Papers delivered at international conference in Rome, Italy
By Hettie Terblanche
Posted on 01 August 2012
From left to right: Lizelle Talbot, Liza Coetzee, Prof Ronald Clute (Clute Institute), Saré Pienaar and Gregory Johnston at the 2012 European International Academic Conference of the Clute Institute in Rome.
Two lecturers from the Department of Taxation, Liza Coetzee and Saré Pienaar, as well as two MCom students under Saré’s supervision, namely Lizelle Talbot and Gregory Johnston, delivered papers at the 2012 European International Academic Conference of the Clute Institute held in Rome from 10 to 17 June 2012.
The titles of the presentations were “Is the list of disability expenses complete?” by Liza Coetzee, “Fat tax as an alternative tax in South Africa” by Lizelle Talbot, “South African Value Added Tax implications of transactions occurring in virtual worlds” by Gregory Johnston and “Antecedents influencing rugby migration in South Africa” by Saré Pienaar.
Liza Coetzee’s presentation was voted the best paper of the session and addressed issues on a taxpayer-parent caring for a disabled child who can only deduct for South African tax purposes an expense (necessarily incurred and paid in consequence of the child’s disability) if it appears on the South African Revenue Service’s prescribed list of disability expenses. The aim of the research was to evaluate the completeness of this list, which was introduced as from the 2010 year of assessment. A questionnaire was developed, which was used for semi-structured interviews with parents of severely disabled children. These interviews provided real-life examples of expenses which do not appear on the list, but which were necessarily incurred and paid in consequence of the relevant child’s disability.
The research is of great value as it appears to be the first of its kind in South Africa. The results of this study were presented by the researcher to SARS, after which the list was slightly expanded. The research therefore contributes to a greater understanding of the type of expenses incurred by parents caring for disabled children.
Gregory Johnston’s study was specifically aimed at determining whether income earned on transactions occurring in virtual worlds create a liability to account for output tax in accordance with the South African VAT Act. The research highlighted the deficiency in the South African VAT Act in dealing with electronic commerce transactions as well as transactions arising in virtual worlds. It also highlighted what is being done internationally regarding VAT and GST on electronic commerce transactions and virtual world transactions.
Lizelle Talbot’s paper discussed the potential of ‘fat taxes’ to generate much needed additional tax revenues for the South African government as well as its potential to be used as a tool to decrease the rising rates of South African obesity and thus improve the general health of South Africans.
Saré Pienaar’s research intended to contribute to a greater understanding of the problem of overseas migration of South African rugby players as well as a broader understanding of the concept of sport labor migration in general.