A comparative analysis of income tax provisions applied to cross border secondment arrangements in South Africa and the UK

Sibeko, Thulile
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The world has in recent years become increasingly interconnected as a result of massively increased trade and cultural exchange, and cross-border mobilisation is more frequently discussed in many companies. Most multi-national companies have a global mobility policy in place, which sets out the parameters for cross-border employment. As the internationalisation of South African business activity sped up enormously over the last half century, cross border employment will be one of the priorities for South African multinational companies as well as the South African Revenue Service (‘SARS’). (Mohan, 2016.) The purpose of this report is to examine and compare the legislative, administrative and judicial approaches to cross border employment in South Africa and contrast this with those adopted and endorsed by the United Kingdom. This report will also analyse the implications of an entity creating a permanent establishment through secondment contracts and also tax implications for the employees. The report will provide a comprehensive analysis of the income tax provisions applicable to the residency and non-residency of both the entity and the individual, thus analysing the definition of a resident in s 1 of the Income Tax Act 58 of 1962 in South Africa and UK section 1A(4) of the Finance Act of 2019 in the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom has been rated one of the top countries where South Africans would like to work and to which South Africans would like to emigrate (BusinessTech, 2020). The United Kingdom is also one of South Africa’s main trade partners (IOL Business, 2020). South Africa has a double tax agreement with the United Kingdom. South Africa and the United Kingdom are on a progressive tax system. (SARS 2021) (Brady, 2019)
A research report submitted to the Faculty of Commerce, Law and Management, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Commerce (specialising in Taxation)
UCTD, Cross-border, Resident, Non-residen, OECD, Multinational, Permanent establishment, Tie breaker