Duties of Non-Resident Employers
Currently, non-resident companies employing local South African employees are under no obligation to withhold employees' tax unless remuneration is paid or is liable to be paid by a resident representative employer. This means that the employee is responsible for paying their taxes by way of the provisional tax system.
Concerns About Administrative Burden
However, some members of the public have expressed concerns that the proposed changes will place an administrative burden on non-resident employers. The National Treasury has responded to these concerns by proposing that the obligation to register as an employer will only apply to non-resident employers that have a permanent establishment in South Africa.
Relief for Non-Resident Employers
This will limit the obligation to non-resident employers that have business activities in South Africa, thus relieving those with no business activity or presence in the country from withholding employees' tax. It is crucial to conduct a specific factual analysis to determine whether there are any potential risks of creating a permanent establishment in South Africa.
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