Companies and individuals often must follow the same rules when it comes to maintaining their compliance with SARS. For example, they too must submit an income tax return when the tax filing season commences.
However, in line with the FATF’s recommendations, SARS has amended the income tax return form for companies (ITR14). It now requires companies to complete a Shares Register, detailing the classes of shares, and the full disclosure of the holders of these shares, per class.
For a company to be compliant, this Shares Register needs to match the Beneficial Ownership Register companies must now complete for the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC). Failure to do so will result in a non-compliance status and subsequent consequences, including hefty fines.
At the individual level, it does mean that where you are linked to a non-compliant company or trust, SARS will not approve your AIT.
Further, SARS now has the ability to cross-check any links an individual may have with a company or trust, and vice versa – so if you do not disclose your ties, SARS will uncover them and find you non-compliant.
It is imperative to note that any form of non-compliance, regardless of scale or reason, will halt the AIT process in its tracks, leaving you with the unfortunate reality of funds stuck in SA.