An analysis of Section 80A(C)(ii) of the Income Tax Act no. 58 of 1962 as amended

Geldenhuys, Bernard ; Van Schalkwyk, Linda (2009-03)

Thesis (MAcc)--University of Stellenbosch, 2009.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: In November 2006 section 103(1) of the Act was abolished and replaced by a new Part IIA, containing sections 80A to 80L, which targets impermissible tax avoidance arrangements. Section 80A(c)(ii) introduced a new concept to the South African tax law: a misuse or abuse of the provisions of the Act, including Part IIA thereof. The objective of this study was to establish the origin, meaning, application and effect of section 80A(c)(ii) of the Act. The evolution of section 80A(c)(ii) was therefore examined where after the enacted version was analyzed. It was essential to determine the origin of section 80A(c)(ii) in order to establish some point of reference from which inferences could be drawn as to the possible application and effect thereof. Case law, practice statements and articles relating to its proposed root was then examined. A ‘misuse or abuse’ of a provision, it was found, implies, frustrating or exploiting the purpose of the provision. This contention was confirmed by existing Canadian precedent. Such an interpretation, however, has a strong resemblance to the words in which the draft version of section 80A(c)(ii) was couched. It is therefore in contrast to the presumption that different words (in the enacted version) imply a different meaning. The precise meaning of the words ‘misuse or abuse’ is thus still elusive. It was established that section 80A(c)(ii) has its roots in section 245 of the Canadian Act. Section 245(4) was regarded as an effective comparative to section 80A(c)(ii) as it also contained a so-called misuse or abuse rule. The application of this rule in the Canadian tax environment required the following process: - Interpret (contextually and purposively) the provisions relied on by the taxpayer, to determine their object, spirit and purpose. - Determine whether the transaction frustrates or defeats the object, spirit or purpose of the provisions. Section 245(4) had the effect of reviving the modern approach (a contextual and/or purposive theory) to the interpretation of statutes in Canada. Reference to the ‘spirit’ of a provision (above) was found not to extend the modern approach to statutory interpretation: it does not require of the court to look for some inner and spiritual meaning within the legislation. As section 245(4) was regarded as an effective comparative to section 80A(c)(ii) it was contented that it would have a similar effect, than that of its Canadian counterpart, on the approach to statutory interpretation in South Africa. However, it was established that a modern approach to statutory interpretation was already authoritative in South Africa. This finding led the author to the conclusion that section 80A(c)(ii) could at best only reinforce the case for applying such an approach. Such a purpose for section 80A(c)(ii) was however found to be void in the light of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, which was enacted in 1996, and provides a sovereign authority for the application of the modern approach. It was also found that the practical burden of showing that there was a ‘misuse or abuse of the provisions of this Act (including the provisions of this Part)’ will rest on the shoulders of the Commissioner, notwithstanding section 82 of the Act.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Artikel 103(1) van die Inkomstebelastingwet is herroep in November 2006 en vervang deur Deel IIA, bestaande uit artikels 80A tot 80L, wat daarop gemik is om ontoelaatbare belastingvermydingsreëlings te teiken. Artikel 80A(c)(ii) het ‘n nuwe konsep in die Suid-Afrikaanse Inkomstebelastingreg ingebring: ‘n misbruik of ‘n wangebruik van die bepalings van die Wet, insluitende Deel IIA. Die doel van hierdie studie was om die oorsprong, betekenis, toepassing en uitwerking van artikel 80A(c)(ii) vas te stel. Die ontwikkeling van artikel 80A(c)(ii) is daarom ondersoek waarna die verordende weergawe daarvan geanaliseer is. ‘n Sleutelaspek van die analise was om die oorsprong van artikel 80A(c)(ii) vas te stel. Hierdie oefening het ‘n verwysbare bron daargestel waarvan afleidings rondom die moontlike toepassing en uitwerking van artikel 80A(c)(ii) gemaak kon word. Hofsake, praktyknotas en artikels rakende die voorgestelde oorsprong is vervolgens ondersoek. Daar is vasgestel dat ‘n ‘misbruik of wangebruik’ van ‘n bepaling neerkom op die frustering of uitbuiting van die doel van ‘n bepaling. Hierdie bewering is bevestig deur bestaande Kanadese presedent. So ‘n interpretasie is egter soortgelyk aan die woorde waarin die konsepweergawe van artikel 80A(c)(ii) uitgedruk is. Dit is daarom in teenstelling met die vermoede dat ‘n wysiging van die woorde (in die verordende weergawe) ‘n gewysigde betekenis impliseer. Die presiese betekenis van die woorde ‘misbruik of wangebruik’ is dus steeds ontwykend. Daar is bevind dat artikel 80A(c)(ii) waarskynlik sy ontstaan in artikel 245 van die Kanadese Inkomstebelastingwet gehad het. Artikel 245(4) van die Kanadese Inkomstebelastingwet is beskou as ‘n effektiewe vergelykende artikel vir artikel 80A(c)(ii), aangesien dit ook oor ‘n sogenaamde misbruik of wangebruik reël beskik. Die toepassing van hierdie reël in die Kanadese belastingmilieu vereis die volgende werkswyse: - Interpreteer (kontekstueel en doeldienend) die bepalings waarop die belastingpligtige steun, ten einde die oogmerk, gees en doel daarvan vas te stel. - Bepaal of die transaksie, deur die belastingpligtige aangegaan, die oogmerk, gees of doel van die bepalings frustreer. Artikel 245(4) het aanleiding gegee tot die herstel van die moderne benadering (‘n kontekstuele en/of doeldienende teorie) tot die interpretasie van wetgewing in Kanada. Daar is bevind dat die verwysing na die ‘gees’ van ‘n bepaling (hierbo) nie aanleiding gee tot die uitbreiding van die moderne benadering tot wetsuitleg nie: dit vereis nie dat die hof moet soek na die innerlike of geestelike betekenis van die wetgewing nie. Aangesien artikel 245(4) as ‘n effektiewe vergelykende artikel vir artikel 80A(c)(ii) beskou is, is daar aangeneem dat dit ‘n soortgelyke uitwerking, as sy Kanadese eweknie, op wetsuitleg in Suid Afrika sal hê. By nadere ondersoek is daar egter bevind dat ‘n moderne benadering tot wetsuitleg alreeds gesaghebbend in Suid Afrika is. Hierdie bevinding het die skrywer tot die gevolgtrekking gebring dat artikel 80A(c)(ii), in beginsel, slegs die saak vir die moderne benadering tot wetsuitleg in Suid Afrika sal versterk. Indien hierdie die doel is wat die wetgewer gehad het met die verordening van artikel 80A(c)(ii), sal dit egter niksseggend wees in die lig van die Grondwet van die Republiek van Suid Afrika, wat verorden is in 1996, en ‘n oppermagtige gesag bied vir die moderne benadering tot wetsuitleg. Daar is ook vasgestel dat die onus op die Kommissaris rus om te bewys dat daar ‘n ‘misbruik of wangebruik van die bepalings van hierdie Wet (waarby ingesluit die bepalings van hierdie Deel)’ was, ondanks artikel 82 van die Wet.

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