Graanboer van die jaar

Al het hulle bestuurders, is die broers mnre. Johan en Dirkie van As elkeen in sy stroper om te sien wat die kampe wys. FOTO’S: MARESA VAN AS TENSY ANDERS VERMELD.
Al boer vanjaar se Graanprodusente van die Jaar in ’n omgewing waar boere moet “bid vir elke druppel wat val”, help bewaringsboerdery, skaalekonomie, finansiële dissipline, noukeurige rekordhouding en ’n sterk veevertakking die Van As-broers om sukses te behaal. Sowat ’n week voor vanjaar se wenners in Graan SA se kompetisie vir Graanprodusent van die Jaar aangekondig is, was mnre. Johan en Dirkie van As van die plase Kinko-Opstal en Kinko by Swellendam ietwat onseker oor hul kans om te wen. Hulle het immers met formidabele boere, wat baie groter as hulle boer en toegang tot genoeg besproeiingswater het, meegeding.
“Ons kan net opkyk vir water. Ons moet bid vir elke druppel wat val,” het Dirkie toe opgemerk. Johan en Dirkie besef die waarde van skaal by graanverbouing in die Wes-Kaap en skroom nie om grond by te koop of te huur nie. Sodra die kontrakte geteken is, begin hulle dadelik die grond benut volgens die standaarde wat hulle aan hul eie grond stel.

Al het die huurgrond gehelp dat die boerdery sedert 2007 met 70% groei, verg dit harde werk om grond waarvan hulle die geskiedenis nie ken nie op te bou. Dit gee hulle groot bevrediging om die transformasie van huurplase te sien. Huurgrond het boonop gehelp om die skaal van hul boerdery te vergroot en kapitaal te bekom om gesogte plase wat naby hulle in die mark kom, te koop.

Johan sê die belangrikste van kontanthuur is om te sorg dat die kontrak reg is. “Jy moet ’n klousule in die kontrak hê wat jou die reg tot eerste weiering gee om te koop of te huur. Dan het jy darem ’n voet in die deur.”

Mnre. Dirkie, AJ en Johan van As. FOTO: AMELIA GENIS

LUSERN IS KONING

Reënvalsyfers oor baie jare toon dat die hoogste reënval in Oktober of November kan wees. “Ons ma sê altyd ons bly in ’n deur-die-jaar-reëngebied. Dis hoekom ons wêreld so ideaal is vir lusernweiding,” sê Johan. Johan en Dirkie sê die doel met hul wisselboustelsel is weiding en hooi in goeie jare. “Ons is eintlik mos maar veeboere wat saai vir ons skape.”

Dis duidelik dat lusern ’n belangrike rol in hul boerdery en wisselboubesluite speel. Dirkie sê hul buurman sê altyd mooi lusern gee mooi graan. “Lusern is die beste gewas om grond op te bou.” Hulle beskou lusern as permanente weiding, maar plant ook hawer vir weiding en kuilvoer op hul grond met ’n lae potensiaal.

Johan sê hulle volg ’n 12-jaarrotasie met kontantgewasse vir sewe tot nege jaar en drie tot vier jaar lusern. Dirkie sê in die laaste lusernjaar bekamp hulle grasonkruide, doen ’n diep bewerking op die lande en stel die grond reg. “Dan trek ons weg met koring.” In hul hoëpotensiaalkampe sal hulle ’n wisselboustelsel van koring-koring-gars-kanola-koring-gars-kanola en koring met lusern onder gesaai volg.

Spesifieke kampe kan ook “wys” dat hulle liewer ’n stelsel van koring-gars-gars-kanola-koring-koring-gars-kanola en koring met lusern onder gesaai moet toepas. In die kampe met ’n mediumpoten- siaal sal hulle vyf jaar lusern en vyf jaar kontantgewasse verbou. Al is die opbrengspotensiaal van hul laepotensiaalkampe ’n derde tot die helfte laer as die hoëpotensiaalkampe, doen hulle hul bes om die kampe se potensiaal te verbeter.

RISIKO VERLAAG

Hulle het verskillende maniere om risiko te verminder en die moontlikheid van onnodige foute uit te skakel. Hulle besoek die webwerf www.tankmix.com om te sien watter spoorelemente en onkruid- en swamdoders saam gespuit kan word. Dirkie sê hulle plant die langgroei-koringkultivars, soos SST 087, SST 0117 en SST 047 in die hoëpoten- siaalgrond en in die droër gebiede ’n korter groeier, soos SST 056.

 

“By die gars het ons nie ’n wye kultivarkeuse nie, maar ons probeer om logistieke redes een kultivar op ons grond aan die een kant van die dorp te plant en die ander kultivar aan die ander kant. Daar kan gou ’n fout kom en dit help met die deurmekaarraak tydens plant- en oestyd.”

EINTLIK SKAAPBOERE

Al het sommige boere in hul omgewing van hul vee ontslae geraak, verkies hulle om met skape en graan te diversifiseer. Hulle stem saam met die buurman wat sê sy skaapvertakking betaal sy rekeninge. Dirkie sê die skaapvertakking sorg vir kontantvloei. “Kontantvloei is mos die belangrikste. As jy dit nie bestuur nie, kan jy in die moeilikheid kom.

Ons glo dié wêreld is goed vir skaap- én saaiboerdery.”

Hy gee toe dat dit maklik kan wees om die skape te verkoop en net te saai. “Jy kan minder werkers aanhou en as jy reg gemeganiseer het, kan jy lekker boer. “Skaapboerdery verg baie aandag en werk en jy moet ingerig wees daarvoor, maar soos die wol- en vleisprys nou is, vaar jy mos goed.”

Hulle is versigtig. “Baie mense glo daar kan nie meer ’n swak jaar kom nie. Maar as so ’n jaar kom en daar is nie ’n opbrengs nie en die graanprys is laag, is dit twaalf maande voor jy weer gaan oes. Dis hoekom ons ’n gemengde boerdery het en hoekom ons besigheid so lekker werk.”

MERINO’S EN KRUISLAMMERS

Hul pa, Albertus, het die Kinko-Merinostoetery in 1965 gestig. Johan sê hy het ramme en ooie by die Minnaars en Rendo Pienaar van onderskeidelik Graaff-Reinet en Nieu-Bethesda gaan koop. Die stoetdiere en die eerste kudde van rasegte Merino-ooie maak 55% van die totale getal ooie uit. Hulle het ’n tweede kudde waarin hulle Merino-ooie en Dormerramme paar vir kruislamproduksie.

Hulle het tot 2010 hul eie produksieveiling gehou, maar dit het te veel tyd en energie geverg. Deesdae verkoop hulle jaarliks ses tot tien ramme op die nasionale veiling op Graaff-Reinet. “So bly ons in kontak met die bedryf en die res van die bedryf sien wat jy koop, en jy kry blootstelling,” sê Johan.

Ooie in die stoetery en eerste kudde lam een keer per jaar en die tweede kudde is op ’n agtmaandestelsel. Aangesien hulle groot kuddes het, kan hulle streng selekteer met behulp van die stelsels wat hulle gebruik om diere te evalueer.

FINANSIËLE DISSIPLINE EN RAAD VAN KENNERS

Dirkie is verantwoordelik vir die graanvertakking en Johan hanteer die boerdery se administrasie. Dirkie sê die geheim van hul sukses is die finansiële dissipline en goeie rekordhouding in hul besigheid. Hulle is ook nie bang om die raad van kenners op verskillende gebiede in te win nie. “Jy kan mos nie ’n goeie boer én ’n kundige op alle gebiede wees nie. Gielie Liebenberg van BKB het altyd gesê, maak jou sterk met die sterkes.”

Hulle glo ook om nie tussen landboudienstemaatskappye rond te spring nie. “Baie boere sê hulle stap self deur hul graan. Ons kyk ook self, maar ek en Dirkie kan nie al ons hektare deurstap nie. Ons maak dus staat op die hulp wat ons van die kenners van landboumaatskappye kry, ook by veebemarking en klassering,” sê Johan. “Dis moeilik vir my om vir vyf dae te staan en na ooie se uiers en bekke te kyk.”

Oestyd sit hulle wel elkeen in sy eie stroper, want dis wanneer ’n graanboer die beste sien waar probleemkolle is en kan “hoor wat die kamp sê”, sê hulle. Hul boerdery- en boekjaar skop af met beplanning deur mnr. André Fourie, landbou-adviseur van Anker Agri. “Ons is van sy oudste kliënte. Hy help ons om die beplanning vir die boerderyjaar op te stel.

Elkeen van ons kry ’n dokument met kamprotasies, plaaskaarte, ’n begroting, die verwagte krediet wat ons van die koöperasie sal verlang, huurkoop- en verbandpaaiemente. Dit sluit ook vertakkings- en ’n kontantvloeiontleding in.” Elke maand besoek ’n klerk van Bdk Ouditeure hulle om die belasting op toegevoegde waarde en bestuurstate te doen.

Hul bestuurstate is vir minder as 30 dae op datum. Hulle het die oggend van ons onderhoud alle werklike inkomste en uitgawes tot einde Augustus op die rekenaar ingelees en met hul begroting vergelyk, sê Johan. “Vanjaar was veevoeruitgawes bo die begrote bedrag, maar die wolprys het daarvoor vergoed.” Hul ouditeure besoek hulle twee keer per jaar om te sien wat op die plaas aangaan.

“Die volgende dag lê die bestuurstate en opsomming op ons rekenaars. As al dié goed reg is, is die bank ook tevrede.”

TOEKOMSMOONTLIKHEDE

Johan en Dirkie van As sê hulle hou hulle nie blind vir nuwe tegnologie en praktyke nie, maar is gewoonlik nie mense wat altyd die tegnologie of praktyke eerste gebruik nie. “Laat die ander mense maar die proewe doen. Ons kyk die kat uit die boom,” meen Dirkie. AJ, Johan se oudste seun wat in Oktober by die boerdery ingeval het, sê hulle dink hommeltuigtegnologie kan in die toekoms help om byvoorbeeld te kyk of die vee se krippe genoeg water het.

Die infrarooikamera wat daarmee saam gebruik kan word, kan help met veiligheid. Dirkie sê hulle stel ook belang in toerusting wat veehantering kan vergemaklik, soos die “geute” waarin die lammers opgelig word om verskillende take te verrig. Johan sê hulle is ontvanklik vir tegnologie en sal geld bestee wanneer dit vir die boerdery die moeite werd is. Hulle dink nie dekgewasse en beheerde spoorverkeer pas nou by hul boerdery in nie.

“Ons het gemengde gevoelens oor dekgewasse vir veeweiding omdat ons lusern het, maar ons neem alles waar wat om ons gebeur.” Johan sê as hulle beheerde spoorverkeer wil toepas, sal hulle die vee moet wegvat. “Ons wil nie só boer nie.” Hulle dink ook nie dit sal op hul skuins lande werk nie. “Ons keur nie die praktyke af nie, daar is net sommiges wat nie by ons prakties uitvoerbaar is nie.”

GOEIE OESTE IN DROOGTE MET BEWARINGSBOERDERY

Johan sê met hul goeie reënval- en oesrekords kon hulle onlangs bewys wat die waarde van bewaringsboerdery in ’n droë jaar is. Met die vorige groot droogte van 2001, toe hulle nog “konvensioneel op sy heel beste” gedoen het deur te ploeg, lande te brand en nie onkruiddoder te gebruik nie, het hulle van April tot September 201 mm reën gekry.

Hulle het toe net 50 kg kanola per hektaar geoes, 650 kg/ha gars en 430 kg/ha koring. Tydens verlede jaar se droogte het hulle van 1 April tot 30 September net 198 mm reën gekry. Tog het hulle 1,27 t/ha kanola geoes, 2,7 t/ha gars en 2,5 t/ha geoes. Johan sê hy dink nie daar is beter syfers om die waarde van bewaringsboerdery in droogte te demonstreer nie.

Hulle het redelik laat na alle beginsels en werktuie van bewaringsboerdery oorgeslaan en eers in 2012 ernstig begin om planters te koop. Hulle het wel lank vantevore opgehou om lande te brand en die strooi op die lande te bewaar. Dirkie sê hulle het eers hul geld gebruik om grond by te koop en kon nie al die regte werktuie ook bekostig nie.

 

Hierdie artikel was oorspronklik op Netwerk24 se webtuiste geplaas.

Provisional tax penalties and how to avoid them

Posted on 23 of October, 2018 by in Tax

All individual taxpayers who earn income from sources other than remuneration from an employer, must submit provisional tax returns twice a year.

Let’s have a look at the most common penalties provisional tax payers face and how to avoid them.

Under estimation penalty

The major challenge with provisional tax is the need to estimate your annual taxable income.  To prevent taxpayers from thumb-sucking figures and reporting lower amounts for provisional tax purposes, SARS imposes  hefty under estimation penalties.

The prescribed penalty is different for taxpayers with a taxable income of less than R1 million and those with a taxable income of more than R1 million.

Taxable income of R1 million or less

If your taxable income for the year is R1 million or less, you are at risk of an under estimation penalty if –

  • Your estimate of your taxable income for your second provisional tax return is less than 90% of your actual annual taxable income ; and
  • Your estimate of your taxable income for your second provisional tax return is less than your “basic amount”.

Basic amount – your taxable income as per your most recent assessment.

We therefore recommend that  our clients be very sure of their figures before they  submit a provisional tax return based on a taxable income of less than at least their basic amount.

Taxable income greater than R1 million

If your taxable income for year is more than R1 million, you need to ensure that your estimate of your taxable income for the second provisional tax return is not less than 80% of your actual taxable income.

The “basic amount” is not applicable for taxpayers with a taxable income of more than R1 million.

Penalty:

20% of the difference between the tax payable as per your provisional tax return and the tax payable calculated on 80% of your actual final taxable income as per assessment.

This can be a significant amount !

Recommendation to avoid under estimation penalty

If you had any “unusual” or “out of the ordinary” business transactions, income, sales of property, share trading etc during the tax year, inform us when the transaction takes place so that we can make a note thereof and remember to take it into consideration when the estimated taxable income for the year is calculated.

Alternatively, contact us now, and inform us of such transactions.

These may include but is not limited to:

  • Sale of fixed property
  • Sale of shares
  • Sale of unit trusts / investments
  • Bonus / profit share
  • New business venture
  • Extremely profitable financial year in comparison to previous years

When reviewing your estimated taxable income, make sure that it is reasonable and that you have disclosed all relevant information us and that you have estimated your income and expenditure for the year with the necessary care, considering all contributing factors.

Late submission penalty

Even a day late is considered enough to apply a penalty.

SARS considers a late submission or non-submission of a provisional tax return as a Rnil return.  Therefore, unless your actual taxable income is in fact Rnil, it will result in a 20% under estimation penalty being imposed.

Late payment penalty 

A penalty equal to 10% of the provisional tax payable will be levied by SARS for late payment plus interest at the prescribed rate.  Even a day late is enough for SARS to levy the penalty and interest.

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied upon as professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your financial adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE)

The basics of creating a Last Will & Testament

Who your property is passed on to depends on whether you have a valid will or not. If you do have a valid will, then your property will be divided according to your wishes stated therein. If you die without a will (called “intestate”), then your property will be divided amongst your immediate family according to the laws of intestate succession.

 How can I create a Will?

If you are older than 16, you have the right to create a will, to state who you would want your property to go to when you die. In order for your will to be valid, it needs to be compiled in the proper way.

  1. According to the law, you have to be mentally competent when you compile your will; this means that you must understand the consequences of creating a will and that you must also be in a reasonable state of mind when you do so.
  2. You must make sure that your will is in writing in order for it to be valid.
  3. Two people older than 14 years must witness the creating of your will (these witnesses cannot be beneficiaries).
  4. You have to initialise every page of the will and then sign the last page. The witnesses must also initialise and sign the will.
  5. You can, and should, approach a lawyer to help you draw up your will to avoid creating an invalid will.

You can appoint an executor in your will to divide your property amongst your loved ones. An executor is the person who will make sure that your property is divided according to your wishes, as set out in your will, and he/she will also settle your outstanding debts. If you don’t choose an executor yourself, then the court will appoint someone, which is usually a family member.

What are the risks of not having a Will?

If you don’t have a valid will when you die, your property will be divided according to the rules set out by the law. These rules state that a married person’s property will be divided equally amongst their spouse and children. If you don’t have a spouse or any children, then your property will be divided between other family members. If you also don’t have any blood relatives, then the property will be given to the government. You might think that you do not need a will, as your family will divide your possessions amongst each other, but you must keep in mind that delays in dealing with your estate could affect your family negatively; they might be relying on their inheritance for an income.

  • The beneficiaries of your estate will be determined according to the laws of intestate succession, if you die without a will.
  • This law determines the distribution of your assets to your closest blood relatives, meaning that your assets may be sold or split up against your wishes.
  • Some of your assets could be given to someone in your family that you did not intent to benefit from your estate.
  • Without a will, you cannot leave a specific item to a specific family member or friend.
  • If you live with someone but are not married to them, the law will not necessarily recognise him/her as a beneficiary of your estate, unless you have left a will naming them as a beneficiary.

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE).

References:

Western Cape Government. (2017). Making a Will. [online] Available at: https://www.westerncape.gov.za/service/making-will [Accessed 22 Jun. 2017].

Momentum.co.za. (2017). Drafting a will and setting up a trust. [online] Available at: https://www.momentum.co.za/wps/wcm/connect/momV1/f150ba2e-3724-4b42-9265-332106cb6b83/drafting+a+will_E+vs+2+%2807032013%29%5B1%5D.pdf?MOD=AJPERES [Accessed 22 Jun. 2017].

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied upon as professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your financial adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE)

Estate planning

Posted on 17 of August, 2018 by in Estate

It is very important for you to plan your estate, which could include a living will, a last will and a living trust. This can help families prepare for difficult times when you are no longer around to assist or advise them. Our lives get busier and more complicated by the day, so estate planning for young and old becomes increasingly important. Consider preparing certain estate planning documents.

When to start with estate planning?

At the age of 18 a young man or woman officially becomes an adult in the eyes of the world. This means that you are entitled to make important financial, legal or health decisions about your life. But what if something happens and you are unable to make these decisions at a critical time? Such situations can range from a small inconvenience to a life-threatening crisis, but if your estate is in order, it can speak on your behalf. Consider the following:

  1. Financial power of attorney

A financial power of attorney allows you to appoint someone you trust, like another family member, to make financial decisions on your behalf. This document can be activated when you are incapacitated or right after it has been signed, and it will remain effective until you can resume charge of your own decisions again.

A financial power of attorney will allow the appointed person to handle important legal and financial matters on behalf of the grantor. In the case of a business or financial situation which involves the young adult, such as a passport or car registration renewal, it is convenient for the power of attorney to act on his/her behalf if they cannot tend to the problem. This arrangement may come in very handy when there is a legal situation which requires quick action and the young adult is unable to attend. Families with a disabled family member can also benefit from the security of a power of attorney.

  1. Living will

A living will enables you to state specific medical wishes if you are alive, but unable to communicate them. Artificial life support in the case of a coma or terminal illness is an issue often discussed in such a document. Preferences regarding administering of pain medication, artificial nutrition and other treatments can be dictated in this document.

  1. Health care power of attorney

With this type of power of attorney, you give someone else the power to make health decisions on your behalf. These decisions, regarding serious health and emotional problems, will be made based on instructions which you have given to your power of attorney beforehand. Sometimes a living will is combined with a health care power of attorney, because both of these can be revoked, i.e. it can be cancelled at any time by destroying it, communicating your wishes to your doctor, writing a letter regarding the cancellation or by creating a new living will and health care power of attorney, indicating that the new will revokes all the previous ones.

Start the conversation

Every family’s legal needs are different, so perhaps you should take the first step in being prepared for the worst. Remember that every time your family changes, such as when a child is born, you need to adapt your will to include them. Start the process and be prepared.

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied upon as professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your financial adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE)

VAT Increase and Accounting Systems

Posted on 26 of March, 2018 by in VAT

As you are aware, the National Treasury announced an increase in Value Added Tax (VAT) from 14% to 15% effective 1 April 2018.

We urge you to ensure that your accounting systems are set up to process transactions at the new VAT rate of 15% from 1 April 2018. This is to avoid any penalties or interest due to an under declaration or an over claim on your VAT201 return.

Also note that vendors under Category B (March/April), Category E (annual return) and most farmers registered under Category D VAT reporting periods, will have transactions subject to the VAT rate of 14% and 15% which must be correctly reflected on the VAT201 return.

Feel free to contact us should you have any questions or require assistance

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied upon as professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your financial adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE)

Comic contracts: A novel approach to contract clarity and accessibility

The content of this article was originally published on the Forbes website. The information and views set out in the article are those of the author(s)

Credit: Fruit Picker contract pages by Jincom

Beware the fine print is the oft-repeated expression heard in almost any deal or contract negotiation. It’s good advice that too often is ignored in daily life and job situations—especially among those segments of the population that may not have excellent English language skills, or for that matter, anyone without experience with the often-impenetrable legalese featured in contracts.

Almost by definition, the “fine print” can signal complexity, confusion and gobbledygook that even the smartest people might find difficult to wade through.

Until now.

Robert de Rooy is an attorney based in South Africa and the founder of Comic Contracts – and this is no joke.

Comic Contracts are documents that are:

• Legally binding contracts in which parties are represented by characters

• The agreement is captured in pictures

• The parties sign the comic as the contract

“We produce illustrated contracts for people who are illiterate, people who are not literate in the language of the contract, employers with multi-cultural workplaces or companies that wish to transact with people who suffer from reading or intellectual disabilities. We want to enable people to be able to independently understand the contracts they are expected to sign.”

Those who are fans of contracts that have transparency, visibility, simplicity and clarity should take note.

De Rooy laid out the comic contract idea in a recent presentation at an International Association for Contract and Commercial Management (IACCM) Americas Conference. He says the comic contract was inspired by, and builds on, the work of preventative law and proactive contracting—a “movement in law that is being led by Professors Tom Barton (USA) and Helena Haapio (Finland), which promotes the use of visualization as a non-binding aid in understanding the text of an agreement, and thereby creates more ‘fit for purpose’ contracts designed for better relationships and better outcomes.”

Optimizing contract outcomes is the goal, no matter who the parties are, or their situation. Or, as de Rooy puts it: “We want contracts to be useful in aligning expectations and to signal healthy relationships towards successful outcomes. We don’t try to serve the interests of any party, we try to serve the relationships between them.”

Beyond Text-based Contracts: Examples Of Comic Contracts In Practice

Comic contracts step out of the “text”-based contract paradigm, de Rooy explains. Simply put, text on paper does not have to be the only way in which agreements can be reliably recorded.Pictures can are not only useful to aid understanding of the text in a contract, pictures can actually “be” the contract.

This takes contracting to a new and exciting level by making the contract document accessible to everyone. This offers a proactive and workable solution to the challenge faced by vulnerable or illiterate people when they are expected to sign, and be legally bound by, text agreements that they are not able to understand.

De Rooy explained the genesis of comic contract. He had been working on the idea for some years, and entered a description of the idea into a legal innovation competition in 2014, but it received no notice. A kind introduction by Kim Wright, an American lawyer and the American Bar Association’s Legal Rebel in 2009, to Professor Haapio, led to an invitation to present the idea at the Contract Simplification Conference in Switzerland in May 2016. “I could describe the idea, the theory of it and had some samples of illustrated clauses but I still did not have a complete field and signature ready agreement. This is where one of my practice’s clients stepped up to the plate. Indigo Fruit Farming gave me some budget to work with a Cape Town company called Jincom to produce a complete and professional quality Fruit-picker contract for their citrus farms.”

So, when he presented his idea, this time, he had something to show: “I did not have to try to describe the idea, the audience could see it, and they loved it. Moreover, I could tell them that this contract was actually going to be implemented.”

Initially, de Rooy was “worried that the workers would perceive the contract as patronizing, and the farm managers were concerned about doing things differently. So, it was agreed that their comic contract would first be presented to a group of workers they knew are unlikely to cause a problem if they did not like it for any reason. When this went well, it was then presented to a general group of new workers.”

After the contracts were signed, and the feedback came from the workers, “Indigo felt so proud that they wanted their consumer brand “Clemengold™” brand displayed on the contract.”

Robert has now partnered with Jincom to produce comic contracts for other companies who like this idea and want it for their people.

Apart from the Fruit-Picker agreement, other examples of comic contracts that have been or are being developed, include:

• A Generic Farm Laborer contract for the South African Wine and Agricultural Ethical Trading Association (WIETA), a multi-stakeholder, non-profit voluntary organization, which promotes ethical trade in the wine industry value chain. Stakeholders include producers, retailers, trade unions, non-governmental organizations and the government.

• Shop-floor Worker contract for a dairy business

• Kitchen Staff contract for a hotel group

• Codes of Conduct for sport clubs in Australia

• Domestic worker contracts

• Loan agreements

• Funeral Insurance contracts

• Rental contracts

We Are Defined By Our Ability To Understand Contracts

De Rooy observes that the law uses “a blunt instrument called age, and assumes that when you reached the age of 18, you can read and understand contracts. If you sign an agreement after age 17, it’s not binding without your parent’s signature. But when you sign it after age 18, it’s binding. “When one is well-educated, that’s reasonable, but if you are vulnerable, illiterate or simply faced with a contract that is not in your native language, you are factually in the same position as a small child, except that the law offers you no protection.”

Tim Cummins, IACCM CEO, provides insight into the use of comic contracts. “Our long-held perspective is that today’s contract design and structure is frequently a source of risk. Contracts contain important information that the typical user finds hard to understand, a belief confirmed by recent IACCM research where 88% of business people said that ‘contracts are difficult or impossible to understand’.

“We have supported new thinking in contract design for several years, introducing a design award in 2012. Therefore, we were delighted to discover the exciting innovation by Robert – a remarkable example of social responsibility, inclusive thinking and effective risk management that has led to better economic results for both employer and workers. We continue to encourage new thinking and we are delighted by the steady recognition in major corporations that this is a path they should follow.”

Cummins noted IACCM members were so impressed with the comic contract concept that de Rooy was selected to receive the “Program of Visionary Change Award” at the organization’s Americas conference last year. He noted IACCM members were so impressed with the comic contract concept that de Rooy was selected to receive the “Program of Visionary Change Award” at the organization’s Americas conference last year.

Using comics as the contract might sound condescending, especially with respect to illiterate people. That is not the intent; it’s reality that illiterate people should sign contracts they understand. The purpose is to fill a serious need and a void in the ‘art’ of contracting.

Simply put, every picture tells a story. And when pictures express contracts, it provides clarity that can vastly improve the story of many people’s lives.

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied upon as professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your financial adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE)

Income tax: Deduction of medical expenses

Posted on 25 of January, 2018 by in Tax

An individual’s ability to pay tax may be adversely affected by costs incurred as a result of illness or disability. For this reason, a certain degree of relief is provided by the Income Tax Act No.59 of 1962 (the Act).

Timing of Deduction

Qualifying medical contributions and expenses may only be claimed in the tax year that they are paid. Expenses can be incurred during a tax year and not paid in the same year. The expenses should only be claimed in the tax year in which it is actually paid.

This guide provides general guidelines regarding the deductibility of medical expenses for income tax purposes. It does not delve into the precise technical and legal detail that is often associated with tax. This guide provides information obtained from our experience in dealing with SARS on a daily basis.

Persons for whom contributions and expenses may be claimed

Only qualifying expenditure paid by the taxpayer for the following persons may be considered in the determination of the medical allowance:

  • Yourself
  • Your spouse
  • Your children
  • Your dependents

Important: The patient may be any one of the persons listed above, but the payment must be made by the taxpayer, in order for the taxpayer to be able to claim the medical allowance.

Qualifying contributions to a medical aid

Any contributions paid by you for yourself, your spouse, your children and your dependents, to a medical scheme registered under section 24(1) of the MS Act.

Contributions paid by an employer of a taxpayer, which are included in the taxable income of the taxpayer as a taxable benefit, is deemed to be contributions paid by the taxpayer.

Qualifying medical expenses

Expenses that have been paid by you during the tax year to any duly registered –

  • Medical practitioner, dentist, optometrist, homeopath, naturopath, osteopath, herbalist, physiotherapist, chiropractor or orthopaedist for professional services rendered and medicines supplied;
  • Nursing home or hospital or any duly registered or enrolled nurse, midwife or nursing assistant for illness or confinement;
  • Pharmacists for medicines as prescribed by a person mentioned above.

will be taken into account when the medical allowance is determined, provided that the expenses have been incurred for yourself, your spouse, your children or any dependents.

The expenses may not be recovered from your medical scheme.

Documentary requirements to claim a medical allowance

The following documentation must be retained when a medical allowance is claimed for a tax year:

  • Proof of contributions paid to a medical scheme.
  • A statement from the medical scheme indicating the total amount of claims submitted to the fund that were not refunded to you or paid by the scheme to the service provider.
  • A detailed list of all amounts not submitted to the medical scheme or not recovered, with the following details:
  1. Date of payment
  2. Name of service provider
  3. Name of patient
  4. Relationship of patient to the taxpayer (if applicable)
  5. Amount
  • Invoices from service providers for amounts not submitted to the medical scheme or not recovered.
    The invoice should be issued to the taxpayer, but may indicate the patient as the taxpayer’s spouse, children or dependents.
  • Proof of payment to the service providers of amounts not submitted to the medical scheme or not recovered. Proof of payment may be a receipt issued to the taxpayer, paid cheques from an account of the taxpayer, bank statements in the name of the taxpayer, bank deposit slips of proof of electronic fund transfer from an account of the taxpayer.

In summary

  • Must be a qualifying medical expense,
  • Paid by the taxpayer,
  • During the tax year,
  • Supported by an invoice and proof of payment in the name of the taxpayer

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied upon as professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your financial adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE)

Leef veilig – Neem verantwoordelikheid

Jy is verantwoordelik vir jou eie veiligheid. Jou ingesteldheid moet van só ’n aard wees dat jy nie ’n teiken van jouself maak nie. Maak ’n gewoonte daarvan om paraat te wees; wees te alle tye bewus van wat rondom jou aangaan, en waar moontlike gevare is. Alhoewel die polisie en sekuriteitsmaatskappye ’n rol speel in jou veiligheid, begin persoonlike veiligheid egter by JOU! 

Voorkom gevaar

Jou verantwoordelikheid vir veiligheid begin tuis; maak seker dat jy veilig leef in jou eie huis. Dit strek egter ook verder as dit; jy moet ook paraat wees as jy die huis verlaat. Maak veiligheid ’n leefstyl, en stel veiligheidsmaatreëls in om jou en jou familie te beskerm. 

Tuis

Is jy seker jou huis is veilig?

  • Sluit die veiligheidshekke. Dit sal nie noodwendig misdadigers keer nie, maar dit gee jou tyd om te reageer.
  • Kry addisionele sisteme in plek vir vroeë waarskuwings van inbrekers. Gooi gruis rondom jou huis en installeer beligting in die tuin, wat deur beweging geaktiveer word.
  • Skakel die alarmstelsel aan sodra almal rustig begin verkeer binne die huis. Inbrekers vat hulle kans wanneer ’n mens dit die minste verwag.
  • Probeer om roetine sovêr moontlik te vermy. Wanneer jou bewegings onvoorspelbaar is, is jy ’n moeiliker teiken.
  • Rapporteer enige verdagte persone wat in jou buurt rond beweeg. Wees bedag daarop dat misdadigers strategieë gebruik om hulle verkenning te doen; hulle sal byvoorbeeld voorgee dat hulle iets wil koop of verkoop.
  • Moet nooit inligting gee aan onbekende persone wat jou bel nie. Hoe meer iemand van jou weet, hoe meer is jy geneig om geteiken te word. Misdadigers kan byvoorbeeld voorgee dat hulle aan ’n sekere maatskappy behoort. Moenie vrae soos, “Wanneer is jou man tuis?” beantwoord nie.
  • Skep ’n veilige sone in die huis. Verkieslik by die slaapkamers, aangesien julle snags daar verkeer. Installeer ’n veiligheidshek in die gang, wat dien as ’n ekstra versperring waardeur gebreek moet word.  

Op die pad

Jy mag dalk veilig voel in jou motor, maar wat as jou motor gaan staan?

  • Stel jou familie in kennis van die roete wat jy sal volg en hoe laat hulle jou kan verwag by jou bestemming.
  • Vermy bekende gevaarlike gebiede sovêr moontlik.
  • Maak seker dat jy noodnommers op jou selfoon het indien jy dalk langs die pad staan met ’n onklaar voertuig. Maak seker jou selfoon is altyd gelaai.
  • Hou altyd ’n bottel pepersproei in jou handsak. 

Wees in beheer

Indien jy jouself bevind in ’n gevaarlike situasie, soos om met ’n geweer aangehou te word, is dit nodig om voorbereid te wees. Probeer jouself eers uit ’n situasie te praat. Gaan slegs oor tot selfverdediging indien jy seker is jy kan jou aanvaller oorweldig of as dit ’n saak van lewe en dood is. Teiken sagte plekke, enige alledaagse items binne bereik kan gebruik word:

  • Sleutels: Knyp dit tussen jou vingers vas en slaan of steek die misdadiger.
  • Pen: Steek die misdadiger met die skerp punt.
  • Deodorant: Spuit dit in die misdadiger se oë. 

Deur ’n veilige leefstyl te leef, sal jy nie jouself onnodig aan gevare blootstel nie. Kry versekering om jouself te beskerm; dit sal jou dek wanneer jy deur misdadigers oorval word. Die koste van jou veiligheid moet ook opgeweeg word teen die alternatief, naamlik trauma en lewensverlies. Trauma kan jou hele lewe ontwrig en daarom moet jy voorsorgmaatreëls in plek hê om jou en jou familie te beskerm.

Hierdie artikel is algemene inligtingsblad en moet nie as professionele advies beskou word nie. Geen verantwoordelikheid word aanvaar vir enige foute, verlies of skade wat ondervind word as gevolg  van die gebruik van enige inligting vervat in hierdie artikel nie. Kontak altyd finansiële raadgewer vir spesifieke en gedetailleerde advies. (E&OE)

Employment Tax Incentive: Why say no to R1280 per month per qualifying employee

Posted on 13 of October, 2017 by in Tax

What is it?

ETI is a tax incentive awarded to qualifying employers aimed at encouraging employers to employ employees between the ages of 18 to 29.

It is a temporary programme covering only the first two years of employment. The ETI commenced on 1 January 2014 and will end on 31 December 2019. It applies to qualifying employees employed on or after 1 October 2013 by eligible employers.

Saving on PAYE liability by employer

The amount of PAYE paid to SARS by the employer will be reduced by the amount of ETI utilized.

The ETI is a non-taxable incentive and thus has no income tax implication for the employer. The ETI will also be exempt from VAT.

The total saving per qualifying employee earning minimum wage is thus calculated as follows:

Minimum wage: R3001.13
ETI utilised: R1000.00
ETI tax exemption: R  280.00
Cost of employee: R1721.13

Can you afford not to source for qualifying employees!?

Who qualifies?

The employer is eligible to receive the ETI if the employer –

  • Is registered for employees’ tax (PAYE);
  • The employer is tax compliant in respect of all taxes.

An individual is a qualifying employee if he or she –

  • Has a valid South African ID;
  • Is 18 to 29 years old;
  • Is not a domestic worker;
  • Is not a “connected person” to the employer;
  • Was employed by the employer on or after 1 October 2013;
  • The employee does not earn less that the minimum wage of the industry or R2 000 per month where no minimum wage is prescribed and not more than R6 000 per month.

How is it calculated?

Calculating the ETI is a complex and technical calculation and has to be done in accordance with the Employment Tax Incentive Bill published in the Government Gazette.

The ETI amount for each employee is calculated according to the table below:

  ETI per month during the first ETI per month during the next
Monthly  12 months of employment of  12 months of employment of 
Remuneration the qualifying employee the qualifying employee
R0 – R2 000 50% of monthly remuneration 25% of monthly remuneration
R2 001 – R4 000 R 1 000 R 500
R4 001 – R6 000 Formula: Formula:
R1 000 – [0.5 x (monthly remuneration – R4 000)] R500 – [0.25 x (monthly remuneration – R4 000)]

 

There are a number of technical requirements to adhere to when calculating the ETI. This is not a comprehensive list but are a few of the more practical issues a payroll administrator has to deal with when calculating the ETI:

  • Each month it has to be determined if the employer is tax compliant and thus is a qualifying employer;
  • The payroll administrator has to determine whether the qualifying employees did not earn less than the basic minimum wage or R2 000 per month as applicable and not more than R6 000 per month. This is a complex calculation where the employee was not employed for the full month, or where over-time and other fringe benefits are included in the remuneration. The ETI calculated has to be apportioned in the manner prescribed by ETI Bill where the employee was not employed for a full month.
  • Each employee has to have a valid South African ID. The payroll administrator thus has to make sure that each employee is in possession of a valid South African ID.  In the rural areas not all employees are in possession of a valid South African ID.
  • Accurate record has to be kept of the period the employee is in the employment of the employer, since the ETI is only applicable to the first 24 months of employment.  This is particularly difficult in the agricultural sector where employees are employed on a seasonal basis. Only the months the employee is a qualifying employee will be used in determining the employee’s month of employment in order to determine the formula to be used according to the table above.
  • Accurate record has to be kept of the ETI the employer qualifies for, the amount utilized against the PAYE due to SARS and the amount rolled over to the following period.

How does the employer claim the ETI?

The ETI is deducted from the employer’s total PAYE liability for the month.  If the ETI exceeds the PAYE liability for the month, the excess may be carried forward to the next month.

The ETI unutilized at the end of each six-month easyfile reconciliation period, will be refunded to the employer if the employer is tax compliant.

Penalties and interest

An employer that receives the ETI for an ineligible employee must pay a penalty to SARS of 100% of the ETI received for that employee.

An employer who has wrongly claimed the ETI would not have been entitled to reduce the monthly employees’ tax payment.  That employer will have underpaid employees’ tax and must pay a percentage-based penalty plus interest levied by SARS.

It is thus of utmost importance that payroll administrators ensure that ETI is only claimed for qualifying employees and that the ETI amount is calculated correctly.

The ETI unutilized at the end of each six-month period will be accounted for by creating a debtor on the balance sheet of the employer and an ETI income on the income statement.  When the unutilized ETI is paid to the employer by the Government, the receipt will be allocated against the debtor on the balance sheet.

Payroll software

Due to the complexity of the ETI calculation, the comprehensive record keeping requirements etc it is recommended that employers use payroll software, for example VIP, for the calculations.

The advantages of VIP are extensive, for example:

  • Accurate calculation of ETI if the employer details are setup correctly by the payroll administrator;
  • Accurate recordkeeping;
  • Less time spent on payroll administration as well as on the six-monthly easyfile reconciliation capturing.

The ETI information has to be captured for each employee when preparing the qualifying employee’s IRP5.  This is a time consuming process and will result in unnecessary costs.

We can help you

Bdk Auditors has the necessary knowledge and expertise to help you maximise your ETI advantage.

We provide payroll services according to the needs and requirements of our clients.  These services include but are not limited to:

  • Monthly processing of payroll on VIP (this includes calculation of net salaries, employees taxes, ETI etc)
  • Preparing and submitting monthly EMP201 returns
  • Preparing of payslips to be distributed to employees
  • Bi-Annual easyfile processing and submission
  • Preparing of IRP5’s for employees
  • Dealing with SARS enquiries, reviews and audits

Please contact us should you wish to discuss your Employment Tax Incentive strategy or would like to receive more information on the payroll services provided by us

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied upon as professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your financial adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE)

20 Years of bdk Auditors Fruit Benchmarking

Posted on 10 of August, 2017 by in Other

This year will mark the 20th annual bdk Auditors fruit benchmarking survey. Looking back while considering the latest trends we can summarise the past two decades as follows:

 

  • The biggest driver of profitability is still the production of quality fruit of the right variety
  • Over the past 8 years alone production has increased by more than 30%
  • Notwithstanding the higher production, the quality fruit on tree increased or at least stayed the same
  • There is a lot of value to unlock when you increase quality fruit on tree – BIG focus area
  • Best practice producers produce on average 16% more tonnes per ha. than average producers. This resulted in +-R40,000 extra profit per hectare, a fact that saw best practice producers being sustainable for most of the period while the average farmer was unable to replant for 9 of the 20 years

What is benchmarking?

 “It is an agricultural economic study which identifies the factors that contribute to farm gate profit while comparing participating farms with each other.”

The study identifies the relative performance of each participant against his peers. The study compares the performance of +-44 farms on a confidential basis. We then calculate benchmarks for best practice performance. Our study covers 37% (3,687ha) of apples in the Grabouw/Vyeboom area and 33% (873 ha) of pears in the same area. Focus is on apples, pears and to a lesser extent plums.

2017 will be the the 20th year that we are conducting our study and surveys have gone out. Participation is open for any deciduous fruit farm.

For more info or for participation please contact Tonie Linde tonie@bdkauditors.co.za or visit our website www.bdkauditors.co.za .

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied upon as professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your financial adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE)