Double taxation conventions (“DBAs”) are internationally agreed legislation between South Africa and another country. South Africa has dozens of such agreements with different countries and the main objective of a DBA is to ensure that any country subject to the agreement knows what its tax rights are to taxpayers. A DBA ensures that a subject is not subject to unjustified taxation, both in South Africa and in the country concerned that is treated in a given DBA. It is therefore a defence of double taxation and defines different requirements that a taxpayer must meet in order to understand where that tax subject is as a taxable resident. The agreements between the two tax administrations in two countries are intended to allow administrations to eliminate double taxation. The amended South African tax law is now fully applicable from 1 March 2020. If you have international economic interests, your income may be taxed in South Africa and abroad, resulting in double taxation. A widespread misunderstanding that we see among South African expatriates is that they think they are “automatically tax-exempt” simply because there is a double taxation agreement between the two countries. This is totally untrue, and there are several factors that need to be considered and objectively proven, and you are always required by law to file a tax return and “right” exemption with contract discharge. The above navigation area can be used to access the texts of the corresponding agreements. Our multidisciplinary team of more than 120 professionals, including tax lawyers, tax experts, accounting experts (SA) and emigration specialists, supports the entire DTA application process on your behalf.
This includes assessing the circumstances and the DBA that would apply to them and then developing a legal tax opinion that clarifies precisely where one falls with respect to the imposition of liability. The notice can be used in combination with an argument made to SARS if you do not agree with your tax position as a non-tax resident resident resident with respect to a DBA.