In the context of an underperforming tax administration, failing State Owned Companies, reported mismanagement by the State and illicit financial flow of taxpayer money we explore tax digitisation in this unique and challenging context. Is there a solution for South Africa in tax digitisation to rebuild trust and create tax value?
Part A of this session will explore:
The contract between the State and Taxpayers and look at options to transform through technology and data transparency,
The benefits of tax technology and the limitations and challenge the state and taxpayers have experienced with tax technology
09:30 to 10:30
The psychology of VAT pricing: VAT inclusive or exclusive and does zero-rating really assist the poor?
The recent 1% increase has raised core issues relating to the fairness of VAT with various demands for expanded zero-rated categories. The subject for discussion is whether a reduced VAT or zero-rated VAT will indeed minimise pricing, be fully captured by the supplier or shared somewhere in-between. A secondary issue is whether a category of zero-rating can actually be dedicated to mainly benefit the poor as opposed to other consumer income categories.
Dr Ferdie Schneider
Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr
10:30 to 11:00
11:00 to 11:45
Making sense of VAT as applied to financing
One of the most difficult questions in VAT is whether and how the VAT applies to banking and other forms of financing charges. Up for discussion is the types of financial charges that should be subject to VAT once input credits are considered (including the basic models utilised by various VAT country systems in terms of the financial sector).
Dr Ferdie Schneider
11:45 to 12:30
Tax and the deadly sins: Sin, sugar and carbon tax
Sin taxes are a rising method for raising revenue. Companies tend to be very sensitive to these forms of taxes because these charges directly impact product price. Under consideration is the actual translation of tax to price impact in terms of behavioural consumption, recent headaches of excise (i.e., sugar) tax compliances and concerns that excessive taxation merely leads to illegal informalisation.
12:30 to 13:45
13:45 to 14:30
VAT refunds: Balancing fraud against cash flow
The refund system lies at the core of the VAT system and is the core feature that makes the VAT so unique. On the one hand, business-to-business payments really represent funds held in Government escrow for return to business. On the other hand, improper fraudulent claims can pose an unacceptable drain against national revenue. This session will entail a debate on how far the system should go to protect private business versus Government needs.
14:30 to 15:00
VAT and e-commerce revisited: South Africa versus the world?
The one meaningful outcome of the BEPS action plan regarding e-commerce was an increased application of VAT in terms of cross-border e-commerce. South Africa has been adjusting its version of cross-border e-commerce since 2013. Given where the proposal is now, the debate is whether these rules have reached the target as intended, operate in line with international best practice or miss the point altogether.
15:00 to 15:30
15:30 to 16:30
Disputing disputes (Town hall session)
The third and final panel/audience interactive sessions of the week will cover the process of disputes from initial inquiry to initial court filing. The session will begin with a brief outline of process, followed by an interactive discussion of each step. The goal of the session is to enhance group understanding of the dual perspectives of SARS and taxpayers at each stage of dispute.