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tax

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Heavyweight firm with a highly acclaimed tax practice, offering a broad range of expertise, including indirect tax.
Chambers Global Guide, 2020

ENSafrica’s dedicated tax team is able to offer the full spectrum of tax advice throughout Africa, including advising multinationals who are expanding on the continent.

Our key differentiator is that we are the largest tax team housed in a law firm on the African continent. We are able to offer you a distinct competitive edge by combining unique areas of tax specialisation with extensive African and international experience and an innovative, solution-driven approach.

We have a specialised Africa tax desk which advises on the tax consequences of domestic and cross-border transactions across the African continent.

In addition to our team members based in ENSafrica offices in a number of African countries, we have an extensive network of high quality tax correspondent firms with whom we have built long-standing relationships. This means that we are able to cover every country in Africa.

In addition, we have the unique advantage, as part of Africa’s largest law firm, of being able to harness the expertise of more than 600 practitioners throughout the continent. ENSafrica has a significant breadth and depth of experience and specialist expertise that spans all commercial areas of law, tax, forensics and IP.

As such, we regularly partner with specialists across the firm, meaning that we are able to assist with all aspects of all matters across all sectors in all African jurisdictions, ensuring that your legal requirements are handled quickly and seamlessly.

We are also part of the global Taxand network, which has offices in 50 countries across the world.

what we offer

We provide expert advice in relation to all areas of tax law, including:

Africa tax

  • Preparing customised tax and regulatory frameworks per country, providing an overview of material in-country tax implications, including:
    • an overview of the local tax system, including corporate income tax, value-added tax, withholding taxes and special tax regimes
    • exchange control and other specific regulatory regulations
  • Tax and regulatory compliance checklists, with deadlines and other submission requirements
  • Advice on the frameworks includes regulatory interpretation and practical application of in-country legislation, with input from local advisors
  • Advice on appropriate legal structures per country to ensure tax efficiency, both locally and internationally
  • Advice on in-country tax implications of projects, business operations and specific transactions
  • Workshops with senior legal and finance staff to discuss benefits and implications of various alternatives

corporate tax

  • Transaction and investment structuring advice
  • Structuring of mergers and acquisitions
  • Financing
  • Investment structures
  • Property finance
  • Corporate restructuring, unbundling, and corporate finance, including share repurchases, distributions and capital reductions, share buybacks, and capital and balance sheet restructuring
  • Project finance
  • Tax due diligence

international tax

  • Inbound investment, including funding and thin capitalisation, withholding tax on outbound flows, and tax treaties
  • Outbound investment, including controlled foreign companies, taxation of inbound flows, authorisation of foreign tax credits, and tax treaties

risk reviews

  • Risk reviews of African countries, including political, economic, operational, tax, legal and security
  • Practical in-country advice, including tax and regulatory requirements, efficient in-country legal and operating structures, ongoing tax and regulatory compliance requirements, and assistance with queries from foreign tax authorities and other regulatory bodies

private clients

  • Advising high net worth individuals in respect of, among others, formation of local and foreign trusts, tax and exchange control matters, and estate planning
  • Formation and tax optimisation of employee share incentive schemes and other arrangements
  • Structuring of corporate social investment
  • Expatriate tax planning and compliance issues
  • Tax planning: structuring employee packages for maximum tax efficiency
  • Risk mitigation: ensuring compliance in order to sustain a payroll audit
  • General tax advice: opinions and assistance with all employment-related tax issues

value added tax (VAT)

  • VAT compliance reviews, advice and support
  • VAT training
  • VAT litigation and alternative dispute resolution
  • VAT consequences of agreements and transactions
  • Optimisation of VAT recovery
  • VAT system developments and implementation
  • Cash flow planning
  • Optimisation of VAT positioning in foreign markets

customs and excise and international trade

  • Customs and excise compliance reviews
  • Customs and excise and international trade training
  • Customs and excise internal administrative appeals and litigation
  • Customs and excise consequences of agreements, transactions and business structures
  • Application and defence of unfair trade practice investigations, including anti-dumping, countervailing, safeguarding and litigation in this regard
  • Applying for and defending investigations into customs and excise duty increases and decreases, and duty refunds, rebates and exemptions, as well as litigation in this regard

transfer pricing

  • Transfer pricing advisory, including detailed value chain analysis, characterisation of entities, economic analysis and drafting of transfer pricing policies, also taking into account areas such as corporate tax, indirect taxes and customs, intellectual property law and exchange controls
  • Transfer pricing documentation: preparing transfer pricing documentation based on the three-tiered approach endorsed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), i.e. country-by-country reporting (CbCR), master file and local file, taking into account country-specific requirements
  • Transfer pricing risk management and dispute resolution: assisting clients in respect of their interactions with the South African Revenue Service (SARS) and other tax authorities, from the initial risk assessment process to potential litigation

dispute resolution

  • Audits, investigations and queries
  • Ensuring taxpayers’ rights are upheld
  • Notices of objection
  • Lodging appeals
  • Managing tax litigation
  • Settling disputes with tax authorities
  • Utilising alternative dispute resolution, such as mediation

exchange control

  • Structuring of international transactions, mergers and acquisitions
  • Exchange control advice and required approvals for international transactions

experience

Investment vehicles
The setting up of various alternative investment vehicles for Liberty Holdings Limited.
De-merger
The de-merger and separation by Investec Limited and Investec plc of their asset management business from their banking business. This was implemented by way of a de-merger of the asset management business to a new dual listed company in the UK and a dual listed company in South Africa.
Acquisition
Acquisition of 100% of FibreCo Telecommunications by its affiliate SEACOM South Africa, a pan-African telecommunications service provider.
Divestment
The divestment of Eqstra Fleet Management and Logistics by enX.
Acquisition
The acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Lonmin Plc by Sibanye Gold, and the subsequent restructure of the enlarged Sibanye group.
Cross-border M&A
A complex cross-border merger and acquisition transaction for Standard Bank.
Unbundling
Tax advice, and the implementation thereof, in relation to the unbundling by Tiger Brands of Oceana Limited to its shareholders.
Acquisition
Acquisition by Experian South Africa of Compuscan and Scoresharp, providers of credit information and analytics services to organisations across Botswana, Ethiopia, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Uganda, as well as the Philippines and Australia.
Disposal
Disposal by AngloGold Ashanti of its remaining mining operations in South Africa to Harmony Gold.
Debt restructure
A highly-complex group-wide debt restructure by the Edcon Group.