What is it?
The WTR is due on any amount of royalty paid to or for the benefit of a foreign person from a source within South Africa.
The foreign person is liable for the tax, but the tax must be withheld from the royalty payment by the person paying it to the foreign person (i.e. the withholding agent).
A royalty is any amount that is received or accrues in respect of:
- The use, right of use or permission to use any intellectual property,
- Imparting or undertaking to impart any scientific, technical, industrial or commercial knowledge or information, or
- Rendering of or the undertaking to render any assistance or service in connection with the application or utilisation of that knowledge or information.
Royalties paid is taxed at a final withholding tax rate of 15%.
What steps should I take?
Where withholding tax on royalties was withheld by a withholding agent, a Return for Withholding Tax on Royalties (WTR01) form must be submitted to [email protected] with proof of payment for taxpayers that deal with Large business.
Taxpayers that do not deal with Large Business unit must submit their returns at their nearest SARS branch with the proof of payment.
Remember, when completing the WTR01, an exemption or a reduced rate may apply.
What exemptions or reduced rates apply for WTR?
Top Tip: The WTRD must be kept for five years, by the withholding agent as you may be asked to send it to SARS. It is the responsibility of the payor to make sure that the declaration made by the foreign person is in the form as prescribed.
Top Tip: Parts A,B and C of the WTRD must be completed.
- The foreign person is a natural person who was physically present in the Republic for a period of more than 183 days in total during the twelve-month period before the date on which the royalty is paid.
- The property in respect of which the royalty is paid is effectively connected to a permanent establishment of that foreign person in the Republic, and that foreign person is registered as a taxpayer in terms of the Act.
- The foreign person could qualify for a reduced rate of tax in terms of an Agreement for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and Prevention of Fiscal Evasion (DTA) between South Africa and the country of residence of the foreign person.
- It’s also possible for the foreign person to be exempt in terms of the DTA, for example where South Africa doesn’t have the right to tax royalties.
When and how should it be paid?
Top tip: If the last day of the month is a public holiday or weekend, the payment must be made on the last business day before the public holiday or weekend.
- SARS eFiling;
- EFT at the Bank
- Over the counter at the bank
- Call the SARS Contact Centre on 0800 00 SARS (7277)
- Visit your nearest SARS branch.
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