oa De Rebus - Sale and leaseback
Whatever one's moral views on the issue of tax avoidance may be, it is only natural for a taxpayer to try to minimise his tax liability. The Commissioner has no general authority to ignore tax schemes as he is not above the law. He may, however, ignore tax schemes in terms of common law if the scheme is a mere pretence and does not reflect the true intention of the parties. This is referred to as the 'Substance over form' principle. Apart from provisions in the Income Tax Act 58 of 1962 (the Act) aimed at the combating of specific instances of tax avoidance, the Act also contains a general anti-avoidance provision, namely s 103(1).
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