The FIC has released Public Compliance Communication (PCC) No 36 on the obligations arising from FICA, pertaining to the 2016 Special Voluntary Disclosure Programme. This PCC applies to accountable institutions which render advice to clients using the 2016 Special Voluntary Disclosure Programme (SVDP). The programme relates to tax matters and/or matters concerning the Exchange Control Regulations (Excon Regulations). Examples of the types of accountable institutions which may be affected include accountants, auditors and financial services providers, etc. Any accountable institution which provides a client with advice or assistance relating to the SVDP must make sure that it understands the duties and obligations imposed by FICA. PCC 36, in addition to dealing with the requirement to establish and verify the identity of these clients, also sets out an example of when a reporting obligation may arise and instances where there is no duty to report. Accountable Institutions must be vigilant when dealing with SVDP matters and where there is any doubt or uncertainty about what is required, it is recommended that a query be logged via the web portal on the Centre’s website or call 0860 222 200.
The 2016 SVDP is applicable to South African residents who have not disclosed their tax and/or exchange control defaults in the past relating to their offshore assets. The Programme opened for applications on 01 October 2016 and will terminate on 30 June 2017. Further details on the Programme are available from SARS and the South African Reserve Bank.