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From September 2017 over 54 jurisdictions will be taking part in the annual automatic exchange of financial information. This includes both the initiative stemming from South Africa signing an Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) with the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on their Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) as well as the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Common Reporting Standard (CRS).  

What does this mean for tax professionals and their clients?

The AEOI is relevant to all taxpayers and financial institution clients with cross-border tax affairs. The data that revenue authorities will be getting, provides a prompt for tax intermediaries to work with both existing and new customers to ensure their tax affairs are up to date and compliant. If your client’s tax affairs are up to date and compliant they need not to worry, however, if they are not certain about liabilities and levels of compliance, they need to seek advice on the steps to take to ensure their compliance.  

When is the financial information going to be collected and reported to tax authorities?

South Africa will be exchanging the financial data collected with the relevant tax authorities in September 2017. The first data collected will span the financial year from 1 March 2016 to 28 February 2017.

What information is reported?

The financial information includes interest, dividends, account balances, income from certain insurance products, sales proceeds from financial assets and other income generated with respect to assets held in the account or payments made with respect to the account. The information the tax authorities will receive will include name and address, a reference to the financial account and details about the financial institution.

Who is involved in reporting this information?

A broad range of financial institutions are covered by the CRS including custodial institutions, depository institutions, investment entities, specified insurance companies such as banks, insurers, wealth and asset managers, family trusts and fund managers.

Will people be contacted by financial institutions about their data?

Financial institutions may contact their clients to seek details to confirm their tax residency but it remains the responsibility of the client/taxpayer to contact their relevant financial institution, tax practitioner etc. to ensure that their tax affairs are in order.

 Are you still not sure about what to do?

 SARS will offer assistance to individuals and companies for queries relating to the implementation of CRS, send us an email on: 3rd Party Data Support [email protected].


Last Updated: 15/12/2016 4:16 PM     print this page
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