Money Bills Amendment Bill Tabled

Standing Committee on Finance

The Money Bills Amendment Procedure and Related Matters Amendment Bill has been tabled in parliament.

The proposed legislation is a committee bill drawn up by the standing committee on finance.

It aims to amend the Money Bills Amendment Procedure and Related Matters Act of 2009 in order to:

•    amend and insert certain definitions;
•    clarify which instruments the Act apply to;
•    correct the powers and functions of the committees dealing with matters related to the Act;
•    clarify and amend the procedure, resultant reporting and periods involved in the amendment of money Bills and division of revenue Bills and related fiscal instruments;
•    repeal certain provisions;
•    establish the Parliamentary Budget Office as a juristic person and to strengthen the accountability model of the Parliamentary Budget Office; and
•    provide for matters connected therewith.

The committee called for comment on the draft bill in July 2017.

Meanwhile, national treasury recently briefed the committee on the 2018 Draft Taxation Laws Amendment Bill (TLAB) and the 2018 Draft Tax Administration Laws Amendment Bill (TALAB).

Some of the main tax proposals contained in the draft TLAB include providing more flexibility for the treatment of retirement fund transfers and withdrawals, introducing a fringe benefit exemption for lower-income employees who receive a loan from their employer for low-cost housing, reviewing the International Shipping exemption for purposes of accommodating the use of replacement ships, shortening the write-off period for electronic communications cables, refinements and clarification for the conversion of debt to equity, the refinement of the interaction between the anti-avoidance rules for dividend stripping with corporate re-organisation rules, inserting rules addressing the use of trusts to defer tax or recharacterise the nature of income, introduction of a one year income characterisation rule for amounts accrued to portfolios of collective investment schemes to provide certainty and limit potential abuse.

The main tax proposals contained in the draft TALAB include the removal of the requirement to submit tax returns for individuals receiving a tax-exempt dividend, anti-forestalling amendments for excise duties, clarifications on handling incorrect invoices for value-added tax refunds and allowing the collection of value-added tax payments to apply across branches and divisions.

Other issues dealt with that arise from previous legislative commitments include extension of the employment tax incentive, annuitisation for provident fund members and review panel for VAT zero-rated items.

Responses to submissions on the two bills will be presented in September 2018.

In terms of carbon tax, treasury has revised the Draft Carbon Tax Bill taking submissions received into account.

According to treasury, the finance minister is ready to table the proposed legislation.

As regards issues of governance at the South African Revenue Service (SARS), draft legislation to amend the SARS Act will only be released following consideration of findings and recommendations drawn up by the Nugent Commission.

Sabinet Cape Town Office

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