OFFSHORE TRUSTS AND WEALTH DISTRIBUTION
Following SARS’ media statement on 5 May 2020, it is clear that revenue collection is under immense pressure.
With the number of taxpayers able to contribute to the fiscus dwindling, SARS will have to look to untapped pools of potential revenue, meaning it will no longer shut its eyes to offshore trusts, foreign income streams and other assets held abroad.
The Commissioner expressly stated that SARS will rely more heavily on third party information, which means it will source data from banks, employers, financial services companies who administer retirement funds and insurance schemes to assess taxpayers. It will also use information available from the population register, the companies register and the Deeds Office to triangulate taxpayer information. To date, the Common Reporting Standards and the Panama Papers were underutilised as a source of information by SARS, but on all accounts, this too will come into play.
If you have offshore assets or trust structures that leave you exposed to a SARS audit, it is critical to regularise your tax affairs before SARS clamps down. Our multidisciplinary team of tax attorneys, assisted by chartered accountants, has a proven track record of following a strict legal and compliant approach with solution-based thinking to help correct your past non-compliance.