Die inkomstebelastinggevolge van verpoeling by landboukoöperasies met spesifieke verwysing na koöperatiewe wynkelders

Esterhuyse, Friedrich Hans (1995-12)

Thesis (MComm.)--Stellenbosch University, 1995.


Many co-operative societies make use of a system of pooling the produce delivered to it by its members. The delivered produce is thrown into one common stock and its identity is lost in the process. Each season's harvest would normally form a separate pool. The co-operative keeps record of all the pool transactions in the form of a pool account. In short these transactions consist of the proceeds from the sale of the pooled mass, commission charged by the co.:.operative, expenses incurred in the processing and marketing of the products, as well as advances to the members. The surplus of the pool account is divided among the members at the closing of the account, in proportion to their contributions to that specific pool. Each member's share in the surplus is reduced by advances already received. In practice, only the advances and the final share of the surplus, reduced by advances already received, are included in the taxable income of the members. Realised sales, not yet distributed to the members are therefore not included in the taxable income of the members, nor of the co-operative society. The value of unsold pool stock at year end is further not included in the taxable income of the individual members, nor of the co-operative society. In this study, the treatment of co-operative pools from an income tax perspective is investigated in order to determine whether the treatment in practice is a correct reflection of the law. The study first gives a general background of the co-operative society as a form of a business enterprise. This is necessary in order to understand the creation of co-operative pools. The study further deals specifically with co-operative pools and the income tax consequences thereof. The following aspects are discussed: (a) The legal nature and consequences of pooling are investigated. The rights and obligations between the relevant parties will determine the income tax consequences. The study concentrates on whether ownership of the produce is transferred to the co-operative society as well as the implications in law of the mixing of all the produce and the further processing thereof. The capacity in which the co-operative processes and disposes of the products are also investigated. (b) A discussion is also given on whether the participants of a particular pool form an association of persons. Certainty in this regard is necessary before the income tax consequences of pooling for the co-operative society or the individual members can be discussed. An association of persons is regarded as a person for income tax purposes and is therefore a separate taxpayer. A partnership will, however, not be a separate taxpayer. As the circumstances with pooling resembles that of a partnership, the legal requirements of partnerships are also investigated. (c) The income tax consequences of pooling for the co-operative society as well as the individual members are discussed in detail. The conclusions are reached by applying the general income tax principals, as laid down by the courts, on the circumstances that exist with pooling. The fact that the members are co-owners of the pooled mass and the co-operative society is regarded as the irrevocable agent of the members, has a significant influence on the income tax consequences. From the above, the conclusion is reached that the income tax treatment of pooling in practice, is a correct reflection of the law, not only in respect of receipts and accruals, but also in respect of the treatment of unsold pool stock.

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