In this newsletter:
Benchtest 08.2020, Digital Webinars on FIMA, Digital Benchmark AGM and more...

NAMFISA levies

  • Funds with year-end of September 2020 need to have submitted their 2nd levy returns and payments by 23 October 2020;
  • Funds with year-end of March 2020 need to have submitted their 1st levy returns and payments by 23 October 2020; and
  • Funds with year-end of October 2019 need to submit their final levy returns and payments by 30 October 2020.
ICAN updates on ITAS

Based on a meeting that the ICAN Tax Committee had with the IRD in the middle of September, ICAN recently circulated the following updates:
  • The IRD is considering a potential extension of the 30 September 2020 individual tax return and ITAS incentive deadline. The IRD committed to announce its decision before the end of the month. [Note: The due date was subsequently extended to 1 March 2021.] 

    It is critical that employers make sure their PAYE 4 returns are submitted correctly for the entire 2020 year. It is the employers’ responsibility to make sure the information is complete and correct otherwise individuals are not able to submit a correct individual tax return.

    Assuming that the employer has submitted all required information correctly on ITAS and the employee is still not able to submit because the information on his/her PAYE 5 certificate does not correspond to the information populated automatically on the employee’s return of income in ITAS, then the employer should contact the ITAS team in order to get the matter resolved.
  • Employers will probably face the following challenges when attempting to submit and ensure their returns are correct and complete: 
    • Figures submitted in the PAYE 4 returns per the employers’ records do not correspond with what is pulling through to the individual employee’s tax returns. 

      The ITAS team is able to extract a report called “employee reconciliation detail” per employee which will show the detail per month based on what was submitted by the employer. You can use this to see which figure and which month is incorrect. Once you know the reason for the difference, you can request the ITAS team to assist in amending the relevant PAYE 4 return’s information.

    • The reason for the issue mentioned above is often that the incorrect pension fund or housing allowance number is used. This is either because the number used by the employer is incorrect (in which case the employer must contact the pension fund or Robert Kaveto to get the correct numbers) or the pension fund has not listed the employer and its employees under their number yet. You as employer should make sure the pension fund gets this done! 
    • The employer still does not have a TIN for some employees because they are no longer employed by the employer etc. If you have been unsuccessful in registering these employees yourself, you have to contact the ITAS team or the IRD officials to assist in having these employee’s traced/registered (this is the only solution). 
Relevant contact details:
  • ITAS team:
    Sirkka Masilo
    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • Housing and Pension fund numbers:
    Robert Kaveto
    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Pension fund governance - a toolbox for trustees

  • Download the privacy policy here...
  • Download a draft rule dealing with the appointment of the board of trustees here...
  • Download the code of ethics policy here...
  • Download the generic communication policy here...
  • Download the generic risk management policy here...
  • Download the generic conflict-of-interest policy here...
  • Download the generic trustee performance appraisal form here…
  • Download the generic investment policy here...
  • Download the generic trustee code of conduct here...
  • Download the unclaimed benefits policy here...
  • Download the list of fund service providers duly registered by NAMFISA here... 
  • Download the Principal Officer performance appraisal form here...
  • Download the revised service provider self-assessment here...

Registered service providers
UPDATED May 2020

Certain pension fund service providers need to be registered by NAMFISA and need to report to NAMFISA regularly

These service providers are:-

  • Registered Investment Managers
  • Registered Stockbrokers
  • Registered Linked Investment Service Providers
  • Registered Unit Trust Management Companies
  • Registered Unlisted Investment Managers
  • Registered Special Purpose Vehicles
  • Registered Long-term brokers
  • Registered Long-term insurers

If you want to find out whether your service providers are registered, or whether you need to establish directly from NAMFISA because the service provider does not appear on the list, use this link...

Check out our retirement calculator

Our web based retirement and risk shortfall calculator has been enhanced and updated to assist you to determine how much you should contribute additionally, either by way of lump sum or regular salary based contribution, to get to your target income at retirement, death or disablement.

Try it out. Here is the link...

If you need any assistance with your personal financial planning, you are welcome to get in touch with Annemarie Nel (tel 061-446 073) or with Kristof Lerch (tel 061-446 042)

Dear reader

In this newsletter we address the following topics:

  • ICAN updates on ITAS.

In ‘Tilman Friedrich’s industry forum’ we present:

  • Can retirement capital be transferred from a retirement annuity to a pension fund at retirement?
  • COVID 19 still has us in its grips!
  • When can we expect to see double digit returns again?

In our column 'On fund governance' we present:

  • FIMA webinar series off to a successful start.
On Benchmark news read about:
  • One benefit of investing via Benchmark rather than a ‘platform’;
  • First virtual annual member meeting held.

In ‘News from RFS’:

  • We draw attention to ‘Important administrative circulars issued by RFS’ since the previous newsletter.

In news from the market place read about:

  • Sanlam offers conversion of cover to any group scheme member;
  • Private Sector Development Survey 2019/ 2010 – results released.
In ‘News from NAMFISA’ read about:
  • Annual financial statements and actuarial reports to be submitted electronically;
  • Industry meeting of 16 September postponed.

In ‘Legal snippets’ read

  • Credit Agreements Act amended;
  • Competition Act to be amended;
  • The Income Tax Act – notes of interest.
...and make a point of reading what our clients say about us in the ‘Compliments’ section. It should give you a good appreciation of who and what we are!

As always, your comment is welcome, so open a new mail and drop us a note!


Tilman Friedrich

Monthly Review of Portfolio Performance
to 31 August 2020

In August 2020 the average prudential balanced portfolio returned 0.9% (July 2020: 1.7%). Top performer is Stanlib Managed Fund with 2.1%, while Allan Gray Balanced Fund with 0.1% takes the bottom spot. For the 3-month period, NAM Coronation Balanced Plus Fund takes the top spot, outperforming the ‘average’ by roughly 2.2%. On the other end of the scale Allan Gray Balanced Fund underperformed the ‘average’ by 2.7%. Note that these returns are before (gross of) asset management fees.

The Monthly Review of Portfolio Performance to 31 August 2020 provides a full review of portfolio performances and other interesting analyses. Download it here...

Pensioners beware - this is not the time to raise your investment risk!

...When one has been used to the longer-term achievements of the prudential balanced portfolio managers, one can understand that pension fund members and pensioners will be disappointed with the shorter term returns their pension investment will have produced. Tragically, shrewd brokers out in the market have seen this state of affairs as an opportunity to discredit proven prudential balanced portfolios and to coerce pensioners to transfer their retirement capital into high risk portfolios, using shorter-term investment returns some of these managed to produce, as the result of the distortions that occurred in the markets since the global financial crisis...

I strongly advise pensioners, in particular, to be cognisant of the following before taking a decision concerning the investment of their retirement capital:
  • The prudential balanced portfolio has proven itself to offer the best risk adjusted returns to the pension fund member/ pensioner in the long-term;
  • Clamouring for returns higher than what the prudential balanced portfolio typically produces, means taking higher excessive risk as a matter of course;
  • Retail products are generally more costly than institutional products; latter offer economies of scale, former offers more personalised structuring;
  • Do not put yourself at the mercy of a single individual who may no longer be around tomorrow;
  • Understand how the investment returns of your capital are produced;
  • Have a benchmark for comparing your returns;
  • Understand all the costs associated with your investment that detract from the returns your capital earns; and
  • Understand the termination conditions of the product you intend to invest in.
Last but not least, as a pensioner, you will lose confidence in taking your own decisions as you grow older. In a retail product you will then increase your dependence on your broker ever more, while many institutional products offer default options that the managers manage in the best interests of the member/ pensioner and that can relieve the member/ pensioner of the responsibility to take decisions when he no longer has the confidence or knowledge to do so. As a pensioner you must ascertain that you are at peace with the party/ies in whose custody your retirement capital is. You cannot afford and do not want to lose sleep over this!

Read part 6 of the Monthly Review of Portfolio Performance to 31 July 2020 to find out what our investment views are. Download it here...

COVID 19 still has us in its grips!

Now that the State of Emergency has expired after 6 months, one will be mistaken believing that the nightmare of the past 6 months is now finally behind us.

Government Gazette 7338 of 17 September brings into operation the Public and Environmental Health Act, Act no 1 of 2015 as of 17 September 2020. Find the gazette here...

In same gazette COVID-19 is declared as ‘formidable epidemic disease’ as a result of which the Minister of Health is given wide-ranging draconian powers to manage this ‘formidable epidemic disease’ very similar to those employed during the State of Emergency and anyone who listened carefully to public statements of the Minister of Health will have noticed the repeated threatening undertone with reference to misbehaviour of the general public despite our ‘formidable epidemic disease’.

The Minister will now no doubt declare COVID-19, this ‘formidable epidemic disease’, as a ‘public health emergency under section 28 of the Public and Environmental Health Act.  Here is the link to section 28...

Section 29 of same Act expands on the wide-ranging draconian powers vested in the Minister, including the use of force and fire arms; detention, arrest without warrant; segregation; isolation; quarantine; closing of schools, churches, places of entertainment; prohibiting meetings, gatherings, assemblies; post-mortem examinations, exhumations; requisitioning accommodation, equipment and other articles etc, very much those we experienced under the State of Emergency. Follow this link to section 29...

When can we expect to see double digit returns again?

In our latest Benchtest newsletter 07.2020, we present two articles that effectively address the same subject. Firstly ‘Governments must beware of the lure of free money’ that appeared in the Economist of 23 July wherein it is pointed out that we are currently dealing with a profound shift in economics as the result of policy decisions taken by governments across the developed world in response to the COVID pandemic. It talks of 4 defining features of the ‘new epoch’ induced by COVID. Firstly, the extent of government borrowing, secondly, the extent of money printing by central banks, thirdly the governments’ increasing roles as capital allocators in their economies and fourthly, a persistently low inflation rate. These ‘epochal features’ lay the foundation for how economies and consequently the financial markets will evolve for many years to come.

The second article ‘Portfolios need to be more active and flexible to ensure returns’, international asset manager Schroders believes that both, equity and bond returns, are likely to be lower in the future than during the past 10 years. Equities are facing economic headwinds and record valuations, while interest rates are at record lows and likely to remain low for years, affecting both the income and price appreciation potential for bonds as depicted in graph 6.1 below.

Graph 6.1

In this article Schroders argues that “...investors should take a more active approach and consider a globally diversified portfolio of equities, fixed income and alternative assets. Its research has found that a balanced portfolio, traditionally investing 60% in equities and 40% in bonds, may not perform as well over the next 10 to 15 years as it did during the last decade. These static 60/40 portfolios have delivered a strong performance in recent years as both equities and bonds have benefitted from favourable policy tailwinds. It has been an unusual period in history as correlations between these key asset classes have been negative. Bonds benefitted from falling interest rates to generate strong returns while, at the same time, equities have enjoyed the longest bull run in history...”

These views of Schroders of course assume ‘everything else being equal’. At the prevailing low to negative interest rates, governments will only attract funding if the investor has no better investment alternatives. So-called safe haven investments still seem to be fine as developed countries are still able to attract the funding they require. Even in Namibia the government bond issuance of middle August was over-subscribed on average by 4.2 times. As time progresses and the financial woes resulting from COVID policy decisions of developing countries manifest ever more, countries such as Namibia, should find ever more difficult to attract foreign funding in particular.

The assumption of ‘everything else being equal’ appears very bold considering the political tensions between China and Russia on the one side and US and some of its staunchest allies on the other. Given that the US is unlikely to give up its ‘sole rights claim’ to being the global hegemon and China’s apparent challenge to this claim, both militarily and economically, it is not an unwarranted scenario that the conflict will be escalating to a final show-down. The only alternative would be if China were to let go of its ambitions to emancipate itself from US hegemony. There are no such signs in any of China’s responses so far to US demands and challenges.

Taking investment decisions in the prevailing environment of low and even negative interest rates, low forecast future equity returns and the rising tensions between China and the US, is extremely difficult. There is no such thing as the free market mechanisms anymore, which is actually essential for price finding between a willing buyer and a willing seller. Undoubtedly this also explains the run on physical gold and the consequent increase in the price of gold to around US$ 2,000 per fine ounce. People find it difficult to identify good investment prospects and in the light of the prevailing environment rather resort to buying an asset that offers no real economic value or to safe haven investments offering negative returns.

Just about every economy around the world has been hard hit by measures taken to fight the COVID pandemic. Global debt of the 6 largest global economies had increased by 300% from US$ 6 trn to US$ 21 trn following the global financial crisis and will be bloated further as the result of stimulus measures taken to counter the impact of COVID. In essence, governments around the world now borrow money to give people the money they would have earned in their jobs, had they not lost their jobs through these measures. As the saying goes, if the US economy, as largest economy in the world sneezes, the economies of the rest of the world will catch a cold. And the US economy is sneezing heartily. John Mauldin reported in one of his recent ‘Thoughts from the Frontline’ newsletters a huge increase in corporate loan loss reserves of the big lenders in the US as set out in graph 6.2. Local banks have not been spared of this and some of our banks have reported large declines in earnings.

Graph 6.2

What’s more frightening, is the US unemployment situation, as measured by continued state unemployment claims and presented in graph 6.3 in same newsletter:

Graph 6.3

Clearly, the US economy is in a bad shape and will take a number of years to recover.


Equity markets and other asset classes are evidently once again in a bubble as the result of the global flooding of markets by reserve banks. In contrast global economies have been hard hit and will struggle to recover the ground lost, initially after the global financial crisis and now as the result of COVID. Companies therefor cannot rely on a solid economic underpin for growth for some time to come.

Based on the experience of the aftermath of the global financial crisis and the measures taken by central banks in response, it is likely that the re-inflated bubble of late is unlikely to burst, everything else remaining equal, but will rather be allowed to slowly deflate. In the mean-time returns on conventional asset classes will be subdued for the next 10 years as argued and as depicted clearly in graph 6.1 above.

In abnormal times and high market volatility as we are currently experiencing, prices are driven by sentiment rather than fundamentals. Some stocks are driven to dizzy heights while others that are out of favour are up for a song, offering exceptionally high dividend yields. The speculator would try to find stocks in an upswing driven by sentiment and try to sell when he believes they are at the top. This is a high risk, potentially high reward approach. For pension capital, it is not advisable to speculate. Here one should rather focus on the real economic value of the investment, essentially how well the underlying business is doing and what its dividend payment capacity is. Stock picking skills should be applied to choosing where to invest.

If one had sold out already and one had not re-entered the market, one will have lost out on the close to 30% recovery of the SA Allshare index since the March month-end low. In the face of prevailing volatility and the uncertainty of how the COVID-19 crisis will pan out, one should now best stay out of the market at least until the end of the year to use any opportunity a market correction will offer. Economic performance is not supporting any meaningful growth in equity markets for a while.

Investing offshore is a great risk diversifier and must be part of one’s investment strategy. This is what international asset manager Schroders also suggest. Timing plays an important role when one considers expatriating investment capital. However, due to the severe under-valuation of the Rand it is not a good time to expatriate investments at this stage and the suggestion to hold on to the end of the year may also bring with it a further strengthening of the Rand, presenting an opportunity to re-enter offshore equities.

Tilman Friedrich is a qualified chartered accountant and a Namibian Certified Financial Planner ® practitioner, specialising in the pensions field. Tilman is co-founder, shareholder and Chairman of the RFS Board, and retired chairperson, and now trustee, of the Benchmark Retirement Fund.


FIMA webinar series off to a successful start

The webinar training series hosted by RFS in collaboration with Mrs Andreen Moncur (BA Law) series over a period of 6 weeks, kicked off to a successful start on 8 September and will last until 13 October. The webinars are conducted every Tuesday from 14h30 to 16h00. These virtual sessions are covering the standards and regulations, governance, outsourcing, benefit structures, employer liability and cost implications, amongst others. Participants should understand what is needed for retirement funds to be open for business under the FIM Act.

Comments from the presenter after the first webinar

“Dear Marthinuz,

Thanks so much! I really appreciate your support. To the amazing, talented, passionate RFS team, a huge thumbs up and thank you from the bottom of my heart! This was truly a team effort and I am so proud to be associated with the brightest and best in Namibia.”

Carmen Diehl joined RFS in May 2017 as Manager: Internal Audit, Compliance and Risk Management and has recently assumed responsibility for preparing RFS for the FIM Act. Carmen matriculated at DHPS in 2000. She obtained a B. Accounting (Honours) degree in 2004 at the University of Stellenbosch.  She started her articles with KPMG in 2005 and moved to EY in October 2006. She completed her articles with EY in 2008 and qualified as a chartered accountant (CA Nam). She joined Bravura Namibia Trading in 2008 as Financial Manager. From 2009 until 2012 she was employed by the O&L group as Group Financial Manager: Corporate Finance, after which she joined Ohorongo Cement.

Compliment from a former fund member

Dated 18 September 2020


As I said, I could poach you to work for us only one thing – your excellent service!!!

Please tell your managers that they are very lucky to have you!!!

Thanks once again!”

Read more comments from our clients, here...

One benefit of investing via Benchmark rather than a ‘platform’

When you consider whether to invest in a retirement product via one of the investment platforms typically offered by insurance companies or in the Benchmark Retirement Fund, take note that the Benchmark Retirement Fund passes on the institutional investment management fees that it pays to its investment managers whereas you would bear retail asset management fees if you invest via a platform.

The trustees of the Benchmark Retirement Fund took a decision to move the assets in the Allan Gray unit trust to a segregated portfolio with Allan Gray. This transfer was effected at the beginning of quarter 3 of 2017.

The fund now attracts a substantially lower investment management fee in the segregated portfolio of approximately 0.6% compared to the institutional fee of 0.75% that applies to the Allan Gray unit trust. This fee differential of 0.15% p.a. improves the capital that will have accumulated over a contribution period of 40 years by 4% - nothing to be ‘sneezed at’!

As an investor via a platform, the retail fee Allan Gray charges is 1.1% as opposed to the 0.6% borne by the Benchmark Retirement Fund. This fee differential of 0.5% p.a.  now improves the capital that will have accumulated over a contribution period of 40 years by 15%!

First virtual annual member meeting held

Due to COVID, the Benchmark Retirement Fund held its first virtual annual member meeting via live stream on 10 September.

Whereas past face-to-face member meeting that were held in Windhoek, usually reached only up to 90 people, around 160 people were reached through this live stream event. Presenters were from as far away as France, Cape Town, Johannesburg and Windhoek. While there are limitations with virtual events there are also huge opportunities to reach many more members (also members outside of Windhoek), while at the same time being able to access good speakers from all over the world at relatively low costs.
  • For a quick overview of the topics covered at the meeting, click here...
  • If you could not attend the event, or want to look at some of the content again, you can look at the video recording of the meeting. Watch the event, here...
Please feel free to share the link with other Benchmark members and your colleagues.

If you would like to drop us a note about how you experienced this event, please send it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We are very keen to hear from you!

Feedback from annual member meeting participant

“Well done everyone! A huge shout out and thumbs up to the Benchmark Board and the RFS staff on a fantastic effort at the AGM today. So proud to be associated with this winning team. You guys are the undisputed market leaders in all areas!”

Paul-Gordon /Guidao-‡Oab joined RFS as Manager: Audit and Compliance in May 2016 and then moved into the position of Benchmark Product Manager. In 2019 he assumed the duties of Principal Officer of the Fund. Paul holds a B Compt degree from Unisa and has completed his articles with SGA.

Important administrative circulars issued by RFS

RFS issued the following fund administration related circular to its clients over the last month. Should any client have missed this circular, please get in touch with your client manager:
  • PI Cover of service providers (RFS 2020.08-14)

Sanlam offers conversion of cover to any group scheme member

Sanlam Namibia Ltd is offering a conversion option to all group scheme employees of all employers in Namibia. This offering will allow all group scheme members to convert to a Sanlam Namibia individual life policy upon termination of employment with the particular employer, even if their group scheme is not with Sanlam and/ or does not have the conversion option.

This offer will initially run for a period of 3 months starting 1 September 2020 and ending 30 November 2020 and is subject to certain terms and conditions.

For further information about this offer, click here...

The declaration of health Sanlam requires from a person wishing to take up this offer can be downloaded here...

Private Sector Development Survey 2019/ 2010 – results released

MIT and GIZ decided to conduct the Private Sector Development Survey 2019/20 to gauge business sentiments across a wide range of topics. The survey was conducted between 16 January 2020 and first week of March 2020, and hence before the State of Emergency was declared in Namibia.

A total of 920 businesses were selected randomly from a database of more than 3,900 companies. The sample as slightly adjusted to ensure that regions and sectors are fairly represented. The online survey was supported by telephonic interviews in order to achieve sufficient responses. A total of 383 responses are included in the analysis, but the analysis could not include all regions and sectors due to low response rates. Responding businesses were grouped into micro, small, medium and large enterprises based on the definition provided in MIT’s SME Policy.

The full report can be requested from This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Annual financial statements and actuarial reports to be submitted electronically

NAMFISA recently advised that, presumably with immediate effect, - “As communicated at the last industry meeting held on 29 July 2020, the submission of Annual Financial Statements (AFS) and Actuarial Valuation Reports (ARV) should be made via ERS by completing the forms below.
  1. CoA: Submission of Annual Financial Statements
  2. CoA: Actuarial Valuation Report Submission
The said forms should be submitted before the hard copies of the AFS and AVR are forwarded to our offices.”

Industry meeting of 16 September postponed

NAMFISA on 10 September advised as follows: “Kindly be informed that the industry meeting which was scheduled for 16 September 2020 has been postponed to the fourth quarter, which will be held on 25 November 2020, as no substantial or pressing matters have been identified for discussion at this meeting.

However, should any industry player have a pressing matter for discussion, kindly submit via email to Mrs. Martha Mavulu at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., we will consider and advise on the way forward.

We will highly appreciate your submissions before close of business on Monday, 14 September 2020.”

Credit Agreements Act amended

The Annexure to the regulations made under the Credit Agreements Act was amended with regard to minimum deposits and maximum repayment periods in respect of goods purchased under a credit agreement, as published in Government Gazette 7321 of 1 September 2020.

Download it here...

Competition Act to be amended

The Namibia Competition Commission has published a draft Competition Bill that is to replace the Competition Act, Act No 2 of 2003. It has also issued a summary of the draft bill and has invited the public to submit comments on the draft bill on or before 25 September 2020 by way a public advertisement.

In the summary of the bill, the scope of the bill is described as follows:

“Scope of the Bill

  1. The current Act applies to all economic activity within or having an effect in Namibia except: agricultural commodities that have not undergone a process of manufacturing; the activities of statutory bodies authorised by any law; and concerted conduct designed to achieve a non-commercial socio-economic objective. Rather than excluding certain activities that may have an effect on competition from the ambit of the law, upfront and without an evaluation, the Commission now has the discretion to exempt these activities following an application by the party concerned.
  2. Regarding conduct designed to achieve a non-commercial socio-economic benefit, the Bill removes this exception owing to the challenges of defining non-commercial activity.
  3. Like the current Act, the Bill still allows the Minister, with the concurrence of the Commission, to exempt certain goods or services by notice in the Gazette and allows certain industries or types of goods and services, as Gazetted by the Minister, to be exempted from the provisions dealing with mergers and acquisitions.”

If you are interested in what this entails and would like to study the summary of the draft bill, click here...

The Income Tax Act – notes of interest

Having attended a seminar on the Income Tax Act, arranged by ICAN and presented by Mr Hartmuth van Alphen, the following notes may be of interest to readers:

  • Interpretation of law:
    • A rule of law established in a previous judgement is binding upon a lower court. The ratio dicidendi of a case constitutes such rule of law, while the obiter dicta of a case is not binding on another court.
    • Decisions of SA courts have persuasive power in Namibia and must be followed in circumstances in which the facts are similar and the wording of the statute is not different.
    • The golden rule of interpretation of law is that the literal meaning of the words in the law are to be applied as representing the intention of the legislature unless a contrary intention of the legislature can be ascertained beyond doubt.
    • The ‘contra fiscum rule’ means the tax statute must be interpreted to have the least adverse affect on the taxpayer, unless the tax authority invokes any anti-avoidance clause, in which case the interpretation will be ‘pro fiscum’.
    • In any agreement, substance takes precedence over form.
  • Proposed income tax amendments:
    • The new minister of finance is personally reviewing all proposed amendments before anything will be taken further (e.g. ‘residence based’ taxing, taxing of trusts, withholding tax on dividends).
    • The Institute of Chartered Accountants in Namibia will be able to comment before the changes are published.
  • Source of income:
    • The ‘location’ of a contract (i.e. entered into in Namibia) only determines the source if it relates to goods but not if it relates to services.
    • Income tax practice (not codified anywhere) is currently to consider the source of a service to be Namibian if the person is present in Namibia for more than 4 continuous weeks in a tax year, or for 6 weeks in total in a tax year, but on an intermittent basis.
    • A person who is working in Namibia for longer than 183 days in a tax year must be registered for tax in Namibia even if he/ she is an SA resident.
    • The source of director’s services is where the meeting is held and withholding tax on services must be withheld even if the person can prove registration for tax and residency in SA.
    • The source of directors’ services in the capacity as member of the board are considered to be rendered at the head office of the company.
  • ‘Person’
    • Part-time employees, including vacation students, must be taxed at 18%.
    • Pensioners must be taxed at 37% if one does not have the pensioner’s proof of registration.
    • Director’s fees of a non resident are not subject to employees tax but only to withholding tax at the rate of 25%.
    • In case of a married person, where the spouse derives an income from any business of the other spouse may not be excessive in comparison to the income of the other spouse else it will be added to the income of the other spouse.
  • Provisional taxpayer:
    • A natural person is obliged to register if his/ her other remuneration exceeds N$ 5,000 per annum.
  • Gross income:
    • Advance payments are taxable in the year of receipt even though they may only legally accrue in a later year.
    • Any deposit received must be included in gross income unless the moneys are held in trust (i.e. money should not be used in the business operations).
  • Accruals and provisions:
    • Only expenditure actually incurred is tax deductible.
    • However, provision for leave pay in the books of the company is tax deductible.
  • Deductible expenditure and losses:
    • The judgement by Judge Watermeyer in the case ‘New State Areas Ltd vs CIR’ is the leading case where the principles have been laid down.
    • A deduction claimed must satisfy the requirements of both section 17(1)(a) (actually incurred in Namibia in the production of income, and not of a capital nature) and section 24(g) (laid out or expended for the purposes of trade).
    • Where expenditure is incurred prior to the commencement of trade and is financed, the interest expense is not incurred while carrying on a trade and is not tax deductible.
    • A repair (thus deductible expenditure) is the renewal or replacement of something that has become defaced or worn out by use but not the replacement of something for aesthetic resaons or to improve an asset (and thus capital expenditure).
    • Major building renovations should contractually be separated as between repairs and improvements.
    • The building allowance of 4% p.a. can be claimed on a used building but only for the remainder of the original 20 years since the building was brought into use.
    • The cost of erecting a building excludes the erf and all earth works.
  • Recoupments:
    • Writing off of the balance on a loan amount i.r.o. a motor vehicle does not constitute a recoupment.
    • Inheritance of an asset does not invoke a recoupment.
  • Assessed losses:
    • An assessed loss at the death of the taxpayer cannot be transferred to the estate of the heirs of the taxpayer.
  • Withholding tax on interest, royalties and similar payments and on services rendered by a non-resident:
    • Double tax agreement with Germany is the only DTA that only allows county of receipient taxpayer to tax the interest, so no withholding tax on interest.
    • 10% (WHTR) to be withheld on royalty or similar payments for the right of use of trade marks/ names, services rendered in connection with intellectual property (including software).
    • 10% (WHTS), 25% (WHT entertainment and directors’ fees) to be withheld on entertainment, consulting and management services and on directors’ fees.
    • SA DTA allows Namibia to withhold 25% tax on entertainment and on directors’ fees.
  • Non-resident shareholders’ tax:
    • Applicable to dividends paid by a company to a non-resident shareholder.
    • The rate is 10% where beneficial shareholder holds at least 25% of the company else it is 20%, but when paid to SA shareholder it 5%, respectively 15%.
  • Trusts:
    • Anti-avoidance provision applies to income distributed as the result of a donation to a minor beneficiary, where the beneficiary is prevented from benefiting until the happening of a stipulated event, or the donor retains the powers to revoke the right of the minor beneficiary to receive income from the trust.
  • Partnerships:
    • They are not legal entities and are not recognised

New case deals with South African employee who had their retirement age changed

“...Mr Deppe was dismissed before reaching his agreed age of retirement which was 65 years,” Werksmans said.

The Labour Appeal Court (LAC) held that the dismissal of Deppe when he reached the age of 60 was not based on an agreed age of retirement. This was a retirement age imposed on Deppe without his consent. The LAC held that BMW had failed to discharge the onus to prove that the dismissal was not automatically unfair.

“On the issue of whether the dismissal amounted to unfair discrimination in terms of the EEA, the LAC held that Mr Deppe’s dismissal also amounted to unfair discrimination on the grounds of age in terms of section 6(1) of the EEA.”

BMW had failed to prove on a balance of probabilities that it had not unfairly discriminated against Deppe or that such discrimination was rational and not unfair or justifiable.

Discussing the importance of the case, Werksmans said that if the age of retirement is changed without the employee’s consent and he is subsequently ‘retired’ at such earlier date this may amount to an automatically unfair dismissal and unfair discrimination.

In the absence of consent, an employer cannot unilaterally change an employee’s retirement age, it said.

Read the full article by a staff writer in Businesstech of 12 September 2020, here...

Advisor must repay 87-year-old farmer for Sharemax loss

The Ombud for Financial Services Providers (Fais Ombud), Nonku Tshombe, has ordered a financial advisor E Venter to repay HEG du Preez, an 87-year-old farmer the R200 000 he invested in two property syndication schemes promoted and marketed by Sharemax Investments.

“...Tshombe said Du Preez lost his capital and there is no prospect that he will recover any part of it...

Du Preez instructed Venter in August 2010 to cancel the investments and get back his capital. Venter gave an assurance that “everything was alright and we should be receiving our interest soon” but there were no further interest payments and Du Preez did not receive any response from Venter regarding the capital.

After numerous attempts by Du Preez to liaise with Venter, he approached the Office of the Fais Ombud.

In his response to the complaint, Venter disputed Du Preez’s version regarding the circumstances around the investment and claimed he had visited Du Preez at the farm because Du Preez needed assistance with a Sanlam policy...

The Fais Ombud listed a number of undisputed facts which were relied on for the resolution of the matter.

These included that Venter:

  • Requested a Sharemax consultant to explain the investment to Du Preez.
  • Did not provide Du Preez with a prospectus for either of the investments.
  • Did not explain the risks in the investment to Du Preez and didn’t deny that he informed Du Preez that Sharemax was a safe investment and that he had invested his own funds into it.
  • Informed Du Preez that Sharemax purchased property, rented it out and eventually sold it at a profit for the benefit of investors but failed to point out that the Zambezi and The Villa schemes were different from all the previous syndications marketed by Sharemax.
  • Did not carry out a risk analysis or needs analysis, with his record of advice confirming this.
  • Did not offer Du Preez any other or alternative financial products.
  • Failed to point out to Du Preez that Sharemax, in respect of Zambezi and The Villa, had no trading history and no independent means to pay commissions, and that investor returns and commissions and monthly interest payments in effect were to be made out of investor funds.
  • Failed to point out that Sharemax did not own any property.

Tshombe found that Venter failed to act honestly, fairly, with due skill, care and diligence; contravened the general code of conduct for financial services providers; and failed to act in the interests of his client...

However, Tshombe stressed the fact that Venter was in breach of the Fais Act and code does not on its own mean that he was liable for Du Preez’s loss. There must also be a breach of contract as well as a claim in delict, she said.

Tshombe said that as a result of the contract that exists between a financial service provider and the client, there was an express or implied term that Venter would comply with the provisions of the Fais Act and code in carrying out his obligations.

She said Venter was in breach of this term, a consequence of which was the loss of Du Preez’s capital, adding that Venter acted wrongfully and negligently... Venter was expected to make an evaluation of the product from the prospectus and give advice based on the client’s requirements and tolerance for risk. Venter failed to do this and was therefore negligent, in this case possibly even dishonest, and is accordingly liable for damages, she said.”

Read the full by Roy Cokane in Moneyweb of 8 September, here...

Why banks want a return to offices

JPMorgan Chase's decision to call traders back to its New York-area offices has a backstory, per Bloomberg: declining productivity among workers at home. Since the pandemic forced companies to temporarily close their offices, output has suffered at the biggest U.S. bank — especially on Mondays and Fridays, a KBW analyst said following an interview with CEO Jamie Dimon. The analyst said that the dip, along with a loss of "creative combustion" found onsite, was hurting young employees in particular. Less than a week after its workers returned to the office, JPMorgan sent some Manhattan employees home after one tested positive for COVID-19, reported Bloomberg.

3 tips to manage your money and stay sane during the pandemic

“Staying on top of your finances and credit can be stressful as is, but when you add a global pandemic and an economic recession to the mix you may find yourself feeling particularly weighed down...

The pandemic] raises a lot of difficult questions about how to manage our money, what’s the best use of it,” Nicole Iacovoni, a Pennsylvania-based financial therapist, tells CNBC Select. “Everything is so unpredictable; we no longer have that job security and guaranteed, stable income. It’s certainly making people question, ‘How can I be prepared to weather a financial storm?..

We asked Iacovoni her advice on how people can stay on track of their finances while also having peace of mind. Here are her three tips.
  1. Press ‘pause’ on your debt payoff plan –“...stick with just making the minimum payment on your lower priority debts for now. These are bills that, if go unpaid, won’t have an immediate and severe consequence to you or your family...But remember to at least pay the monthly minimum on your bills. You’ll remain current on your accounts that way, and your credit score will stay mostly on track...”
  2. Find comfort in new routines -We spend just because it feels good,” she says. “We use it as a comfort and sort of like comfort food and eating when we’re not hungry, we spend when we don’t need to...Instead, try little habits that can bring routine and a sense of stability back in your life — and that come at no additional financial expense. Some have reported that making the bed each morning is now a comforting ritual, along with dressing as if you were going into the office or making a to-do list for every day. Find new ways to feel fulfilled and relaxed at home, such as exercising, doing artwork or chatting with a friend.”
  3. See the pandemic as an opportunity to get better with money – “...Start by creating a budget for your “new normal.” You can read our step-by-step guide here. Once you have a handle on your monthly expenses, pull your credit report to see where your credit stands...”
Read the full article by Elizabeth Gravier in CNBC Select of 31 August 2020, here...

Retirement: To those still in employment
  1. As you always go to work ...remember one day you will retire. You won't be going to work.
  2. Always go for your 30days annual leave. Whatever you do in your leave, is what you will be doing when you retire.
  3. Invest for your retirement... For your children are not retirement investment.
  4. Start a hobby early in your working days to take you along when you retire. You can start rearing chickens, a piggery or a shop.
  5. Where shall you retire. Build yourself a home. Acquire a farm. Don't retire and start to rent a house.
  6. Who shall be your dependants? By the time you retire, your children should be above 18, and self reliant.
  7. Don't retire in town. You can't continue living in the city after 60. The language and the hustle is hard for you.
  8. Have property which can be converted into cash. Plant avocado trees today. Rear goats, tree's etc.
  9. Live a simple life. If you never built a house at your rural home or a farm acquired during your prime years, don’t use your retirement package to build.
  10. The analysis above is that many retirees die because of:
    1. Not being prepared to retire.
    2. Lack of finances
    3. Depression

Let's plan today!

Author unknown.

Great quotes have an incredible ability to put things in perspective.

"I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.”
~  Leonardo da Vinci

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