Deneys Reitz Annual Tax Thesis Competition Winners
The results of the annual Deneys Reitz National Tax Thesis Competition have been released and, this year, the four winners are from Universities around the country.
The winner in the Doctoral category is Beric Croome from the University of Cape Town, for his thesis entitled Taxpayers’ Rights in South Africa: An analysis and evaluation of the extent to which the powers of the South African Revenue Service comply with the Constitutional rights to property, privacy, administrative justice, access to information and access to courts.
Professor Peter Surtees, Director of Deneys Reitz Tax Services and Head of Tax Services at Deneys Reitz, Ernie Lai King, commented on Mr Croome’s achievement: “This outstanding thesis examines the remedies afforded to taxpayers by amendments to fiscal legislation since the advent of democracy in South Africa and the extent to which these remedies fall short of perfection. Mr Croome places our situation in a global context and suggests methods of eliminating the shortcomings. As both SARS and the taxpaying public come to terms with the realities of an open society and an accountable public service, this seminal work makes an invaluable contribution to the body of knowledge in this area of fiscal law.”
Two winners were selected in the Masters category, Bernard Geldenhys from the University of Stellenbosch and Jan Bosman from the University of Pretoria. Entitled An analysis of section 80A(c)(ii)(d) of the Income Tax Act No 58 of 1962 as amended, Mr Geldenhys’s thesis identifies one of the most contentious recent additions to the Income Tax Act, namely the provision that the Commissioner may attack a transaction that would result in the "misuse or abuse" of the provisions of the Act. He shows that the meaning of this phrase is obscure in the tax context and likely to cause difficulty in its application, for both taxpayer and SARS,” continues Surtees.
“Mr Bosman’s thesis entitled Die Belastinghantering van Buitelandse Valutaverpligtinge anngegaan deur ‘n maatskappy vir die verkryging van Kapitaal bates deals with one of the very difficult areas of our tax law namely the tax treatment of foreign exchange transactions when acquiring capital assets. The analysis is both thorough and interesting and provides new insights into some of the complex issues when dealing with foreign exchange transactions,” says Surtees.
Naadiya Ismail from the University of Witwatersrand won the honours award for her thesis entitled The significance of taxing foreign sportspersons in South Africa by means of a withholding tax; and a comparison to international practice of the range of income taxed. “This thesis analysed the new provisions relating to the taxation of foreign sportspersons and entertainers, identifying various anomalies and shortcomings. Her report is timely, bearing in mind that many hundreds of sportsmen will be subject to these provisions during the 2010 Soccer World Cup,” concludes Surtees.
An event is scheduled to take place in October whereby the winners’ achievements will be acknowledged and their awards will be received.
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