Monthly Archives: October 2013

Newtons staff celebrated Bandana Day 2013

On the photo back from the l-r Anze, Refiloe, Thelma, Lucha, Icy, Alicia, Hentie. Front l-r Joseph, Antoinette, Carel The Sunflower Fund thanks Pick ‘n Pay for their on-going commitment to National Bandana Day, where every South African is encouraged to wear a bandana to work, university or school to show their solidarity with those fighting leukaemia and to raise funds for tissue typing. The Minister of Education, Ms Naledi Pandor and Sunflower patron, The Most Reverend Desmond Tutu, Anglican Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town, endorse National Bandana Day. www.sunflowerfund.org.za

Bandana Day 2013

ITU Triathlon World Championships in London

Nicholas Newman competed at the “ITU Triathlon world championships in London” on Friday, 13 September 2013. 208 para-athletes competed in very wet conditions at Hyde Park. The athletes competed in swimming, cycling and running with 30 athletes per waves, 5 minutes apart. Nicholas completed the swimming in 7th place (which was very good for him as swimming is his weakness). While cycling he slipped on the wet road, lost some time and never really recovered after that. The run was a very flat course and he had a good solid run. He finished 13th at the end of the race with the difference between 6th and 16th position being 4 minutes.

Distances:
750m swim
22.5 km cycle
5 km run

Ernst van Dyk

Anzé Pienaar and Thelma Crossman had the privilege to meet one of South Africa’s most successful athletes, Ernst van Dyk. He is one of the most successful athletes South Africa has ever produced. Despite being born with a congenital defect, Ernst is a veteran of five Paralympic Games and a multiple medallist (including gold at the 2008 Beijing Games) in arguably the most competitive event in disabled sport, wheelchair racing and hand cycling. In 2005/6 Ernst received the coveted Laureus award for the world’s best disabled athlete.

Ernst is passionate about sharing his story, encouraging and motivating others to make the best of their lives.

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Tjhabelang and Spur initiative

Thelma Crossman and Anzé Pienaar at the Tjhabelang and Spur initiative held on the 26 September 2013. The school kids from Tjhabelang had an opportunity to help the waiters at Spur by taking our orders and bringing our food out to us! This initiative raised R3220.00 for Tjhabelang. Awesome Evening!

Estate agents commission

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A problem that frequently occurs in practice and which is not easy to solve is whether an agent was in fact instrumental in bringing about the sale of the property. It could happen that an agent introduces a prospective buyer, that negotiations for the sale do not succeed and that another agent succeeds in concluding the agreement. It is common practice for more than one agent to be instructed to find a purchaser. It could even happen that a seller is held responsible for paying commission to two agents.

An estate agent is not an agent in the strict sense of the word.  His “mandate” is normally to find a suitable purchaser for the seller’s property and not to sell on behalf of the seller. This is, however, not a contract in the usual sense where parties undertake reciprocal obligations. In fact, the agent is not obliged to perform his mandate. An estate agent will only be entitled to commission if he has a mandate from the seller; without the mandate he is not entitled to commission even though he might have been the effective cause of the transaction.

An estate agent will be considered to be the effective cause of the transaction when:

  • he has introduced a willing and financially able buyer to the seller;
  • a binding contract has been concluded between the parties; and
  • the transaction takes place at the stipulated price or at a price acceptable to the seller.

When several estate agents are involved in introducing the buyer to the seller it might be difficult for the court to determine which agent was the effective cause. For instance, when estate agent A introduces the buyer to the seller but the buyer later purchases the property through estate agent B after B has persuaded the seller to drop the price.

Estate agent A may have a sole mandate, but estate agent B introduced a willing and able buyer. The seller could then be liable for both estate agents’ commission. A sole mandate usually stipulates that the agent is entitled to commission if the property is sold during the currency of the agreement, even if another agent introduced the buyer.

In another matter a prospective buyer was introduced and the house was inspected. The price was considered too high. A few months later the purchaser noticed that the house was still in the market. He then bought the property without any intervention from the agent at a slightly lower price than the price he had rejected earlier. The estate agent was held to be entitled to his commission.

How much commission is an estate agent entitled to? The average commission ranges up to 7.5%, however there are no regulations as to how much commission an estate agent should be paid per sale. The commission should be discussed by the parties when negotiating the mandate.

Sole mandates that are given to estate agents are regulated by the Consumer Protection Act. The duration of the agreement may not exceed 24 months.  The seller has the right to cancel the agreement by giving 20 business days’ notice in writing. If the mandate is not terminated by the seller on the expiry date it will automatically continue on a month-to-month basis.

Seller, be wary of these pitfalls when selling your property – they could be very costly.

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your financial adviser for specific and detailed advice.

The obligation to provide access to certain information about your business

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The Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA), No 2 of 2000, was enacted in an effort to foster a culture of transparency and accountability in the public and private sector. It gives effect to the constitutional right of access to any information held by the State or any other person and that is required for the exercise or protection of any rights of any person.

This implies that any person whose rights may be affected may request any of the prescribed information as defined in the Act from a public or private body by following the applicable procedures. The public or private body is then legally compelled to provide such information in the prescribed manner.

Section 51 of this Act requires the head of a private body to compile, within six months after the commencement of this section of the Act or within six months after the establishment of the private body, a manual containing certain prescribed information, such as:

  • postal and street address, phone and fax numbers and email address of the private body;
  • the latest notice regarding the categories of records of the private body which are available without a person having to request access in terms of the Act;
  • a description of available records generated by the private body, indicating which records are automatically available and which records are available on request;
  • the request procedure to be followed in terms of the Act, as well as the applicable fees;
  • a statement confirming the head of the public body;
  • other information as prescribed by the Act.

This manual should be updated every time a change in the prescribed information occurs and must be:

  • submitted to the Human Rights Commission;
  • submitted to the controlling body of which the private body is a member (if applicable);
  • published on the private body’s website (if applicable).

A private body is defined as:

  1. a natural person who carries on any trade or business or profession;
  2. a  partnership that carries on any trade or business or profession;
  3. any former or existing juristic person, but excluding a public body.

When a person requests information in terms of this Act, it must be provided if:

  1. the information is requested to exercise or protect a right;
  2. the person follows the correct procedure as prescribed by the Act;
  3. access to that information cannot be denied on any of the grounds of refusal as stated in the Act.

The deadline for the submission and publication of the PAIA Manual for public and private bodies was 31 December 2011. However, for certain private bodies in certain economic sectors, this has been extended until 31 December 2015.  These exceptions are based on:

  • the economic sector in which the private body operates its business;
  • the total number of employees being less than 50;
  • the turnover of the private body being less than a certain amount per economic sector.

This extension does not otherwise impact on the enforcement of this Act, and the rest of the requirements of the Act are currently enforced.

The penalty for non-compliance is two years imprisonment or the possible option of fines.

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your financial adviser for specific and detailed advice.

The validity of tax invoices – it is your responsibility

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The audits of Value-Added Tax (VAT) returns by the South African Revenue Service (SARS), have increased the focus on the validity of tax invoices for the purposes of VAT.A VAT vendor submitting VAT returns is responsible for ensuring that all invoices included in the returns comply with the relevant legislation. If valid tax invoices cannot be provided at the time of a VAT audit, the vendor may lose up to 100% of the input tax being claimed on the invoice, even if an amended valid invoice can be provided subsequent to the audit. Furthermore, serious penalties, interest and other consequences may be imposed on the VAT vendor for errors, intentional omissions and fraud.Section 20 of the Value-Added Tax Act, No 89 of 1991, together with the VAT404 Guide for Vendors as updated in March 2012, sets out the requirements for a valid tax invoice.A VAT vendor must issue a tax invoice within 21 days of the supply having been made where the consideration for the supply exceeds R50, whether the purchaser has requested this or not. If the consideration for the supply is R50 or less, a tax invoice is not required. However, a document such as a till slip or sales docket indicating the VAT charged by the supplier, will be required to verify the input tax.The requirements for tax invoices of which the consideration or taxable supply is more than R3 000 are:

  • the words “tax invoice” in a prominent place
  • name, physical address and VAT registration number of the supplier
  • name, physical address and VAT registration number of the recipient
  • original serial number of the tax invoice
  • the date of issue of the tax invoice
  • full and proper description of the goods sold and / or services rendered
  • quantity or volume of goods and / or services supplied
  • total amount of the invoice and VAT amount in South African currency (except for certain zero-rated supplies)

The requirements for tax invoices of less than R3 000 are:

  • the words “tax invoice” in a prominent place
  • name, physical address and VAT registration number of the supplier
  • original serial number of the tax invoice
  • the date of issue of the tax invoice
  • full and proper description of the goods sold and / or services rendered
  • total amount of the invoice and VAT amount in South African currency (except for certain zero-rated supplies)

In the case of second-hand goods purchased from a non-vendor, the purchaser has to record the following information:

  • name, address and identity number of the supplier, confirmed by the person’s identity document or passport. (If the value of the supply is equal to or greater than R1 000, a copy of this document must be retained by the purchaser. If the non-vendor is a juristic person, a letterhead or similar document stating the name and registration number of the juristic person is required)
  • date of acquisition
  • quantity or volume of goods
  • description of the goods
  • total consideration paid for the supply
  • declaration by the supplier stating that the supply is not a taxable supply

If a vendor fails to deduct an input tax in respect of a particular tax period, that input tax may be deducted in a later tax period, but limited to a period of five years from the date that the particular supply was made. However, when a vendor becomes aware of an output tax not declared in the relevant period, a corrected VAT return for that specific period should be submitted.  It is not acceptable to declare the output tax in the next period and SARS may impose penalties and interest on the output VAT omitted.

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your financial adviser for specific and detailed advice.

Discontinuation of Debit Pull

Please note that from, 1 OCTOBER 2013 you will no longer be able to make any payments on behalf of clients using the debit pull method.

The only two options available to make payments will be the following:

1.       Set-up credit push transactions on e-filing

Log in to e-filing and set up the banking details for credit push transactions. The client then has to get a code from their bank and send it back to us to load on e-filing.

With every payment the client will then have to log in to their internet banking to release the payment during business banking hours.

 2.        Internet banking payments

 Clients can log in to their internet banking and select SARS from the public recipients. It is imperative that they use the correct reference number when using this method of payment.

Also please note that payments must be made on the 25th or last business day before the 25th of the month for VAT payments.