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Virusha Subban

Virusha Subban is a partner and head of Indirect Tax in Baker McKenzie's Tax Practice Group in Johannesburg. She has over 20 years of experience in tax issues relating to customs and excise and international trade.

In terms of both market value and volume, South Africa is reported to be one of the top two markets for cryptocurrencies in Africa, alongside Nigeria. It was therefore only a matter of time before the South African Revenue Service joined the likes of the Internal Revenue Service in the United States and Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs in the United Kingdom in cracking down on cryptocurrency traders and establishing appropriate tax frameworks.

South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa outlined the country’s Economic Recovery Plan on in October 2020, during which he explained that if just 10% of South African’s imported goods (excluding oil) could be manufactured locally, the country would add 2% to its Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Further, if South Africa could supply 2% of it manufactured goods to its African peers, it would add 1.2% to its GDP. In this regard, Virusha Subban, Partner Specializing in Customs and Trade at Baker McKenzie in Johannesburg, explains how South Africa could benefit from the African Continental Free Trade Agreement.

The South Africa Revenue Service has published a Notice clarifying the customs declaration process under section 64D of the Customs and Excise Act. The Notice outlines the conditions under which bonded goods must be imported into South Africa. Prenisha Govender, Associate in the Tax Practice at Baker McKenzie in Johannesburg, provides the key points.

The COVID-19 national lockdown has resulted in more employees having to work from home, a situation that could result in an indefinite arrangement for some. However, in terms of the Income Tax Act, employees must meet certain conditions to be able to claim a tax deduction for home office expenses. Prenisha Govender, Associate in the Tax Practice at Baker McKenzie in Johannesburg, assesses the fairness of these stipulations, considering changes due to the pandemic.

The African Union announced in August 2020 that negotiations around the first commercial trade deal under the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA) would be finalized by January 2021, and that negotiations would take place via a new African Virtual Trade-Diplomacy Platform. Virusha Subban, Partner specializing in Customs and Trade at Baker McKenzie in Johannesburg discusses these latest developments and a likely focus on the trade in services.