HEARD on the street
CRYPTOCURRENCY PROFITS TO BE TAXED – SARS
Taxpayers must declare gains or losses from trading in cryptocurrencies, the SA Revenue Service (Sars) has said. So whether you are investing in Bitcoin, Ethereum, Zcash, Litecoin, or any other cryptocurrencies, normal income tax rules will apply.
Cryptocurrencies (typified by Bitcoin) are digital currencies that exist almost wholly in the virtual realm. A growing number of cryptocurrency proponents use it to pay for goods and services, much like conventional currencies, or believe it to be an investment. However, a number of commentators have rejected virtual currencies as scams or describe them as a bubble about to burst – much in the same way technology shares did in 2000.
In a statement issued last week, Sars said: “The onus is on taxpayers to declare all cryptocurrency-related taxable income in the tax year in which it is received or accrued. Failure to do so could result in interest and penalties.”
If you’re not sure about specific transactions involving cryptocurrencies, seek guidance from Sars through channels such as binding private rulings, which clarify how the Sars commissioner would apply tax laws in a certain case.
FIRSTRAND GETS SHORT-TERM LICENCE
FNB’s parent company, FirstRand, has been awarded a short-term licence from the Financial Services Board. It will allow FNB to become a “complete insurer” with the ability to underwrite short and long-term insurance (it acquired the long-term licence three years ago).
FNB CEO Jacques Celliers said in a statement: “As a fully fledged insurer, we are now well positioned to sustainably scale our insurance pillar through a philosophy of simplified complexity, great innovation and superior convenience. Central to the success of our insurance business will be our ability to significantly increase efficiency by leveraging the FNB banking infrastructure and channels.”
FNB Life CEO Lee Bromfield said their longterm strategy was to build the lowest-cost insurance company in the market. They would do this by interacting with customers at a significantly lower cost than competitors, and retaining them through integration into the “FNB ecosystem”. Bromfield said business insurance would play a pivotal role in the bank’s strategy. “We want to complete the business offering with insurance and see this working well in existing interactions with our business customers,” he said.
FUNERAL PARLOURS SHOULD ATTEND FREE REGISTRATION WORKSHOPS
Funeral parlours not registered as financial service providers have been called on to attend workshops to help them do so, the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) has said.
The Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services (Fais) Act registration workshops are being held around the country.
The workshops will cover topics including the authority’s role and how the Fais Act affects businesses. Delegates will get help completing the Fais licence application forms.
The workshops are free of charge. However, there is a fee for the licence application, as prescribed in the Government Gazette published on February 9.
The FSCA said it had noticed that potential service providers were paying third parties to help them with their applications, which made the registration process more costly.
It said the current prescribed licence application fee is R5 117 with a compliance officer and auditor (if collecting premiums), and R3 921 without a compliance officer or auditor.