IN THIS ISSUE -
The powers ….
SARS has a powerful new weapon. The Tax Administration Act (TAA), which has just come into effect, allows SARS to “search and seize” without first obtaining a court warrant. This enables the taxman to take immediate action to stop tax evaders from destroying records and hiding evidence during the period of delay that would normally precede the issue of a court warrant.
…..and the limitations
That’s a great boost for SARS in its fight against tax evasion, but our constitutional
rights to privacy and fair administrative action require that strict limitations
apply. Thus a warrantless search is only permitted if either -
a. There may be an imminent removal or destruction of relevant material likely to be found on the premises,
b. SARS would have obtained a warrant had it applied for one, and
c. The delay in obtaining a warrant would defeat the object of the search and seizure.
If it happens to you
Even if you are totally innocent of any wrong-
“My Home is My Castle” -
Note that SARS may not without your consent enter your residence (“dwelling-
Couples (married and unmarried) often decide to buy their home and/or other property jointly. It may seem like the common sense thing to do, but there are many pitfalls for the unwary. Take advice upfront on the various advantages and disadvantages to be considered – depending on your particular circumstances, these could range from tax and estate planning considerations, to practical issues of control and rights of usage.
When the going gets tough
Things will really come to a head if and when things go wrong and your relationship comes to an end.
You may think for example that as co-
* 50/50 (per the wife’s claim that her husband had donated half shares to her), or
* Pro rata to their respective contributions (per the husband’s claim that the properties were “joint ventures”),
All the uncertainty, acrimony, delay and legal expense of a case like that can be avoided simply and easily.
How? The remedy
Before you sign any sale agreement, and before you decide in whose name/s you are going to buy the property –
Our courts are called upon daily to resolve disputes over property ownership. Disputes which should have been avoided by obtaining legal assistance before signing any sale agreement.
The constitutional right of employees to strike is a fundamental one, limited only by the requirements of our labour laws. Both employees and employers need to be clear on when strikes are “protected”, and when they aren’t. The risks of not understanding the law, and/or of not complying with it, are substantial.
In broad terms: -
The requirements of the LRA in regard to strikes are many and complicated so it is essential to take proper advice in each specific case. But given the current rash of both protected and wildcat strikes in South Africa, two aspects bear particular mention –
“I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by” -
You have until 30 April 2013 to bring your shareholder agreements and your company’s “MOI” (what used to be called your “Memorandum and Articles of Association” is now a “Memorandum of Incorporation”) into line with the new Companies Act.
And you really don’t want to hear this deadline “whooshing by” – if you do, you risk invalidity of your existing agreements and founding documents. From 1 May 2013, these will be void to the extent that they contravene or conflict with the provisions of the new Companies Act. And that could have extremely serious consequences for your company, its directors and shareholders.
Don’t procrastinate on this one!
Take professional advice now on how to structure your MOI and shareholder agreements. If you delay, you risk not only the legal issues mentioned above but also extra cost (you will miss the window period to lodge with CIPC free of charge) and delay (both your advisors and CIPC will inevitably come under workload pressure as the deadline approaches).
With effect from 1 October the earnings limit for UIF has been increased to R14,872 per month (R178,464 per year). Employers and employees will continue to contribute at the rate of 1% each so maximum contributions will increase, as will maximum benefits for those employees entitled to them. Remember to update your payroll systems and EMP 201 returns!
Do you know your ‘4G’ from your ‘Firewire’, and your ‘P2P’ from your ‘POP3’? If
not, and if you want to hold your own in this exciting new electronic era, do some
catching up at these sites -
Have a Great November!
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