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  • Writer's pictureLisa Perry

Section 12J – 100% tax deduction on Private Equity for ALL

Before we go into the ins and outs of Section 12J of the income tax act, let us recap on the current available deduction you are allowed for investment savings, specifically retirement:

Contributions are limited to 27,5% of taxable income or remuneration, capped at R350 000. This deduction is limited to natural person’s only.

Section 12J Background and the regulation governing it:

Section 12J came into effect 1st July 2009, and was created specifically to increase private equity investing into promising small to medium businesses. The act allows you a FULL tax deduction of your initial investment into the qualifying company, benefiting individuals, trust and companies.

Why Section 12J

This regulation’s intention is to spur economic growth in the SME environment, create employment and provide an alternative for SME business applying for debt through the traditional channels.

What is a Qualifying Company:

  • The company must be unlisted, a South African tax resident and not a controlled group company in relation to the subscriber.

  • Has a gross asset value of below R50 million after investment.

  • Trades mainly in South Africa

  • Does not invest in immovable property

  • Does not trade in: Financial services, gambling, liquor, tobacco, arms or ammunition industries

Accessing Section 12J

An entity (Individual, Trust or Company) can only access these investments through a registered Venture Capital Company (VCC), who are approved by SARS and hold a valid FSP license.

How does it work?

  1. An investor will invest in an approved VCC in exchange for the issue of Venture Capital Shares and the investor certificate.

  2. The investor can then claim the tax deduction in respect of their investment

  3. The approved VCC will in turn invest the funds into qualifying companies in exchange for shares in the company.

  4. A min of 80% after a 36 month period from first issue must be utilized to purchase shares in qualifying companies

  5. No more than 20% may be invested in one single qualifying company

  6. Minimum “Recoup Period” from SARS is 5 years

  7. Capital Gains Tax base cost will be set at zero at maturity

Example (Individual):

  • Investor A invests R1 000 000 into VCC (A)

  • Investor A immediately receives upfront tax relief of R450 000

  • Investor participates in full after fees investment growth at a targeted return of CPI plus 15% rolling average over a 5-year period. (NOT GUARANTEED)

  • Assuming a maturity value of R1 500 000

  • Investor A matures his funds after the min 5-year period

  • Capital Gains Tax payable R270 000

  • Effective Tax savings: R180 000

In summary, a win win for investors and SME’s in South Africa, I think this is a great initiative from SARS which will indeed benefit the higher tax payers. The sunset clause, ends this initialize on the 30 June 2021, so a reasonably short period of time to take advantage of this offering. PWH Wealth Group, has partners who are professional Investment Managers with impressive track records who have registered VCC as to afford our client the opportunity to participate. The timing of this improved regulation could not have come at a more opportune time with SA inc and growth number one on Governments mind.

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