Capital Gains Tax for Companies – part 2

In this article we will continue discussing the basics of Capital Gains Tax with an emphasis on the methods of cost base valuation.

Refer to part 1 for introductory information.

The CGT provisions are mostly contained in the Eighth Schedule to the Income Tax Act 58 of 1962 (the Act), although some are in the main body of the Act, such as those dealing with change of residence, ceasing to be a controlled foreign company or becoming a headquarter company (section 9H), government grants (section 12P), international shipping (section 12Q) and the corporate restructuring rules (sections 41 to 47).

The Eighth Schedule determines a taxable capital gain or assessed capital loss and section 26A of the Act provides that the taxable capital gain must be included in taxable income.

Who may perform valuations?

The Act does not prescribe who may perform a valuation. This task was the responsibility of the company and the onus of substantiating a valuation rests with the company. A company is entitled to appoint a professional person to assist with the valuation.

Base cost of assets acquired before 1 October 2001

In order to exclude the portion of the capital gain relating to the period before 1 October 2001, the base cost of the asset as at that date must be determined according to any
one of the following methods:

  1. “20% of proceeds”
  2. Market value on 1 October 2001
  3. Time-apportionment base cost
  4. “20% of proceeds” method

Under this method the valuation date value of the asset is equal to 20% of the proceeds after first deducting from the proceeds any allowable expenditure incurred on or after
1 October 2001. This method would typically be used when no record of pre-valuation date expenditure exists and no valuation was obtained at 1 October 2001.

  1. Market-value method

Under the market-value method, the market value of the asset on 1 October 2001 must be determined. Various requirements apply before the market-value method can be used.

  1. Time limit for performing valuations

All valuations must have been completed by 30 September 2004. If a company failed to perform a valuation by this date, it will not be permitted to use the market-value method.

Valuations must be performed as if done on 1 October 2001. The prices on 1 October 2001 of specified financial instruments such as South African-listed shares and participatory interests in South African collective investment schemes were determined by SARS and published in the Government Gazette. A company is required to use these prices and therefore does not need to determine its own values for these assets. The prices are also available on the SARS website.

Methods to be adopted in valuing specified assets

The Act does not specify the methods to be used in performing valuations, though there are some exceptions which are summarised in the table below.

Table 1 – Market value on 1 October 2001

Submission requirements

Proof of any valuation performed within the prescribed period must be retained for five years after the date of submission of the return reflecting the disposal of the

However, with high-value assets described in the table below, the valuation forms were required to be lodged with the first return of income submitted after 30 September 2004. If the return was not submitted, the person disposing of the asset will not be permitted to use the market-value method for these assets.

Table 2 – Assets subject to early valuation submission requirements

Limitation of losses

The Eighth Schedule contains loss-limitation rules which apply when the market value of an asset on 1 October 2001 has been determined, or has been published in the Government Gazette.

Under specified circumstances a person’s ability to choose a method for determining the valuation date value of an asset will be restricted by these rules.

Time-apportionment base cost method

The time-apportionment base cost method may be used when a company has a record of the date of acquisition and cost of an asset. The following formula is used to determine the time-apportionment base cost of an asset:

Y = B + [(P – B) × N / (N + T)]

Y = The amount to be determined
B = Allowable expenditure incurred before 1 October 2001
P = Proceeds on disposal of asset
N = Number of years or part of a year before 1 October 2001
T = Number of years or part of a year on or after 1 October 2001

For purposes of this formula the following should be noted:

  • Improvements or additions made before 1 October 2001 are assumed to have taken place when the asset was acquired.
  • A part of a year is treated as a full year.
  • The period before 1 October 2001 is limited to 20 years when:
  • improvements have been made to an asset in more than one year of assessment before 1 October 2001; and
  • the asset was acquired before 1 October 1981.
  • When no additions or improvements have taken place before valuation date, the 20-year limit does not apply.
  • When capital allowances have been claimed on an asset for normal tax purposes:
  • the proceeds must be reduced by the amount of any recoupments; and
  • the expenditure must be reduced by the amount of any capital allowances that the company was entitled to claim as a deduction.

The following additional formula must be used to determine the value of “P” (proceeds) when improvements to an asset occur on or after 1 October 2001:

P = R × B / (A + B)

R = Amount received or accrued from disposal of asset
B = Allowable expenditure incurred before 1 October 2001
A = Allowable expenditure incurred on or after 1 October 2001

A special “depreciable assets” formula applies when:

  • capital allowances have been claimed on an asset;
  • additions to the asset have occurred on or after 1 October 2001; and
  • the proceeds from the disposal of the asset exceed all the allowable expenditure on the asset.

A depreciable asset is an asset as defined in paragraph 1 of the Eighth Schedule (other than any trading stock and any debt), in respect of which a deduction or allowance determined wholly or partly with reference to the cost or value of that asset is allowable in terms of the Act for purposes other than the determination of any capital gain or capital loss. A separate article will cover detail of qualifying depreciable assets.

To assist taxpayers, SARS has made available a time-apportionment base cost calculator (“TAB calculator”) on its website which uses an Excel spreadsheet. The TAB calculator does not apply when the special depreciable assets formulae are applicable.

In part 3 of this article series examples of calculations will be given and further information regarding gains or losses will be discussed.

In determining Capital Gains Tax outcomes it is advisable that companies and individuals utilise the services of professionally qualified tax practitioners to deal with such complex matters.

Author Craig Tonkin