Skenkings aan 'n trust en die daaropvolgende vermindering van die trust se uitstaande leningsrekening : die belasting op kapitaalwinsdilemma

Marx, Erick (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2005-12)

Thesis (MComm) Stellenbosch University, 2005.

Thesis

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Wanneer 'n natuurlike persoon (die vereffenaar) besluit om sy of haar groeibates (byvoorbeeld, vaste eiendom of aandele) aan sy of haar familietrust oor te dra, word sodanige bate-oordrag se markwaarde gewoonlik (volgens die mening van die belastingskrywers, Keith Huxham en Phillip Haupt) deur die toestaan van 'n rentevrye leningsrekening aan die trust gefinansier. Die vermindering van die bedoelde uitstaande skuld by wyse van skenkings van die vereffenaar, het met die verordening van belasting op kapitaalwins (BKW) op 1 Oktober 2001 'n BKW-dilemma vir sodanige trust geskep. 'n BKW-aanspreeklikheid ingevolge paragraaf 12(5) van die Agtste Bylae tot die Inkomstebelastingwet, NO.58 van 1962, soos gewysig, (hierna as "die Wet" verwys) sal in hierdie omstandighede vir die trust ontstaan, omrede die toepaslike vermindering as 'n vermindering van 'n debiteur (die familietrust) se skuld (die uitstaande leningsverpligting) deur 'n krediteur (die vereffenaar) teen geen vergoeding beskou mag word. Belastingraadgewers in die algemeen adviseer gevolglik (volgens onder meer die siening van 'n regskonsultant van San lam Trust, Elmarene Erasmus) hulle kliente dat 'n trust benut moet word op 'n wyse wat verseker dat die vereffenaar nie die trust se tersaaklike uitstaande leningsrekening vir geen werklike betaling verminder nie. 'n Werklike betaling van die skenking word derhalwe voorgestel. Sodanige werklike betaling word bewerkstellig deurdat die vereffenaar 'n bedrag geld ten bedrae van R30 000 (die skenkingsbelasting-vrystellingsperk ingevolge artikel 56(2)(b) van die Wet) direk aan die trust betaal of andersins 'n tjek vir die betrokke bedrag aan die trust uitreik. Teen die einde van die belastingjaar, dit wil se nadat die toepaslike skenking ontvang is, besluit die trustees van die trust meestal om die kontant, wat per die trust se rekeningkundige rekords op hande is, aan te wend ter aflossing van 'n gedeelte van die uitstaande leningsverpligting aan die vereffenaar verskuldig. Daar word deurgaans veronderstel dat die toepaslike trust in hierdie omstandighede oor geen verdere uitstaande skuld, rentedraend al dan nie, beskik nie. Deur te aanvaar dat die vereffenaar nie.regstreeks afstand doen van 'n gedeelte van die uitstaande lening vir geen betaling nie, is die waarskynlikheid dat 'n BKWaanspreeklikheid vir die trust (vanwee enige leningsvermindering) sal ontstaan deur middel van die studie bepaal. Die betekenis van die frase "verminder of afgelos" ("reduced or discharged" per die Engelse teks van die Wet) ingevolge paragraaf 12(5) van die Agtste Bylae tot die Wet is onder meer verklaar aan die hand van die woordeboekbetekenis van die woorde "reduced" en "discharged" en die strekking van "kwytskelding" en "voldoening" as relevante vorme van tenietgaan van 'n verbintenis (byvoorbeeld, 'n uitstaande leningsverpligting) kragtens die Suid-Afrikaanse kontrakte- en handelsreg. Die skrywer het die gevolgtrekking gemaak dat die betrokke frase dui op die gedeeltelike of algehele kwytskelding deur 'n krediteur van 'n skuld (soos byvoorbeeld, 'n uitstaande leningsverpligting) wat deur 'n debiteur aan die bedoelde krediteur verskuldig is. Voldoening (as 'n verskyningsvorm van die tenietgaan van 'n verbintenis) aan 'n skuld op 'n gedeeltelike of volledige basis deur middel van die betaling van 'n bedrag geld of 'n tjekbetaling kan egter volgens hierdie gevolgtrekking nie as 'n vermindering of aflossing van 'n skuld teen geen vergoeding ingevolge paragraaf 12(5) van die Agtste Bylae tot die Wet gesien word nie. Die sogenaamde "verwisseling van tjeks" - prosedure ter ondersteuning van die tersaaklike skenking- en leningvermindering-betalings is vir studiedoeleindes as 'n ekwivalent vir 'n verwisseling van 'n bedrag geld geag. 'n Ondersoek na die relevante howe se benaderings in Suid-Afrikaanse belastingsake [naamlik, ITC 1583 (1993) 57 SATC 58, ITC 1603 (1995) 58 SATC 212 en ITC 1690 (1999) 62 SATC 497] asook buitelandse sake [naamlik, Richard Walter (Pty) Limited v Commissioner of Taxation (1996) 67 FCR 243; 33 ATR 97 en MacNiven (Her Majesty's Inspector of Taxes) v Westmoreland Investments Limited (2001) UKHL 6; (2001) 1 ALL ER 865] ten aansien van sodanige prosedure, het aangetoon dat dit benut kan word as 'n grondslag vir die geldige nakoming van, oftewel voldoening aan 'n verbonde party se uitstaande skuld ingevolge 'n tersaaklike transaksie of reeling. Die onderliggende transaksie of reeling moet egter oor 'n regsgeldige uitwerking beskik, ooreenstemmend met die toepaslike regsgeldige bedoeling van die betrokke partye. Analisering van die vermindering van 'n trust se uitstaande leningsverpligting in samehang met die voorafgaande ontvangs van skenkingbetalings, het ook met verwysing na die gemeenregtelike wese bo vorm - leerstuk geskied. Hierdie ontleding het onder andere benadruk dat die belastingdoeltreffende werking (veraI in 'n BKW-konteks) van die bestudeerde reeling die aanwesigheid van egte ("genuine") en ongesimuleerde skenkingen leningvermindering-betalings, ooreenkomstig die regsgeldige bedoeling van die vereffenaar en trustees van die familietrust, om onderskeidelik skenkings en leningverminderings teweeg te bring, vereis. Die moontlike toepassing en effek van artikel 103(1) van die Wet (die Suid-Afrikaanse algemene teenvermydingsbepaling) op die bestudeerde reeling, is oorweeg deur onder meer ag te slaan op die siening van belastingskrywers (soos byvoorbeeld, D. Clegg, M.A. Kolitz en K. van der Linde) aangaande die uitwerking van hierdie bepaling op transaksies en reelings in die algemeen. Die skrywer het tot die gevolgtrekking gekom dat die toepaslike skenking- en leningvermindering-betalings onderskeidelik op 'n afsonderlike basis oor bona fide besigheidsdoelwitte moet beskik. Die besigheidsdoelwit van die skenkingbetalings mag byvoorbeeld verband hou met die vereffenaar se oogmerk om sy of haar persoonlike bates buite die bereik van sy of haar ondernemingskrediteure te plaas, gegewe die aanname dat die vereffenaar 'n sake-ondernemimg bedryf. Die leningvermindering-betalings se gepaardgaande besigheidsdoelwit mag weer betrekking he op die verbetering van die familietrust se balansstaatposisie soos weerspieel deur finansiele verhoudingsgetalle met betrekking tot onder andere Iikwiditeit en solvabiliteit. Verder is dit in hierdie verband van essensiele belang dat daar geen skakel of verbintenis tussen die onderliggende betalings moet bestaan nie. Die belastingskrywer, M.L. Stein se mening bied steun vir die belang van die afwesigheid van die bedoelde interafhanklikheid. Die teenwoordigheid van die betrokke besigheidsdoelwitte tesame met die ontbreking van enige interafhanklikheid tussen die relevante betalings, behoort dus (volgens die skrywer se beskouing) te verhoed dat die belastingeffektiewe werking (veral in 'n BKW-verband) van die reeling onder oorweging deur artikeI103(1) van die Wet se toepassing en effek ter syde gestel word. Die skrywer het tot die slotsom gekom dat egte, onvoorwaardelike (jaarlikse) skenkingbetalings deur die vereffenaar aan sy of haar familietrust wat aan die einde van die belastingjaar opgevolg word deur ongesimuleerde leningvermindering-betalings, geInisieer deur die trust se trustees sonder enige inmenging of invloed van die vereffenaar, na aile waarskynJikheid'n BKW-dilemma vir die familietrust (in die vorm van 'n BKW-aanspreeklikheid per paragraaf 12(5) van die Agtste Bylae tot die Wet ten aansien van enige leningsvermindering) sal uitskakel.

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: When a natural person (the settlor) decides to transfer his or her growth assets (for example, fixed property or shares) to his or her family trust, the market value of such a asset transfer is usually financed (according to the opinion of certain tax authors, for instance, Keith Huxham and Phillip Haupt) through the grant of a interest free loan account to the appropriate trust. The reduction of the proper indebtedness by way of donations from the settlor, created a capital gains tax (CGT) dilemma for the trust concerned since the commencement of CGT on 1 October 2001. A liability for CGT in terms of paragraph 12(5) of the Eighth Schedule to the Income Tax Act 58 of 1962, as amended, (hereinafter referred to as ''the Act'1 will arise in these circumstances in respect of the trust, because the applicable reduction may be seen as a reduction of the debt (the outstanding loan account) of a debtor (the family trust) by a creditor (the settlor) for no consideration. In general, tax consultants consequently advise their clients (in accordance with, among others, the view of Elmar{me Erasmus, a legal advisor of Sanlam Trust) that a trust should be utilise in a manner which would ensure that the settlor does not reduce the outstanding loan account of the relevant trust for no actual payment. Hence an actual payment of the donation is proposed. The real payment as such is accomplish through the direct payment of R30 000 (the exemption amount for donation tax purposes in terms of section 56(2)(b) of the Act) by the settlor to the trust or otherwise through the issue of a cheque in the amount of R30 000 by him or her. At the end of the tax year, that is after the receipt of the relevant donation, the trustees of the trust will in most of the time decide to appropriate the cash on hand (as per the accounting records of the trust) in order to redeem a portion of the outstanding loan liability due to the settlor. The assumption that the apposite trust in these circumstances has no additional outstanding debt (interest free or not) is maintained on a continuous basis. By the acceptance of the fact that the settlor does not directly relinquish a portion of the outstanding loan for no payment, the probability that a CGT liability would arise in respect of the trust (on account of any loan reduction) is determined by means of the study concerned. The meaning of the phrase "reduced or discharged" in terms of paragraph 12(5) of the Eighth Schedule to the Act is inter alia explained according to the dictionary construction of the words "reduced" and "discharged" and the effect of "remission" and "settlement" as relevant forms of dissolution of an agreement in pursuance of the contract - and mercantile law of South Africa. The author concluded that the appropriate phrase is indicative of the partial or complete remission of an indebtedness (for example, an outstanding loan liability) by a creditor owed by a debtor to the creditor involved. Settlement (as a form of dissolution of an agreement) of an indebtedness on a partial or complete basis by means of the payment of an amount of money or payment by cheque may however in accordance with this inference not be perceived as a reduction or dischargement of a debt for no consideration in terms of paragraph 12(5) of the Eighth Schedule to the Act. The so - called "exchange of cheques" procedure in support of the relevant donation - and loan reduction payments is deemed for study purposes to be the equivalent of an exchange of an amount of money. An examination of the approaches by the proper courts in South African tax cases [to wit, ITC 1583 (1993) 57 SATC 58, ITC 1603 (1995) 58 SATC 212 and ITC 1690 (1999) 62 SATC 497] as well as foreign cases [to wit, Richard Walter (Pty) Limited v Commissioner of Taxation (1996) 67 FCR 243; 33 ATR 97 and MacNiven (Her Majesty's Inspector of Taxes) v Westmoreland Investments Limited (2001) UKHL 6; (2001) 1 ALL ER 865] with regard to the procedure in question has demonstrated that it could be turn to account as a basis for the valid fulfilment of, that is to say the settlement of the outstanding indebtedness of a connected person in respect of the relevant transaction or arrangement. The underlying transaction or arrangement should however have a result sufficient in law, in correspondence with the apposite legal intention of the parties involved. Analysis of the reduction of the outstanding loan liability in relation to a trust in conjunction with the foregoing receipt of donation payments also occurred with reference to the common - law substance over form doctrine. The analysis in question inter alia emphasises that the tax efficient operation (especially in a CGT context) of the scrutinised arrangement necessitates the existence of genuine, unsimulated donation - and loan reduction payments according to the legal intentions of the settlor and trustees of the family trust to respectively give occasion to donations and loan reductions. The conceivable application and effect of section 103(1) of the Act (the general anti _ avoidance provision in South Africa) in respect of the scrutinised arrangement is considered inter alia on account of the views of certain tax authors (for instance, D. Clegg, M.A. Kolitz and K. van der Linde) with reference to the application and effect of this provision on transactions and arrangements in general. The author deduced that the relevant donation - and loan reduction payments each ought to possess a bona fide business purpose on a separate basis. The business purpose in connection with the donation payments may for instance have relevance to the intention of the settlor to locate his or her personal assets outside the range of his or her business creditors, in light of the supposition that the settlor is carrying on a business venture. The business purpose that may be coupled with the loan reduction payments could refer to the enhancement of the balance sheet position of the family trust as reflected by financial ratios in respect of, among other things, liquidity and solvability. Moreover it is essential in this context that no link or connection exists between the underlying payments. The opinion of the tax author, M.L. Stein renders support for the significance of the absence in relation to the correlation concerned. The presence of the appropriate business purposes along with the absence of any interdependance between the relevant payments should consequently (according to the view of the author) avert that the application and effect of section 103(1) of the Act would disregard the tax efficient operation (particularly in a CGT context) of the arrangement considered. The author arrived at a conclusion that genuine, unconditional (annual) donation payments by the settlor to his or her family trust which are succeeded by unsimulated loan reduction payments at the end of the tax year, initiated by the trustees of the trust without any interference from or influence of the settlor, would in all probability preclude a CGT dilemma (in the form of a CGT liability in terms of paragraph 12(5) of the Eighth Schedule to the Act in relation to any loan reduction) for the family trust.

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