The 2016 Budget Speech and the ‘Special Voluntary Disclosure Programme’
The 2016 Budget Speech has revealed the South African government’s plans in terms of the taxation and regularisation of offshore assets and income for non-compliant taxpayers. Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, announced that due to the developments made in the new global standard for the exchange of information between tax authorities, the South African Revenue Services (SARS) in conjunction with the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) will be setting up a Special Voluntary Disclosure Programme, in order to encourage non-compliant taxpayers to regularise their offshore assets and earnings in return for exemption from prosecution.
White Collar Crime
The Nortons Inc Forensic Team has received various mandates to conduct forensic audits and investigations for regional, local and international blue chip companies. The scope of the teams work has ranged from the identification of fraudulent misrepresentations, misappropriation of company funds, theft of company funds and irregular procurement processes. Previous cases involved inter alia point of sale systems, payroll, distribution and accounting records.
Investigations have brought to light financial damages amounting to millions of US Dollars suffered by our clients, which would have remained undetected were it not for our in-depth forensic analysis of the companies’ financial and business operations. Furthermore, our findings have led to successful criminal and civil prosecutions of both senior management and lower level employees which has resulted in recoveries for our clients. Through the implementation of our forensic recommendations, the overall efficiency and efficacy of the daily business activities has been enhanced, culminating in higher profit ratios for our clients. Our services have now been requested in other divisions of the company, due to the quality of our work and results achieved.
Uniquely the forensic team has the added benefit of ensuring that all investigations conducted remain confidential as they are covered by legal privilege, in that our attorney are involved through the complete investigation.
Assurance and consulting services
In addition to Forensic services, Nortons Inc also provides proactive assurance and consulting services. These services comprise internal audit functions such as control analysis, compliance reviews and governance evaluations. These services can be provided subsequent to Forensic investigations or provided to clients who wish to proactively prevent possible fraud or manipulation within their business. Fraud reaction training seminars and action plans; along with assistance in implementation of policies relating to fraud and fraud detection also fall within the scope of consulting services offered by Nortons Inc.
As a result of the new dispensation of pronounced global relations with international revenue authorities, the South African Revenue Services is able to glean information on offshore investments made by South African residents, establishing the need for regularisation of these investments. Nortons Inc has successfully assisted South African companies and individuals, who have contravened the South African Income Tax provisions and the South African Reserve Bank regulations, in the regularisation of offshore monetary transactions, which have resulted in foreign income and capital gains/losses.
The relationships formed and maintained with our clients is a factor which sets the Nortons Inc Forensic Team apart from our competitors and is one of the reasons why companies are referred to us when in need of forensic; assurance and consulting; or tax-related assistance.