Die invloed van Internet op die toepaslikheid van die bronreels in terme van die Inkomstebelastingwet, No. 58 van 1962

Wesson, Nicolene (1999-12)

Thesis (MCom)--Stellenbosch University, 1999.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: lt is internationally accepted that Internet is the trade route of the future. Although Internet trading is still in its infancy the effect of Internet on taxation needs to be adressed. Internet defies geographic borders and leads to the questioning of the principles underlying income tax. Income tax principles are traditionally based on the existence of some form of physical presence (either residency, source of income or that of a permanent establishment) in a jurisdiction before tax can be levied. The fact that Internet can provide substantial economic activity in a jurisdiction without any physical presence, requires interpretation of and/or amendments to the traditional income tax principles. The South African income tax principles are based on the source of income. In this study the impact of Internet on the applicability of the traditional source rules, in terms of the South African Income Tax Act, no. 58 of 1962, was investigated. The study first outlines the principles and methodology laid down by South African courts in determining the source of income. These principles and methodology are then tested in an Internet environment. lt is concluded that Internet requires a reinterpretation of certain of the traditional principles, i.e.: • The fact that a dominant source rule is applied. • The classification of products and services with a digitalised content within the existing principles. • The finding of a physical location when transactions are concluded in cyberspace. • The applicability of certain deemed source rules, i.e. section 9(1 )(a), 9(1)(d), 9(1)(dbis) and certain aspects of section 9(1)(b), in an Internet environment. In obtaining a sollution for South Africa the international initiatives regarding Internet and taxation, under the guidance of the Committee on Fiscal Affairs of the Organisation for Enonomic Co-operation and Development (OECD), were taken into account. The first alternative to the traditional South African source rules that was investigated was the permanent establishment principle, as recommended by the Katz Commission in their Fifth Interim Report. Other alternatives to the permanent establishment principle were also investigated, i.e. the residence principle, formal requirements and an Internet tax. The interim solution for South Africa seems to be the acceptance of the permanent establishment principle. This principle needs interpretation and/or amendment due to the effect of Internet. In this study amendments to the permanent establishment principle are suggested in order to provide the necessary clarity in the Internet environment. A closing remark is made that Internet might well change income tax as we know it today. Internet has the ability to simplify tax systems. None of the income tax alternatives provide simple tax solutions. The tax of the future seems to be some form of indirect tax. Internet is an international medium and addresses international tax issues. South Africa will, by accepting the permanent establishment principle, be in a position to join the co-ordinated efforts towards solving the Internet related tax problems while aiming to protect our tax base.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Internet word internasionaal as die handelsroete van die toekoms beskou. Alhoewel lnternethandel nog in sy kinderskoene is, moet die invloed van Internet op belasting aangespreek word. lnternethandel misken geografiese grense en lei tot die bevraagtekening van die beginsels waarop inkomstebelasting gebaseer is. lnkomstebelastingbeginsels berus tradisioneel op die bestaan van 'n vorm van fisiese teenwoordigheid in 'n jurisdiksie (hetsy verblyf, bron van inkomste of die bestaan van 'n permanentesaak) alvorens belasting gehef kan word. Die feit dat Internet wesenlike ekonomiese aktiwiteite in 'n jurisdiksie kan bewerkstellig sonder dat daar enige fisiese teenwoordigheid is, noodsaak die herinterpretasie van en/of aanpassings aan die tradisionele inkomstebelastingbeginsels. Die Suid-Afrikaanse inkomstebelastingbeginsels berus op die bron van inkomste. In hierdie studie is die invloed van Internet op die toepaslikheid van die tradisionele bronreels, in terme van die lnkomstebelastingwet, no. 58 van 1962, ondersoek. In die studie is die beginsels en reels wat deur die Suid-Afrikaanse howe neergele word by die vasstelling van die bron van inkomste eerstens ontleed. Daarna is die beginsels en reels in die lnternetomgewing getoets. Die afleiding word gemaak dat Internet die herinterpretasie van sekere van die tradisionele beginsels en reels verg, naamlik: • Die feit dat 'n dominante bronreel toegepas word. • Die klassifisering van produkte en dienste met 'n digitale inhoud binne die tradisionele beginsels. • Die vasstelling van 'n fisiese plek indien transaksies in die kuberruimte plaasvind. • Die toepaslikheid van sekere geagtebronreels, naamlik artikel 9(1 )(a), 9(1)(d), 9(1)(dbis) en sekere aspekte van artikel 9(1)(b), in die I nternetomgewing. In die soeke na 'n oplossing vir Suid-Afrika is die internasionale inisiatiewe rondom Internet en belasting, onder leiding van die Fiskale Komitee van die Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), in ag geneem. Die eerste alternatief op die tradisionele Suid-Afrikaanse bronreels wat ondersoek is, is die permanantesaak-beginsel, soos voorgestel deur die Katzkommissie in die Vyfde Verslag. Ander alternatiewe wat ook ondersoek is, is die verblyfbeginsel, formele handelinge en 'n lnternetbelasting. Die oplossing vir die hede vir Suid-Afrika blyk die aanvaarding van die permanantesaak-beginsel te wees. Hierdie beginsel verg herinterpretasie en/of aanpassings weens die invloed van Internet. In hierdie studie word aanpassings aan die permanentesaak-beginsel voorgestel ten einde die nodige duidelikheid binne die lnternetomgewing te verskaf. Ter afsluiting word vermeld dat Internet weliswaar die einde mag aandui vir inkomstebelastingstelsels wereldwyd. Internet besit die vermoe om belasting te vereenvoudig. Die inkomstebelasting alternatiewe wat in hierdie studie ondersoek is het nie eenvoudige oplossings gebied nie. Die belasting van die toekoms blyk 'n vorm van indirekte belasting te wees. Internet is 'n internasionale medium en spreek internasionale belastingkwessies aan. Die aanvaarding van die permanentesaak-beginsel sal SuidAfrika in 'n goeie posisie plaas om aan die internasionale inisiatiewe rondom Internet en belasting deel te neem en om terselfdertyd ons belastingbasis te beskerm.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/51219
This item appears in the following collections: