Frequently Asked Questions

Taxation FAQs

When would I be breaking tax residence?

The determination of whether an individual breaks his or her tax residence is a factual enquiry on whether or not that person ceases to be ordinarily resident in South Africa. An individual, who is resident by virtue of the physical presence test, ceases to be a resident when that person is physically outside the Republic for a continuous period of at least 330 full days. A deemed disposal for capital gains tax purposes takes place at the time when an individual breaks his or her tax residence. The individual will be deemed to dispose of his or her worldwide assets, excluding immovable property situated in South Africa. 

Breaking tax residency does not depend on your residency status with the Department of Home Affairs nor your status with the South African Reserve Bank.

Do I need to pay tax on crypto assets?

Yes, normal income tax rules apply to crypto assets and affected taxpayers need to declare crypto assets’ gains or losses as part of their taxable income. The onus is on taxpayers to declare all crypto assets-related taxable income in the tax year in which it is received or accrued.

The South African Revenue Service has been consulting with trading platforms and we expect that they will soon institute a reporting requirement for these entities.

Estate Planning FAQs

The question we all want to avoid, BUT?

The discussion we all want to avoid but what we should have with our children/ accountant/ lawyers or personal confidant, where is a copy of the Last Will and Testament and a list of all assets (including insurance policies) in the event of your death.  This is an onerous task on the loved ones left behind to try and locate all assets as this can be a very time consuming and expensive exercise.

How long will it take to finalise an estate in the current situation of the Masters offices on National level and the COVID 19 pandemic on our doorstep?

This is a question we get daily from the heirs of an estate.  The initial paperwork (depending on the assets in an estate) is more or less the same for each estate.  The current situation with the Master of the High Court is another hurdle we need to overcome as this has a ripple effect on other institutions which makes it impossible to proceed.  We advise beneficiaries in an estate to be prepared for a period of 18 months or more to finalise an estate.  In some instances it can take longer.

Accounting and Bookkeeping FAQs

What does a compilation engagement entail?

The objective of a compilation engagement is to draft a set of annual financial statements according to the relevant standard (viz. ISRS 4410 (Revised) Compilation Engagements).

This process includes us;

  • requesting the necessary financial and non-financial information from the client,
  • assessing the trial balance and detailed general ledger,
  • scrutinizing the trial balance for any unusual items,
  • investigating unusual items or discrepancies,
  • reconciling all balance sheet balances to relevant supporting documentation,
  • holding discussions with those charged with governance, and
  • preparing working papers and supporting schedules using the information provided.

Based on the information provided, we draft the annual financial statements using software and prepare the tax calculation for the entity.

What information is presented in a standard set of Annual Financial Statements?

A standard set of Annual Financial Statements may include a;

  • Statement of Financial Position,
  • Statement of Comprehensive Income,
  • Statement of Changes in Equity,
  • Accounting policies,
  • Notes to the Financial Statements.

Please note that the above is not prescriptive and depends on the entity type and the applicable financial reporting framework adopted.

Apart from compliance, what are the benefits of preparing a set of Annual Financial Statements?

There are many advantages to preparing a set of Annual Financial Statements. The below list is certainly not exhaustive;

  • Identifying trends.                                             
  • Assessing progress and growth of the business.                                                                  
  • Reviewing actual cash inflow and outflow by inspecting the Statement of Cash Flows.
  • Assessing liquidity and solvency of the business by easily comparing assets and liabilities.          
  • Ability to easily compare actual results to budgeted results.                                                
  •  Financial information readily available for potential investors to review.
  • Financial information available in an acceptable format for application of finance to banks.          
  • If the entity records are ever subject to an audit of any sort, one of the documents that is often requested is a set of annual financial statements.

Accounting Careers

Where is Colenbrander based?

Our offices are based in Hilton, Kwa-Zulu Natal, about 20km from Pietermaritzburg.

What are the university entrance requirements for a BCom Accounting degree?

  • Admission points of 38
  • Minimum NSC requirements for a degree entrance pass must be met ( Bachelor’s Pass)
  • Level 3 (40 – 49%) for English, Afrikaans, IsiXhosa ( Home Language or First Additional Language)
  • Level 5 ( 60- 69%) for Mathematics

Why choose Colenbrander as your training office?

Colenbrander has a unique, hands on approach to training with the careful guidance of our Director of Training. You will receive broad exposure to auditing, tax, financial accounting, financial management and so much more. We are a highly professional and ethical firm providing quality outcomes. We have helpful, friendly and courteous staff members offering ongoing support and service to clients and each other.

Auditing and Assurance FAQs

What other types of assurance work do we provide?

In addition to the provision of audit and independent review engagements, our firm also provides the following assurance services;

  • Audits of Legal Practitioner’s Trust Accounts,
  • Audits of Estate Agents,
  • Audits of Body Corporates,
  • Audits of Home Owner’s Association,
  • Audits of Share Block Companies.

What information do I need to have to assess whether or not my business needs to have an audit or independent review?

The information required is entity specific but would most commonly include;

  • Founding document,
  • For companies, all shareholder agreements,
  • For companies and close corporations, specific financial and non-financial information.

Can I voluntarily elect my business to have an audit if no assurance or limited assurance is provided?

Yes. As long as the reasoning is legitimate, the engagement may be accepted.

Apart from compliance, what are the benefits of an audit?

  • Peace of mind to the stakeholders that the financial statements of the entity, present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position, financial performance and cash flows for the year then ended, in accordance with the applicable financial reporting framework,
  • Feedback provided which will assist in assessing operating efficiency of internal controls,
  • May assist in identifying operational inefficiencies and areas for improvement,                 
  • Provide objective insight into the business operations and systems.

Diesel Rebates (Customex) FAQs

Farmers: Can I claim the diesel rebate when I transport?

  1. Transportation of farm product is claimable from farm to market/customers. (One way only). (Contract deliveries: first point of delivery only).
  2. Transportation of farm requirements are claimable from supplier loading point to farm property. (One way only).
  3. Must be own product or own requirements.

What information do I need to record in logbooks?

  1. All information to create a complete audit trail from diesel purchase to use is essential.
  2. Diesel storage
  3. Vehicle usage
  4. Critical inform
    1.   Dates
    2.   Litres
    3.   All Activities eligible and non eligible.
  5. Contractor work detail, on the “Dry” basis.

Logging is crucial.

What is the current rebate rate?

Current rebate rate is R3.66 per litre effective 7th April 2021.

What are diesel rebates applicable to?

Diesel rebates are applicable to:

  • Agriculture
    • Farming
    • Forestry, etc
  • Mining/Quarrying
  • Offshore (mining, coasting and optic fibre activities).
  • Rail and Harbour
  • Power generation (Eskom).