The Panama Papers, SARS and the (proposed) new SVDP

The Panama Papers, SARS and the (proposed) new SVDP

The Panama leaks, last year’s HSBC leaks, and OECD’s “Automatic Exchange of Information initiative” all suggest that South African residents with accounts and investments in foreign tax jurisdictions should ensure that they are fully compliant with all their local and international tax and exchange control obligations. In any doubt, take advice on the proposed new Special Voluntary Disclosure Programme (SVDP) – remember that if you consult a lawyer you will benefit from attorney-client privilege. According to the media statement, the purpose of the SVDP is to give non-compliant taxpayers an opportunity to voluntarily disclose offshore assets and income. The SVDP was…
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Pyramid Schemes: Easy to fall for, and even early birds lose the worm

Pyramid Schemes: Easy to fall for, and even early birds lose the worm

Pyramid schemes are in the news again. They are easy to fall for, with not only desperate pensioners and low-wage earners but also Captains of Industry and many otherwise-savvy investors regularly tricked into “investing” in them.  The reason of course is that the con artists behind these schemes are adept at hiding their true nature, coming up like clockwork with ever more creative cover stories to lure the unwary.  Very popular are “Ponzi” schemes, where the masterminds behind them promise to do everything for you – all you need do is “invest”, then sit back and reap the profits. Don’t…
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Property and trusts – be careful!

Property and trusts – be careful!

For most of us, business dealings with trusts are most likely to happen when selling a property to, or buying a property from, a trust.  But no matter why or how it happens, have your lawyer check that whoever signs for the trust is fully authorised to do so. For want of authority, the case is lost If you don't ascertain up front that the person signing the agreement on behalf of the trust is properly authorised, you could be in for a major shock if you come to blows and need to ask a court for assistance. The recent case…
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Certificates of Compliance

Certificates of Compliance

If you are selling your house, flat or building then you are going to most certainly need a number of certificates of compliance ("compliance certificates") before transfer can be registered. You'll be well-advised to get them sooner rather than later if you don't want to delay the transfer. Some of these compliance certificates are required under national regulations (e.g. your electrical certificate and your electrical fence certificate) while others are required in terms of municipal by-laws (e.g. Cape Town's water certificate requirement), and others still are required either by banks before providing finance of have become standard practice (e.g. your beetle…
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Potential problems when a contract does not specifically deal with its termination

Potential problems when a contract does not specifically deal with its termination

Even the most experienced businessmen have moments of short-sightedness when conducting business deals which may leave them in hot water. All too often, poor contract craftsmanship or legal oversight is the primary reason for their dismay. For example, what happens when you enter into a contract without express terms governing its termination? This is where the parties found themselves in the case of Plaaskem v Nippon Chemicals (574/13) [2014] ZASCA 73 (29 May 2014) heard in the Supreme Court of Appeal. The facts of the case On 25 February 2005, a contract between Nippon Africa Chemicals (Proprietary) Limited ("Nippon") and Plaaskem…
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Introduction to Ashersons Attorneys

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUFNXJGUYSI Selwyn Zackon, a Partner at Ashersons, provides an introduction into the firm. Established in 1920 by Raphael Asherson, Ashersons has become well known as a general practice offering its clients integrity and loyalty. The firm has throughout remained compact and presently comprises three partners, two associates, four candidate attorneys, and a number of support staff, all of whom commenced their careers with the firm. Ashersons is a boutique practice catering for an exclusive range of both corporate and high nett worth individual clients throughout South Africa, Africa, Europe, America and Australia. Ashersons’ attorneys and staff pride themselves on delivering a comprehensive,…
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