Book Review: International Tax Law – Offshore Tax Avoidance in South Africa

Jul 10, 2015 | 2015, News

“The avoidance of taxes is the only pursuit that still carries any reward” – John Maynard Keynes (1883 – 1946)

This significant new publication in the already crowded tax–commentary sphere comprehensively examines tax avoidance schemes employed by South African residents in an international context. Difficult international tax concepts are logically explained. The effectiveness of South African legislation in countering offshore tax-avoidance schemes is critically analysed, and compared in detail with similar provisions in the United Kingdom and United States of America.

The recommendations of international organisations such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), that seek to prevent international tax avoidance, are considered, as well as the role of tax havens in encouraging tax avoidance.

The subject matter is extensive and dealt with in depth. This includes curbing tax avoidance that results from investments in offshore “protected cell companies”, in derivative financial instruments, in offshore trusts, transfer pricing, cross-border leasing transactions, and the abuse of tax treaties. The text is supported by a wealth of authorities, an extensive bibliography, references to South African and foreign legislation, domestic and international case law and academic commentary.

This impressive work will undoubtedly prove to be an invaluable resource to tax practitioners, tax administrators, legislators, financial advisors, and investors. The distinguished author Professor of Mercantile Law at UNISA, Annet Oguttu, LLB, LLM, LLD (Tax Law), H.Dip International Tax Law, and publishers Juta are to be commended for the production of a world-class treatise on this increasingly important and complex aspect of economic and fiscal evolution.

Review by Louis Rood BA, LLB (UCT) of Fairbridges Wertheim Becker.

International Tax Law – Offshore Tax Avoidance in South Africa by Annet Wanyana Oguttu (822 pages)

Juta & Co Ltd