Tax Season 2020 will be Easier Thanks to SARS’ New Approach • POPIA’s Deadline is 30 June 2021 – Ignore the “Fake Headlines” but Start Planning • Giving is Good – Just Know Who You are Giving to • Who will Emerge as Winners (and Losers) in the Post Covid-19 Marketplace • Fraudsters are Everywhere: Cybercrime up 667% since Lockdown • Tax Deadlines for July


Tax Season 2020 will be Easier Thanks to SARS’ New Approach

SARS has announced changes to this year’s tax filing season, driven partly by its ongoing innovation program and partly by the Covid-19 pandemic. Whilst author Margaret Mitchell pointed out there is never a convenient time for “death, taxes and childbirth”, SARS’ new changes offer time-saving benefits to taxpayers, and it is important to understand how they will impact on us in practice.

To that end we set out how Tax Season 2020 is now split into three time frames. We discuss each of them, with additional insight into the “auto assessment” notices that will be sent via SMS.

We end with a table conveniently summarising the deadlines.


POPIA’s Deadline is 30 June 2021 – Ignore the “Fake Headlines” but Start Planning!

At long last the main provisions of POPIA (the Protection of Personal Information Act) have been gazetted, and they will commence on 1 July 2020. That means that the one-year transitional period will expire on 30 June 2021.

Don’t panic just yet and ignore the many “fake headlines” in the media implying that you are at immediate risk of non-compliance. At the same time, don’t leave this to the last minute! Preparing for compliance is going to be a time-consuming affair, almost all South African businesses will need to comply, and the penalties for not doing so will be very severe indeed.


Giving is Good – Just Know Who You are Giving to

There are many worthy causes trying to help vulnerable South Africans in this time of national crisis. Supporting these initiatives is of course absolutely the right thing to do, and the only note of caution to be sounded before you make a donation is this - if you are approached by an organisation claiming to be a genuine NPO (Non-Profit Organisation) or PBO (Public Benefit Organisation), undertake some due diligence before committing to anything.

We show you how to check that anyone soliciting donations is on this level, we discuss the question of tax-deductibility (with a special mention of The Solidarity Fund’s enhanced PBO status), and we share some thoughts on creating a formal “giving policy”.


Who will Emerge as Winners (and Losers) in the Post Covid-19 Marketplace?

As we wend our weary way through the pandemic and the lockdown’s economic fallout, let’s not lose sight of the fact that eventually we will inevitably return to some form of “normal”. As the wry Internet joke has it “This too will pass. It may pass like a kidney stone, but it will pass.”

We can all – businesses, investors, individuals planning our futures – profit from understanding how there will be both winners and losers emerging from this period of fundamental disruption. We analyse the evolving trends that are driving and will continue to drive this process, with examples of those sectors expected to end up as big winners, and of those predicted to be big losers.


Fraudsters are Everywhere: Cybercrime up 667% since Lockdown

It didn’t take the online fraudsters long to realise that the coronavirus lockdown has opened up a whole new avenue of opportunity for them.

Malware, phishing and ransomware attacks are surging, and schemes offering some form of financial relief are particularly evident. All forms of online communication including emails, SMSes and Social Media posts should be treated with caution.

We share tips on how to protect yourself and your business in these dangerous times, with news on some of the more common scams going around and a link to the latest examples identified by SARS.


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