The country’s special voluntary disclosure programme (SVDP) provides a final window of opportunity for taxpayers to regularise both their tax and exchange control affairs for a limited period before automatic exchange of information under the OECD’s common reporting standard gets under way from September. This is according to Coreen van der Merwe managing director of Sovereign Trust (SA), pointing out that the SVDP application period opened in October and would close end August. The SVDP is available to South African resident individuals and companies who have not in the past disclosed tax and exchange control defaults in relation to offshore assets. South African trusts will not qualify to make use of the SVDP, but settlors (people who settle property on trust law for the benefit of beneficiaries), donors, deceased estates and beneficiaries of foreign discretionary trusts may participate if they elect to have the trust’s offshore assets and income deemed to be held by them personally, for income tax and estate duty purposes. Theprogramme focuses on assets derived wholly or partly from receipts or accruals not declared as required in terms of the Income Tax Act or Estate Duty Act, which were held by a person or company during the period March 1, 2010 to February 28, 2015.

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