (Act No. 58 of 1962) as amended. Section 11(a) and Section 23(g) are pivotal:

  1. Section 11(a): This section allows for deductions of expenses incurred in the production of income, provided they are not of a capital nature. To qualify as a deduction, several requirements must be met:

    1. The taxpayer must be engaged in a trade.
    2. Expenditures must be actually incurred during the year of assessment.
    3. The expenditures must be expended in the production of income not of a capital nature.

  2. Section 23(g): Stipulates that no deductions shall be made in certain matters, including any moneys claimed as a deduction from income derived from trade to the extent to which such moneys were not laid out or expended for the purposes of trade.

Key Factors for Deductions

  1. Year of Assessment: Deductions can only be claimed in the year in which the expenditure is actually incurred. Postponing liabilities or delaying claims for qualifying expenditures can lead to issues.

  2. Carrying On of a Trade: The definition of "trade" is broad and includes income-generating activities. The court's interpretation is expansive.

  3. Expenditure & Losses Actually Incurred: Expenditures must have been actually incurred during the relevant tax year, not contingent liabilities.

  4. In the Production of Income: Expenditure must be closely connected to income-earning operations and be inevitable for the business.

  5. Not of a Capital Nature: Expenditure must not be capital; it should form part of the income-earning structure or operations of the taxpayer.

Relevant Case Law

  1. Concentra Pty Ltd 1942: This case held that a taxpayer cannot postpone liabilities or delay claiming qualifying expenditures to a tax year that suits the taxpayer. The deduction can only be claimed in the year the expenditure is actually incurred.

  2. Burgess v Commissioner for Inland Revenue 55 SATC 185(A) - 1993: The court in this case mentioned that the definition of "trade" is not necessarily exhaustive and should be given a wide interpretation. Whether a taxpayer has undertaken a trade depends on the intention of the taxpayer. If there was no intention to trade but merely to earn income to "cover costs," it is likely that SARS will not regard such a situation as a "trade."

  3. Edgars Stores Ltd v Commissioner for Inland Revenue: The court in this case ruled that where a liability is conditional and dependent upon the happening of any event after the relevant tax year, the liability is nevertheless regarded as having been incurred in the tax year in question if it is definite and the amount cannot yet be correctly ascertained at the end of the tax year.

  4. Nationale Pers BPK v KBI: This case clarified that for an expense or loss to be deductible, it must be actually incurred. If a liability is conditional or contingent, it will not be deductible.

  5. Caltex Oil (SA) Ltd v SIR (1975 A): This case emphasized that "any expenditure actually incurred" does not mean expenditure that had actually been paid in that year but rather includes all expenditure for which a liability has been incurred during the year, whether the liability has been discharged during that year or not.

  6. Port Elizabeth Electric Tramway Company Ltd v Commissioner for Inland Revenue: In this case, the court held that deductions in Section 11(a) of the Act allow for the deduction of expenses incurred in good faith as part of the conduct of the business, whether incurred by chance or by necessity. An expenditure does not need to have been paid for it to have been incurred by the taxpayer, as long as the liability has been incurred.

  7. Joffe & Co (Pty) Ltd v Commissioner for Inland Revenue: This case established that expenditure closely linked to income-earning operations and expended wholly and exclusively for the purposes of trade, may be deductible, provided it is not of a capital nature.

  8. New State Areas Ltd v Commissioner for Inland Revenue: This case set out a test to establish whether an expenditure is of a capital or revenue nature, considering whether the expenditure forms part of the income-earning structure of the taxpayer and the taxpayer's intention.


Claiming deductions correctly is crucial to avoid penalties or interest by SARS. Ensure deductions align with Section 11(a) and are made within the taxpayer's trade. Our Team is here to assist you in navigating these complexities, ensuring you leverage the tax benefits of your bonded property. For more details or specific queries, please reach out.

Regards / Groete

Eberhard, Cheryl-Anne, Andre, Marzanne & Kume



Spyt Kom Te Laat - En Teen ‘n Prys - Vir Ons Kopers

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Spyt kom te laat. Die verkoper het reeds die aanbod aanvaar en onderteken, wat 'n bindende verkoopooreenkoms tot gevolg gehad het. Die kopers het weggestap van die transaksie, maar ingevolge die ooreenkoms moes hulle steeds die agente hul kommissie betaal - 'n duur fout wat hulle maklik kon vermy het. Ons bespreek die uitspraak en hoe die hooggeregshof die ou stelreël van “caveat subscriptor” toegepas het -  “laat die ondertekenaar versigtig wees”.

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In your quest for the best buyer and the best price for your house, you may well end up receiving an offer from a foreigner keen to take advantage of our weak Rand, value-for-money property market and attractive lifestyle.

Before accepting an offer, you (and your buyer) need to consider several important questions. What restrictions and regulations apply to a non-resident buying property in South Africa? What happens if the buyer wants to buy in the name of an entity? What happens about signing documents overseas? What are the tax and other practical implications? We address all those questions, and more.
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Die onlangse beslissing van die Grondwetlike Hof wat 'n deel van die Egskeidingswet ongrondwetlik verklaar het, het baie mediadekking gekry. Dit is nie altyd duidelik gemaak wie daarvan moet weet en wie nie en op wie dit van toepassing is nie.

Ons bespreek wie geraak word en wie nie. Ons begin eers met ‘n kort opsomming  oor die drie keuses by huweliksbedelings wat in Suid-Afrika beskikbaar is. "Waaroor gaan hierdie uitspraak?" en "Wat beteken dit in die praktyk?" Ons sluit af met 'n belangrike nota vir paartjies wat in die huwelik wil tree. 
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Legal Speak Made Easy  

“Roman-Dutch law”

If you’ve ever wondered why so many legal principles referred to by our courts are stated in Latin or Dutch, the answer lies in the history of our legal system. “Roman-Dutch” law was based on old Roman law as applied in the Netherlands during the 17th and 18th centuries and was imported to the Cape during the Dutch colonial period. Although substantially modified since then by importation of English legal principles and by modern legislation, our common (unwritten) law remains Roman-Dutch and our courts still on occasion refer back to original Roman and Dutch laws, often using the original Latin and Dutch phrases.

Well-known examples: huur gaat voor koop, voetstoots, domicilium citandi et executandi, audi alteram partem, bona fide, caveat emptor, fideicommissarius, locus standi, mortis causa, the nemo plus iuris rule, pater est quem nuptiae demonstrant, ultra vires, sui generis, etcetera.

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021 180 4550
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