Monthly Archives: February 2015

Opvolgbeplanning

A1Die besit van ‘n besigheid vereis noukeurige opvolgbeplanning en is deel van jou boedelbeplanning, omdat jy moet bepaal wie jou gaan opvolg, of wie jou aandele gaan koop, of wie geregtig sal wees op die inkomste na jou dood. Die toekomstige eienaarskap van jou besigheid is op die spel.

‘n Vennootskap word outomaties ontbind by die dood van ‘n vennoot en die oorblywende vennote moet dan die vennootskap ontbind en die bates onder mekaar verdeel.

In die geval van ‘n Maatskappy mag die aandeelhouers ooreenkom dat:

  1. Die oorblywende aandeelhouers ‘n reg van eerste weiering het om die oorlede aandeelhouer se aandeelhouding te koop, in teenstelling met ‘n bemaking in ‘n testament.
  2. Die toekoms van eienaarskap of aandele gereguleer kan word deur ‘n skriftelike ooreenkoms tussen aandeelhouers en word na verwys as ‘n “koop- en verkoopooreenkoms”, wat ‘n invloed het met die dood van ‘n vennoot of aandeelhouer.
  3. Die koop- en verkoopooreenkoms verplig die eksekuteur van die oorledene om die aandele aan te bied teen ‘n voorafbepaalde prys, en lewenspolisse tussen aandeelhouers onderling dek gewoonlik die koopprys. Die oorblywende aandeelhouers is verplig om te koop.
  4. Die oorblywende aandeelhouers is die begunstigdes van die lewenspolis op die lewe van die oorledene en gebruik dit om die aandele te koop, normaalweg pro rata tot die aandele wat hulle reeds besit.
  5. Koop- en verkooppolisse val buite die boedel van die oorledene en die opbrengs is nie onderhewig aan boedelbelasting nie, op voorwaarde dat die volgende drie vereistes nagekom is:
    –  Geen van die premies moes betaal gewees het deur die oorledene self nie;
    –  Die aandeelhouers-verhouding moet bestaan ten tye van die dood;
    – Daar moet ‘n skriftelike ooreenkoms wees.
  6. Wanneer die vaardighede en kennis van ‘n vennoot essensieel is vir die voortbestaan van die besigheid, kan “sleutelmanversekering” uitgeneem word op die lewe van sodanige aandeelhouer of vennoot. Die premies word betaal deur die besigheid en die opbrengs word betaal aan die besigheid self om finansiële verlies te voorkom of om ‘n plaasvervanger aan te stel en op te lei.

In die geval van ‘n eenmansaak behoort opvolgbeplanning in die Testament behandel te word.

  1. Die volledige waarde van die besigheid vestig in die bestorwe boedel.
  2. Beplanning is essensieel omdat die besigheid by dood termineer, alhoewel die eksekuteur dit mag verkoop as ‘n lopende saak.
  3. Dis ‘n goeie plan om ‘n reg van eerste weiering te gee aan ‘n vennoot, wat dan die besigheid en intellektuele kapitaal na die dood kan koop.
  4. ‘n Lewenspolis kan uitgeneem word waarin die eienaar se lewe verseker is, die vennoot die begunstigde is en die opbrengs by dood aangewend word om die besigheid te koop.
  5. Dit is voor die hand liggend dat beplanning die voordeel vir die boedel verhoog, in teenstelling met die sluiting van die besigheid waar die bates veel minder werd sal wees.

Deurlopende opvolgbeplanning moet deel wees van jou besigheidstrategie om te verseker dat jou harde werk die regte persone bevoordeel.

Hierdie is ‘n algemene inligtingstuk en moet gevolglik nie as regs- of ander professionele advies benut word nie. Geen aanspreeklikheid kan aanvaar word vir enige foute of weglatings of enige skade of verlies wat volg uit die gebruik van enige inligting hierin vervat nie. Kontak altyd u regsadviseur vir spesifieke en toegepaste advies.

MSI Global Alliance adds New York accounting firm

A2MSI Global Alliance, a leading international association of independent legal and accounting firms, is pleased to announce the appointment of New York City based firm RSSM CPA LLP (RSSM) to its membership.

Established in 1956, RSSM is a full service firm offering a comprehensive range of accounting, auditing and tax services as well as consulting services. The firm was previously named one of the Top 25 CPA firms in the New York City metro area and ranked amongst the Top 100 Accounting and Consulting firms in the US by Accounting Today.

RSSM has extensive experience in diverse industries spanning construction, manufacturing, real estate, investment and insurance as well as technology, high net worth individuals and not-for-profit. Following a recent restructuring in the firm RSSM joins MSI to be able to meet growing client demands and to expand its international capabilities and resources.

Steven J. Eller, Executive Committee member and tax partner at RSSM said, “ As RSSM moves forward in 2015 and beyond with its new firm name, associated branding and marketing, we are excited to provide our clients the access to both the legal and accounting reach that MSI offers.”

MSI’s chief executive, Tim Wilson, commented, “RSSM is a perfect addition to MSI. They are a well-established, well known Manhattan-based firm with pan US and global interests. They have real ambition for the future and I know they will contribute greatly to MSI. I am really looking forward to working with them as we move forward.”

RSSM joins MSI with 11 partners and 90 staff.

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About MSI Global Alliance

MSI is an international association of independent legal and accounting firms. With over 240 carefully selected member firms in more than 100 countries, MSI is one of the world’s leading associations. MSI was formed in 1990 in response to the growing need for cross-border co-operation between professional services firms.

In 2013, MSI Global Alliance was awarded “Association of the Year” by the International Accounting Bulletin, the leading authority of the global accounting industry which regularly analyses firm performance and best practices. For more information on MSI and its member firms, please visit www.msiglobal.org

 

Succession Planning

A3Owning a business requires careful succession planning and is part of your estate planning as you have to determine who will succeed you, or who will purchase your shares, or who will be entitled to the income after your death. The future ownership of your business is at stake.

A Partnership automatically dissolves upon the death of a partner and the remaining partners will then have to dissolve it and divide the assets amongst them.

In the case of a Company the shareholders may agree that:

  1. The remaining shareholders have a right of first refusal to purchase the deceased shareholder’s shareholding, as opposed to dealing with it in a will.
  2. The future of ownership of shares can be regulated by a written agreement between shareholders that is referred to as “buy and sell” agreement and has an influence at the death of a partner or shareholder.
  3. The buy and sell agreement compels the executor of the deceased to offer the shares at a pre-determined price, and life policies between shareholders normally cover the purchase price.
  4. The remaining shareholders are the beneficiaries of the policy on the life of the deceased and use it to purchase the shares, normally pro rata to the shares they already own.
  5. Buy and sell policies fall outside the deceased estate and are not subject to estate duty provided that three requirements are met:
    – None of the premiums should have been paid by the deceased;
    – The shareholder relationship must have existed at the time of death;
    – A written agreement must exist.
  6. When the skill and knowledge of a partner is essential for the survival of the business, “key man insurance“ can be taken out on the life of such a partner or shareholder. The premiums are paid by the business and the benefit is paid to the business to prevent financial loss or to appoint and train a replacement.

In the case of a “sole proprietor”, succession planning is dealt with in the Last Will and Testament.

  1. All the value of the business vests in the deceased estate.
  2. Planning is essential as the business terminates at death, although the executor may sell it as a going concern.
  3. It is a good idea to grant a right of first refusal to an associate, who can purchase the business and intellectual capital at the time of the death.
  4. A life policy can provide for cover on the life of the owner, with the associate being the beneficiary, and the proceeds at time of the death utilised to purchase the business.
  5. It deserves no debate that planning increases the benefit for the estate as opposed to closing the business down, where the assets will be worth far less.

Continued succession planning must be part of your business strategy to ensure your hard work benefits the right people.

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 importance of the Independent Trustee

A4A well-known court case, Land Bank of South Africa vs JL Parker and Two Others (the Parker case) irrevocably changed the requirements for independent trustees to be appointed and placed renewed focus on the duties and responsibilities of all trustees.

As a result of the Parker case, most Masters of the High Court now require an independent trustee to be appointed in addition to the trustees who are beneficiaries of the trust, and therefore will not issue a Letter of Appointment without at least one independent trustee being appointed. An independent trustee will be a person who is not related to the founder, the other trustees or the beneficiaries.

This independent trustee does not necessarily have to be a professional person but it must be someone who fully realises the responsibilities he or she is accepting when agreeing to act as a trustee, and is qualified in the view of the Master of the High Court to act as a trustee.

All trustees (independent or not) are charged with the responsibility to ensure that the trust functions properly to the greatest benefit of the beneficiaries. These responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  1. ensuring compliance with the provisions of the trust deed;
  2. ensuring compliance with all statutory requirements;
  3. conducting of proper trustee meetings;
  4. recording of proper minutes of all meetings and decisions by the trustees;
  5. proper maintenance and safekeeping of minute books.

It is clear that a person who is appointed as an independent trustee must have the necessary experience and expertise to properly execute these duties as well as to add value to the trust. In many cases, the trustees who are not independent do not have sufficient knowledge of and experience in the proper administration of trusts. Furthermore, they might also lack expertise in utilising the vehicle of the trust in order to maximise the benefit for the beneficiaries.

This expertise includes negotiating and entering into business contracts, holistic tax and succession planning, and ensuring the optimal growth of the trust assets. It is in the best interest of the trust that this person also has sufficient knowledge of the impact of statutory requirements, such as compliance with relevant tax law and the effect of changes in legislation on the trust.

All trustees assume significant responsibility when accepting an appointment as a trustee and careful consideration must be given before accepting such an appointment. Any breach of fiduciary duties by any trustee, including the independent trustee, will result in significant exposure for the trustees. Furthermore, any action taken by the trustees on behalf of the trust while the proper number of trustees is not appointed by the Master of the High Court will be null and void.

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.

Your guide to easy UIF claims

A5Alice recently lost her job. She is feeling very despondent since she has no income to provide for her family and cover her monthly expenses. She recalls that while she was employed she made monthly Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) contributions. However, Alice has no idea how to claim from the UIF and whether she qualifies as a claimant.

WHO CAN CLAIM FROM THE UIF? 

All workers who contributed to the UIF can claim if they have been fired, if their contract has come to an end, or if their employer is bankrupt. Domestic workers who have more than one employer can claim if they lose their job with one of their employers or if an employer dies.

WHO CANNOT CLAIM?

  • Persons who resigned or quit their jobs
  • Persons who are suspended from claiming due to fraud
  • Persons who do not report at set dates and times
  • Persons who refuse training and advice that may be given by UIF staff
  • Persons who receive benefits from the Compensation Fund or from an Unemployment Fund established under the Labour Relations Act

WHEN CAN I CLAIM FROM THE UIF?

You can start claiming from the last day of employment until your UIF benefits are used up or you started working again. Your current contract must have expired before registering for UIF. Furthermore, you must claim within six months after your last day of employment.

HOW DO I REGISTER FOR UIF BENEFITS?

Unemployed workers must apply for UIF benefits in person at their nearest labour centre.

Step 1: Documentation

This step is of utmost importance if you want to claim your UIF successfully for the first time. It is important to have all the necessary documentation in order to avoid repeated trips to the labour centre. The required forms are available as PDF downloads at ezuif.co.za/uif-forms.

You need:

  • Your 13-digit bar-coded ID or passport
  • UI-2.8 for banking details (Note that this needs to be signed by your bank and be accompanied by a stamped bank statement to confirm your bank account details.)
  • Form UI-19 to show employment history. This form is to be filled in by your previous employer. (Note that the Labour Department will check your last four years of work history to calculate your UIF benefit amount. Make sure you have all necessary declarations from previous employers dating back four years. If an employer has failed to issue you with a declaration, he must also fill out a UI-19 form.)
  • A workseeker form
  • Last two pay slips

Step 2: Go to the nearest labour centre

Once you have all the documents, go to the nearest labour centre. You can find the address and telephone number of your nearest centre at http://www.labour.gov.za/contacts/contacts. Note that the average waiting period at the labour centre can be anything from two to six hours, so make sure you have enough time. There is a slight chance that the staff at the labour centre may ask unemployed workers to go for training or advice – this is within their rights and you will have to take their advice.

HOW WILL I BE PAID?

Once you have registered for UIF benefits the staff at the labour centre will issue you with a UIF checklist. On this checklist you will find the address of the venue where you must sign for payment, as well as the date and time for your attendance.

Step 1: Go to the signing venue

You must appear at the designated venue on the date and time stipulated in order to sign for your first UIF payment. It is important to be on time. Take the UIF checklist and your ID document with you.

Step 2: Sign the unemployment register and receive UI-6A forms

If you have successfully registered for UIF, your name will be read out from a list. You will be required to sign a register to mark your attendance and confirm that you are still unemployed. Collect all the UI-6A forms (one for each future signing). Keep all these documents in a safe place as you will need them every time you are due for a UIF payment. This whole process can take up to three hours. Your first payment will be paid into your bank account within two to four days after you have signed the register.

Step 3: Note your next signing date

Make sure you are aware of your future signing dates – they are printed on your UI-6A forms. Signing dates will be approximately four weeks apart. You will have to hand in the relevant UI-6A form every time you attend, so make sure you have it with you. Note that your application may be delayed and not yet processed by the date of your first signing. It is recommended that you call the relevant labour centre the day before going to the signing venue to ensure that your application has been processed. If your application has not yet been processed you do not need to go to the signing. Ask for the date of the next signing.

HOW MUCH WILL I BE PAID?

The amount that you will be paid will depend on the amount of your monthly salary when you were employed.

Workers who earned less than R12 478 per month will receive approximately 36-56% of their average monthly salary for the previous four years; the higher the salary, the lower the percentage.

Workers who earned more than R12 478 per month will receive a fixed monthly benefit of approximately R4250-R4550.

How long you will be eligible to receive UIF payments depends on the length of time that you have contributed to the fund. You are eligible to receive one day's worth of benefits for every six days that you had worked and contributed to the UIF over the previous four years. The maximum number of days you can claim for is 238.

Note: You can calculate your UIF monthly payments by using the EZUIF calculator provided at: http://ezuif.co.za/2012-uif-benefits-calculator/

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.