Month: April 2024

Donating to a PBO? Check SARS’ New Requirements.

Donating to a PBO? TAKE NOTE OF SARS’ New Requirements


“The new requirements enable… a more efficient process to make deductions available to qualifying donor taxpayers and to help prevent section 18A claims abuse.”

With a valid tax certificate from a qualifying PBO, taxpayers – companies and individuals – can get a tax deduction for donations made.  New requirements for both valid tax certificates and PBOs have been implemented by SARS, the most recent being effective from 31 May 2024, affecting both PBOs and their donors. Before donating to a PBO and relying on the tax break, be sure to first verify with us the eligibility of the PBO and tax certificate with the new requirements. For PBOs, our professional assistance in meeting the new requirements is recommended.   

Public benefit organisations (PBOs) are engaged in public benefit activities for example religious institutions, day care centres, disaster relief organisations, health clinics, etc.  Many are dependent on donations and, to encourage the public’s generosity, a tax deduction for certain donations made by taxpayers is provided. 

Qualifying PBOs (i.e. section 18A-approved organisations) may issue tax certificates – called section 18A receipts – to donors.    This tax certificate – or section 18A receipt issued by a section 18A-approved organisation – entitles you or your company to a deduction from taxable income for bona fide donations in cash or of property.  While approved section 18A institutions were previously required to keep records of all section 18A receipts issued, the requirements have changed, affecting both PBOs and their private and corporate donors.          

PBOs: New requirements, and a 31 May 2024 deadline

Previously, the information that had to be provided by a PBO for a valid section 18A certificate was limited to the details of the PBO; details of the date, amount or nature of the donation; confirmation of how the donation would be used; and the name and address of the donor.

Last year, SARS issued further requirements for more detailed information to be included on all section 18A certificates issued from 1 March 2023. This includes the nature of the donor; the donor’s identification or registration number; donor trading name (if different from the registered name); donor income tax reference number; donor contact number and e-mail address; and a unique receipt number.

In addition, this year – like other third parties such as the banks, medical schemes and fund administrators required by law to send data to SARS – all PBOs are now also required to submit bi-annual reports – called an IT3(d) – to SARS. The first deadline for PBOs in this respect is 31 May 2024.

From this date, approved section 18A tax exempt institutions must submit data on section 18A tax deductible receipts issued, which includes information on the S18A approved tax exempt institution, donation information and donor information for the 2023/2024 year of assessment (i.e. S18A receipts data from 01 March 2023 to 28 February 2024) by submission of IT3(d) data via efiling.

Professional assistance is essential

While it has always been best practice to check with your accountant first before making a donation and relying on the tax break, it is now more crucial than ever for companies and individuals to ensure that the PBO being supported, as well as the tax certificate – or section 18A receipt – issued to obtain a tax deduction, meet SARS’ new requirements. Also remember to check the limits: the amount of donations which may qualify for a tax deduction is limited to up to 10% of taxable income.

We can also help PBOs to ensure they can meet the new requirements and deadlines, to ensure compliance and that their donors can enjoy the tax breaks that will encourage generous giving.

Have your own Budget Shortfall? Here’s what to do.


“The cold, harsh reality is that we
have to balance the budget.”

Government’s approach to balance this year’s National Budget 2024 shortfall of R15 billion didn’t set a positive example for South African individuals and businesses that face the same economic challenges but are, unlike government, unable to side-step spending cuts by squeezing taxpayers and tapping into national reserves.            

Given the economic conditions, business and personal budget shortfalls are not uncommon. Find out here why it is so important to balance your own budgets and what to do when facing a shortfall without compromising your capacity to achieve your goals.

Budget shortfalls are not uncommon across the public and private sectors, especially in these economically challenging times. A budget shortfall is a significant concern for any individual or organisation and should be corrected promptly.  To address the R15 billion shortfall in National Budget 2024, the South African government earlier this year did not cut its spending, but rather indirectly raised individual taxes by not adjusting personal tax brackets, rebates and credits for inflation, as well as proposing above-inflation increases in sin taxes.

Of course, these strategies are not available to South African individuals and businesses, but nevertheless, as Michael Bloomberg, former Mayor of New York City reminded us:
The cold, harsh reality is that we have to balance the budget.”   

This is because a budget shortfall – when financial obligations or liabilities exceed the amount of cash available – tends to impact negatively on business by, for example, necessitating spending cuts that could adversely affect critical operations, or by requiring an increase in debt to finance the shortfall. On the other hand, maintaining a balanced budget ensures expenses do not exceed revenue, promoting financial stability and avoiding additional debt. By providing a clear demarcation of the available resources and financial capabilities, a balanced budget facilitates informed decisions, long-term planning and sustainable growth.  There are different types of budgets for various purposes, such as day-to-day operational budgets, cash flow budgets, long-term capital budgets, and master budgets combining various budget types for a comprehensive overview of the company’s overall financial health.

These budgets include elements such as revenue estimates; fixed, variable and one-time costs; cash flow projections; and profit projections. We are able to assist you with choosing the right approach for your business’ specific budgeting requirements. Given the economic conditions, business and personal budget shortfalls are not uncommon. Find out here why it is so important to balance your own budgets and what to do when facing a shortfall without compromising your capacity to achieve your goals.


If you are facing a budget shortfall, the tried and tested strategies below for balancing a budget may be helpful.
While these approaches are business-orientated, each can be adapted to balance your personal budget too.          

Remember to involve your employees, suppliers and other stakeholders, who often have valuable insights into areas where budgets can be optimised. Communicate clearly about the financial situation and reasons for any budget adjustments, acknowledging the impact on the team and stakeholders, and providing opportunities for them to provide input and ideas to mitigate the impact on their activities.

Maintaining a balanced budget is crucial to financial stability and sustainable business growth. It empowers business owners and managers in understanding the company’s financial health, setting realistic goals, planning for contingencies, and capitalising on opportunities.

Freelancer vs Employee: How to decide

Freelancer vs Employee: How to Decide

“People are not your most important asset.
The right people are.”

With so much of the population now working remotely as contractors or freelancers, the traditional employer/employee model is being scrutinised more closely than ever before. While considered a classic form of doing things, there is little doubt that the full-time employee still has much to offer a company, in the right circumstances.

Deciding when to use freelancers or hire full-time is a job that requires an entrepreneur to examine the exact needs of the company, the finances available and the long-term repercussions and training required for a specific position. Here is our quick guide on how to determine how each of the roles in your organisation should be filled.

Knowing whether to hire a freelancer or full-time employee for any particular role is vital for the successful running of a modern business. With budgets constantly being constrained and the pressure to perform going up, ensuring you maximise your workforce is absolutely essential if you want to build a successful company.  Here is our quick guide to help you decide whether the roles in your company should be filled by a full-time employee or a freelancer.


If the role requires specific knowledge or a significant amount of training, it will always be better to bring in a full-time employee. While the risk always exists that you will train an employee only for them to leave, this risk is far greater with a freelancer given the fact that they are already working with multiple companies.

If the role requires careful oversight, it is also a good idea to make it full-time. Freelancers work with multiple clients and as such schedule work to their calendar and not strictly to when your managers and supervisors are online.

Freelancers are exceptional at delivering on their specific tasks but may not have the same general awareness and knowledge of your company. This is important to consider especially when choosing staff who will be interacting with your clients and customers, where it’s vital they are living the company culture and fully cognizant of the nuances of the brand.

Anyone who is set to take a senior role in your business should be a full-time employee, simply because these roles require someone who is fully dedicated to the business and not distracted by other roles and concerns.  


If the budget is a concern, then you should definitely be using a freelancer. Even if that freelancer is charging a premium your company will often save money on benefits such as health insurance, paid holidays, retirement annuities and bonuses, while also saving on their office space and supplies and equipment. With freelancers the company only pays for the hours worked, and dead time around the coffee machine is no longer an expense. If you find the job is larger than expected the option exists to take the freelancer on a retainer for a set number of hours each month at a set rate, which can activate even more savings. Your accountant can easily run the costs for you in each scenario, making this decision an easy one.

As freelancers aren’t employees, they are significantly easier to terminate should their work not be up to standard. Further, they aren’t generally considered when tallying the employee numbers for determining the size of a business, and their working conditions are not regulated by the Basic Conditions of Employment Act. In general, taking on a freelancer runs far lower risks for an organisation than hiring in a similar position. Beware however of tax and labour law rules on when a freelancer or “independent contractor” will be deemed to be a full-time employee no matter the terms of your contract – ask us for help in need.

For the freelancer in particular, quality reigns supreme. With their livelihoods dependant on repeat work and satisfied clients, freelancers must be the epitome of dedication and excellence in their craft. Unlike staff members whose performance might fluctuate, freelancers understand that their contracts are always up for renewal, driving them to consistently deliver their finest work.

Price your products for profit with these psychological strategies

Price Your Products for Profit with these Psychological Strategies

“Find the right price for an irresistible offer,
which, by the way, isn’t necessarily the lower price.”

Nothing is more important when running a successful business than pricing your products accurately. Most business leaders are already examining the maths, costs and business considerations behind pricing, but there is also an entirely separate consideration which needs to be taken into account – human psychology.  Human psychology and decision-making play a huge role when it comes to developing pricing strategies and taking these into consideration will always ensure greater sales and ultimately a healthier business.

A good businessperson pays attention to the price of their products. With accountants by their side, they wisely analyse every expense, tax and logistical possibility to ensure their product goes out at the best rate for maximum profitability. Like with everything in society, no matter how thorough the maths, pricing strategies can also be influenced by the underlying psychological principles that drive consumer behaviour and purchasing decisions.

Ultimately, customers want to know that they’re getting either the best price point, the best quality, or the best value. Psychological pricing leans into that idea, and ethically uses price as a way to send the right signals to make customers feel one of these three benefits.  By decoding these subtle nuances, businesses gain a competitive edge by subtly adjusting their pricing strategies to lure customers and bolster profitability. Here we uncover the strategies and insights essential for businesses aiming to thrive in today’s dynamic market landscape.