Tax & Exchange Control

In the complex and highly regulated tax environment, our specialist tax lawyers and practitioners provide clear and practical business solutions.

Tax & Exchange Control

We provide tax advice on all business activities. Our services include:

  • Tax training.
  • Advance tax rulings.
  • Voluntary disclosure programmes.
  • Tax management.
  • Tax dispute resolution.
  • Independent tax reviews and tax due diligence.
  • International tax advisory.
  • Exchange control.
  • Indirect tax consulting.
  • Customs and excise.
  • Value-added tax.

Advance Tax Rulings

To provide certainty regarding the tax treatment of proposed transactions, we compile and submit applications to the Advance Tax Ruling Unit at SARS on behalf of clients. We also liaise with SARS throughout the process

Voluntary Disclosure Programme

We compile and submit applications under the permanent Voluntary Disclosure Programme contained in the Tax Administration Act to assist clients in dealing with historical non-compliance with tax legislation.

Tax Management Advisory

We advise on tax management and governance:

  • Tax governance reviews and assessments
  • Chairing and serving on tax committees
  • Tax risk and control identification workshops
  • Tax strategy and tax policy formulation
  • Outsourced tax management functions

Tax Dispute Resolution

We assist in dispute resolution for all direct and indirect taxes:

  • Responding to SARS queries and liaising with SARS to efficiently and effectively resolve matters
  • Management of a SARS audit process
  • Drafting of objections and appeals
  • Representation in alternative dispute resolution reviews
  • Tax litigation with the relevant expertise in preparation for hearings of matters
  • Administration and constitutional tax-related matters

Independent Tax Reviews and Tax Due Diligence

We perform comprehensive independent reviews:

  • Tax due diligence reviews in respect of all direct and indirect taxes
  • Income tax risk identification and assessments
  • Pay As You Earn (PAYE) risk identification and assessments
  • International tax risk reviews and assessments
  • Capital gains tax (CGT) risk identification and assessments

International Tax Advisory

We provide advice on international transactions:

  • Inbound and outbound investment
  • Treatment of foreign exchange differences
  • Thin capitalisation
  • Transfer pricing
  • Permanent establishments
  • Controlled foreign companies
  • Foreign tax credits
  • Double taxation agreements

Exchange Control

We provide advice and assist clients in complying with exchange control rules, including those contained in the Exchange Control Regulations, 1961:

  • Liaising with the authorised dealers and the Financial Surveillance Department of the South African Reserve Bank
  • Obtaining approval for various inbound and outbound transactions (eg foreign share schemes, private equity funds, royalty and license agreements and foreign financial assistance)
  • Regularising the ownership of unauthorised foreign assets by way of voluntary disclosure applications for exchange control relief to the Financial Surveillance Department of the SARB

Value Added Tax

We advise clients and assist in value-added tax (VAT) services:

  • Advice and opinions on all aspects of VAT, including local and cross-border transactions
  • Advising on the maximising of VAT recovery and cash flow planning
  • Application for binding private rulings and binding class rulings
  • VAT dispute resolution and litigation
  • VAT accounting system reviews and advice
  • VAT due diligence and compliance reviews

Mining and Environmental Taxes

  • We advise and assist clients in complying with carbon tax and royalty tax legislation
  • Advice regarding provisions in Income Tax Act applicable to mining in South Africa
  • Advice and opinions regarding compliance with the newly introduced Carbon Tax Act, including the regulations thereto
  • Advice on compliance with and application of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Royalty Act
  • Application for binding private rulings and binding class rulings
  • Resolution of disputes regarding the abovementioned mining and environmental taxes

Tax Training

We can provide practical, tailor-made training in all tax areas, including:

  • Tax law updates
  • CGT
  • VAT
  • International tax
  • PAYE
  • Share incentive schemes
  • Tax management and governance
  • Corporate restructuring rules
  • Taxation of insurance companies
  • Carbon tax

Customs and Excise

  • Assistance with tariff, valuation, origin and other customs and excise disputes
  • Assistance with drawing and submission of tariff, valuation and origin determinations
  • Assistance with excise and ad valorem excise disputes
  • Assistance with obtaining release of goods from customs detentions and return of goods after seizure and/or forfeiture
  • Assistance with interdicting customs collecting alleged revenue due
  • Assistance with all customs and excise applications for registrations or licenses
  • High level due diligence audits conducted to ensure correct application of the customs legislation
  • Application for creation of duty free tariff headings and/or rebate items on dutiable tariff headings in terms of the International Trade Administration Act
  • Training of staff in relation to customs and excise legislation, procedures and processes
  • Provision of advice in relation to the above

Services

Tax & Exchange Control

We provide tax advice on all business activities. Our services include:

  • Tax training.
  • Advance tax rulings.
  • Voluntary disclosure programmes.
  • Tax management.
  • Tax dispute resolution.
  • Independent tax reviews and tax due diligence.
  • International tax advisory.
  • Exchange control.
  • Indirect tax consulting.
  • Customs and excise.
  • Value-added tax.

Advance Tax Rulings

To provide certainty regarding the tax treatment of proposed transactions, we compile and submit applications to the Advance Tax Ruling Unit at SARS on behalf of clients. We also liaise with SARS throughout the process

Voluntary Disclosure Programme

We compile and submit applications under the permanent Voluntary Disclosure Programme contained in the Tax Administration Act to assist clients in dealing with historical non-compliance with tax legislation.

Tax Management Advisory

We advise on tax management and governance:

  • Tax governance reviews and assessments
  • Chairing and serving on tax committees
  • Tax risk and control identification workshops
  • Tax strategy and tax policy formulation
  • Outsourced tax management functions

Tax Dispute Resolution

We assist in dispute resolution for all direct and indirect taxes:

  • Responding to SARS queries and liaising with SARS to efficiently and effectively resolve matters
  • Management of a SARS audit process
  • Drafting of objections and appeals
  • Representation in alternative dispute resolution reviews
  • Tax litigation with the relevant expertise in preparation for hearings of matters
  • Administration and constitutional tax-related matters

Independent Tax Reviews and Tax Due Diligence

We perform comprehensive independent reviews:

  • Tax due diligence reviews in respect of all direct and indirect taxes
  • Income tax risk identification and assessments
  • Pay As You Earn (PAYE) risk identification and assessments
  • International tax risk reviews and assessments
  • Capital gains tax (CGT) risk identification and assessments

International Tax Advisory

We provide advice on international transactions:

  • Inbound and outbound investment
  • Treatment of foreign exchange differences
  • Thin capitalisation
  • Transfer pricing
  • Permanent establishments
  • Controlled foreign companies
  • Foreign tax credits
  • Double taxation agreements

Exchange Control

We provide advice and assist clients in complying with exchange control rules, including those contained in the Exchange Control Regulations, 1961:

  • Liaising with the authorised dealers and the Financial Surveillance Department of the South African Reserve Bank
  • Obtaining approval for various inbound and outbound transactions (eg foreign share schemes, private equity funds, royalty and license agreements and foreign financial assistance)
  • Regularising the ownership of unauthorised foreign assets by way of voluntary disclosure applications for exchange control relief to the Financial Surveillance Department of the SARB

Value Added Tax

We advise clients and assist in value-added tax (VAT) services:

  • Advice and opinions on all aspects of VAT, including local and cross-border transactions
  • Advising on the maximising of VAT recovery and cash flow planning
  • Application for binding private rulings and binding class rulings
  • VAT dispute resolution and litigation
  • VAT accounting system reviews and advice
  • VAT due diligence and compliance reviews

Mining and Environmental Taxes

  • We advise and assist clients in complying with carbon tax and royalty tax legislation
  • Advice regarding provisions in Income Tax Act applicable to mining in South Africa
  • Advice and opinions regarding compliance with the newly introduced Carbon Tax Act, including the regulations thereto
  • Advice on compliance with and application of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Royalty Act
  • Application for binding private rulings and binding class rulings
  • Resolution of disputes regarding the abovementioned mining and environmental taxes

Tax Training

We can provide practical, tailor-made training in all tax areas, including:

  • Tax law updates
  • CGT
  • VAT
  • International tax
  • PAYE
  • Share incentive schemes
  • Tax management and governance
  • Corporate restructuring rules
  • Taxation of insurance companies
  • Carbon tax

Customs and Excise

  • Assistance with tariff, valuation, origin and other customs and excise disputes
  • Assistance with drawing and submission of tariff, valuation and origin determinations
  • Assistance with excise and ad valorem excise disputes
  • Assistance with obtaining release of goods from customs detentions and return of goods after seizure and/or forfeiture
  • Assistance with interdicting customs collecting alleged revenue due
  • Assistance with all customs and excise applications for registrations or licenses
  • High level due diligence audits conducted to ensure correct application of the customs legislation
  • Application for creation of duty free tariff headings and/or rebate items on dutiable tariff headings in terms of the International Trade Administration Act
  • Training of staff in relation to customs and excise legislation, procedures and processes
  • Provision of advice in relation to the above

Tax & Exchange Control Lawyers

We work on tax matters on an individual basis, or as part of a team of lawyers from across our firm’s practice areas in corporate transactions. We are therefore able to provide a commercially integrated service in order to ensure efficiency from inception to implementation.

Our Tax & Exchange Control Lawyers
PRACTICE HEAD

Our Work

Featured

All

Teraco Data Environments (TDE)

Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr is representing TDE, the leading South Africa-based information technology company.  Our South African tax team advised TDE and the management of TDE extensively on various tax and exchange control planning, as well as commercial aspects, in relation to the sale of Berkshire Partners’ and Permira Advisers' majority stake in TDE to a US-based private equity investor, in a US$3.5 billion transaction.  

Clientèle and Telesure

CDH advised both Clientèle Limited and Telesure Investment Holdings Proprietary Limited on Clientèle's acquisition of 1Life Insurance Limited and Telesure's acquisition of 26% of Clientèle. The transaction, a category 1 transaction under the JSE Listings Requirements, is worth approximately R1,914 billion. The transaction is subject to certain conditions precedent which are expected to be fulfilled or waived by the end of September 2024. 
 
1Life's operations in the underwritten direct and intermediated life insurance market and the funeral mass market will enhance Clientèle's already diversified financial services product offering to the South African market.

First World Trader Proprietary Limited

We represented First World Trader Proprietary Limited, the South Africa-based, award-winning investortech and fintech company.  Our fintech team is the on-going adviser to First World, providing strategic and legal tax, exchange control and financial services regulatory advice.  This work includes advising on issues linked to the Financial Advisory & Intermediary Services Act.  We have also been advising this client on the launch of South Africa's very first US Securities Fractional Trading Platform. 

Sea Harvest Group Limited

CDH represented Sea Harvest Group Limited (Sea Harvest), the leading South Africa-based, globally-recognised fishing and food business.  Our capital markets team advised this client in its corporate restructuring which included a JSE listing and an initial public offering.  The initial public offering and JSE listing resulted in the creation of a black-owned and controlled listed fishing business with Brimstone Investment Corporation, a black-controlled and managed investment company, as its anchor shareholder.  The transaction involved navigating through a complex regulatory environment, and the innovative pre-IPO and listing restructuring of the entity.

OECD Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS)

Prepared the technical report on OECD Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Action 2: Mismatch Arrangements, at the invitation of the Davis Tax Committee (DTC) for submission to the Minister of Finance - which report was acknowledged in the compilation of the Davist Tax Committee Interim Report on BEPS released in December 2014.

OECD Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS)

Prepared the technical report on OECD Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Action 2: Neutralise the effects of Hybrid Mismatch Arrangements, at the invitation of the Davis Tax Committee for submission to the Minister of Finance - which report was acknowledged in the compilation of the Interim Report on BEPS by the Davis Tax Committee.

Our Work

Teraco Data Environments (TDE)

Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr is representing TDE, the leading South Africa-based information technology company.  Our South African tax team advised TDE and the management of TDE extensively on various tax and exchange control planning, as well as commercial aspects, in relation to the sale of Berkshire Partners’ and Permira Advisers' majority stake in TDE to a US-based private equity investor, in a US$3.5 billion transaction.  

Clientèle and Telesure

CDH advised both Clientèle Limited and Telesure Investment Holdings Proprietary Limited on Clientèle's acquisition of 1Life Insurance Limited and Telesure's acquisition of 26% of Clientèle. The transaction, a category 1 transaction under the JSE Listings Requirements, is worth approximately R1,914 billion. The transaction is subject to certain conditions precedent which are expected to be fulfilled or waived by the end of September 2024. 
 
1Life's operations in the underwritten direct and intermediated life insurance market and the funeral mass market will enhance Clientèle's already diversified financial services product offering to the South African market.

First World Trader Proprietary Limited

We represented First World Trader Proprietary Limited, the South Africa-based, award-winning investortech and fintech company.  Our fintech team is the on-going adviser to First World, providing strategic and legal tax, exchange control and financial services regulatory advice.  This work includes advising on issues linked to the Financial Advisory & Intermediary Services Act.  We have also been advising this client on the launch of South Africa's very first US Securities Fractional Trading Platform. 

Sea Harvest Group Limited

CDH represented Sea Harvest Group Limited (Sea Harvest), the leading South Africa-based, globally-recognised fishing and food business.  Our capital markets team advised this client in its corporate restructuring which included a JSE listing and an initial public offering.  The initial public offering and JSE listing resulted in the creation of a black-owned and controlled listed fishing business with Brimstone Investment Corporation, a black-controlled and managed investment company, as its anchor shareholder.  The transaction involved navigating through a complex regulatory environment, and the innovative pre-IPO and listing restructuring of the entity.

OECD Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS)

Prepared the technical report on OECD Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Action 2: Mismatch Arrangements, at the invitation of the Davis Tax Committee (DTC) for submission to the Minister of Finance - which report was acknowledged in the compilation of the Davist Tax Committee Interim Report on BEPS released in December 2014.

OECD Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS)

Prepared the technical report on OECD Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Action 2: Neutralise the effects of Hybrid Mismatch Arrangements, at the invitation of the Davis Tax Committee for submission to the Minister of Finance - which report was acknowledged in the compilation of the Interim Report on BEPS by the Davis Tax Committee.

Market recognition

Our Tax & Exchange Control team is externally praised for its depth of resources, capabilities and experience.

 

  • Chambers Global 2018–2024 ranked our Tax & Exchange Control practice in Band 1 for Tax.
  • Chambers Global 2011–2017 ranked our Tax & Exchange Control practice in Band 2 for Tax.
  • The Legal 500 EMEA 2009–2022 recommended us in Tier 2, and Tier 1 in 2023 for tax.
  • The International Tax Review 2011 ranked our practice in Tier 3 for tax.
  • World Tax 2011–2012 ranked our practice in Tier 3 for tax.
  • The Tax Directors Handbook 2012 and 2014 ranked our practice in Tier 2 for tax.
  • World Finance Legal Awards 2012 awarded our practice the Best Tax Firm accolade.

Market recognition

Our Tax & Exchange Control team is externally praised for its depth of resources, capabilities and experience.

 

  • Chambers Global 2018–2024 ranked our Tax & Exchange Control practice in Band 1 for Tax.
  • Chambers Global 2011–2017 ranked our Tax & Exchange Control practice in Band 2 for Tax.
  • The Legal 500 EMEA 2009–2022 recommended us in Tier 2, and Tier 1 in 2023 for tax.
  • The International Tax Review 2011 ranked our practice in Tier 3 for tax.
  • World Tax 2011–2012 ranked our practice in Tier 3 for tax.
  • The Tax Directors Handbook 2012 and 2014 ranked our practice in Tier 2 for tax.
  • World Finance Legal Awards 2012 awarded our practice the Best Tax Firm accolade.

Happy Clients

"The team at Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr is aware of industry constraints and able to think outside the box to provide possible solutions."

Chambers Global 2023

"The lawyers have a heightened commercial awareness. They are known industry specialists who are constantly involved in current matters."

Chambers Global 2023