What is CRS and why should I care?

As of December 2017, SARS has followed through on their commitment to join the “Common Reporting Standards” (CRS). Jurisdictions that have agreed to and signed the recently implemented CRS are obligated to obtain pertinent financial information from their financial institutions and automatically exchange this with other jurisdictions on an annual basis. Put simply, if you are living in a jurisdiction that has to comply with CRS, then your financial information will be shared with SARS.

Currently, there are 97 countries who have already joined the CRS, which includes the European Union; United Kingdom; Australia; Canada; China; Kuwait; New Zealand; Qatar; Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Thus, all your global earnings are now being shared from various financial institutions and revenue authorities globally.

I have received a Tax Self-Certification form from my bank – What should I do? 

In an effort to comply with CRS and the relevant legislative requirements laid out by SARS, your bank will ask you to complete a Tax Self-Certification form. This form allows the bank to collect and report information about your tax obligations and requirements to SARS – particularly if you are required to pay tax or if you are a tax resident outside of South Africa.

Providing incorrect information about your South African tax status will lead to dire consequences, where SARS will be notified of your non-compliance and penalties incurred.
It is imperative that the information you supply matches your tax profile at SARS and we recommend that you:
  1. Perform a tax diagnostic to assess your current position at SARS. This includes whether or not to submit tax returns as a Resident vs Non-Resident or if you need to correct past non-compliance.
  2. Let us as experienced tax practitioners complete the Self-Certification form on your behalf to ensure legally and factually correct information is submitted. This decision must be informed by the outcome of the tax diagnostic exercise.

Speak to Expatriate Tax Specialists For Assistance

Tax Consulting South Africa is one of the largest providers of expatriate tax services and has over 65 full-time professionals including specialist tax attorneys, chartered accountants and tax professionals at your command.

Requested To Complete Tax Self-Certification Form? – Leave It To Us