You might have seen the news that South Africans who earn income abroad will be liable for 45% tax on all of their earnings after the ZAR1million threshold from March 2020. If you’re a South African yachtie and think you might be exempt from declaring your income because you fall within this exemption bracket, or haven’t bothered registering with the South African Revenue Service (SARS) because you think you don’t meet the residency requirements...think again.
According to United Advisers Group, unless you are a resident and registered taxpayer in another country, it’s important that you declare your income to SARS to avoid being liable for tax evasion. ‘South African expatriate workers have relied upon the ‘days out of South Africa’ to negate any tax payable on their remuneration. This will no longer be the case, and no matter the period of time you spend outside of SA, tax will be payable.’
It’s important to know that there are a few exemptions affecting international yacht crew earnings, and you might fall into this bracket, however, your status is heavily scrutinised by SARS and it’s important to consult professional tax advice to ensure you are following the correct process.
According to an article recently published by Super Yacht News, ‘Something as simple as the mere position held by the seafarer, or the title on the vessel can affect this. Thus, seafarers need to understand the law and how it applies to their individual circumstances to be able to protect their foreign earned income.’
If you’re unsure about how these new tax laws affect you, we advise you to seek help from a professional tax advisor. Alternatively, you can contact Seafarers Global: www.seafarersglobal.com/. You can also learn if the new tax law affects your situation by reading the Tax Smart Solutions Personal Guide.
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